06 October 2008

CSN West name change

While looking through my Comcast onscreen program guide this weekend, I noticed a channel name change. Digital channel 400, which was previously abbreviated CSNW (Comcast SportsNet West), is now CSNCA. As you might guess, that CA stands for California, making the new name Comcast SportsNet California.

Curious about this, I immediately hit the CSN home page to see what happened. The CSN West page is still up, but it has been updated with a new logo to reflect the name change. All of the corporate scrubbing will assuredly follow suit soon.

There's nothing in the press releases section or anywhere else about the name change. The Wikipedia entry for CSN shows that the reference to the name change was edited on Friday.

Was the change precipitated by the A's possible TV deal with CSN? Perhaps, but I'm guessing "No" because I don't see any conceivable difference in brand recognition between CSN West and CSN California. Instead, it may be that the launch of Comcast SportsNet Northwest in the Seattle area prompted the change, in order to avoid confusion. CSNNW had already been operating in Portland for some time, so there's a hole in that theory there. Whatever the case, I'll try to find out later today. Interestingly, CSNNW is not carried by either DirecTV or Dish. According to this press release, some Sharks games will be carried by CSNNW.

This isn't major news. Still, look for a November press release announcing the deal between CSNCA and the A's.


Tony D. said...

"Still, look for a November press release announcing the deal between CSNCA and the A's." Lew Wolff/A's did state a few months back that they preferred the current partnership with CSNBA and were working on a long-term deal. Are you suggesting R.M. that the deal has gone sour? As for the new name, it could also be because of the Raiders, Niners, and CAL. By the way, been way to quiet around here!

Marine Layer said...

I don't think the deal has gone sour. It's just that given the cramped conditions at CSNBA, I figured last year that the A's would likely allow that relationship to expire before moving onto something else. Now that a move to a different network has been teased, it's more likely that they'll rip up the current deal and move to the other channel. It's a win-win since Comcast maintains a relationship without the A's shopping around and the A's get better footing. The Giants lose the A's, but I think that having the A's was at best a zero-sum circumstance anyway.

The web page shows the Raiders, Niners, and Cal on equal footing but we all know their presence is far less significant on the network than the A's. In fact, I'm hoping there's a little bidding war among the two networks for the "leftover" live game properties and high school events. That would make the local offerings far more complete.

Anonymous said...

any updates on the progress of the fremont plan in light of the economic times? thanks.

paul murphy

Marine Layer said...

Nothing to report currently. We usually hear from ownership during the offseason in early November.

Zonis said...

We had quotes from papers and from the Wolff Interview with Athletics Nation that they were renegotiating the deal with Comcast and looking at Comcast West. To me, the change from CSNW to CSNCA looks like a prelude to that, as well as ML stated, a way to differentiate it from CSN North West now that both channels will get greater exposure. I wonder if there is already a CSN Pacific?

But if CSN CA will have the Kings, 49'ers, Raiders, NCAA (which I assume means primarily CAL, followed by Stanford, and then a slew of smaller schools), the Monarchs, I wonder how much room there will be?

I could see almost a complete re-adjusting between the two Comcast stations in this regard. Then again, CSNBA would already have, if I remember correctly the Giants, Sharks and Warriors.

I Can see the NCAA games split evenly between the two channels, perhaps even 1 for CAL and 1 for Stanford. You have to wonder if they will split the NFL games as well, or keep both NFL teams on the same network. And then what happens to the Quakes at the end of all this?

Marine Layer said...

Unfortunately for CSNCA there are plenty of pre-existing broadcast agreements that cut into their ability to make deals. PAC-10 football tends to be only on ABC Saturday afternoons, though we'll see if CSN as a local entity bids for non-conference games for instance. Or maybe the Big Game. College football doesn't have a lot of general popularity in the Bay Area so it's tough sledding. Basketball's agreements are with ABC and FSN, so it may be that CSNW gets those games due to FSN's part ownership of the channel. CSNCA doesn't have such an arrangement AFAIK so they would presumably have to go elsewhere, such as the WAC and WCC.

The Quakes are part of a package deal. They're going to CSNCA. Fox Soccer Channel is a primary broadcaster. CSNCA would replace CSNBA.

Anonymous said...

What does it mean for one of the Comcast channels to have the Raiders or 49ers? They're not going to broadcast games. If it's just their magazine-style shows, it won't affect scheduling. Those can be shown anytime.

I'd sure like to see them split the A's from the Giants and the Sharks from the Warriors. That's where most of the scheduling conflicts come from.