Root Sports had nothing to do with the Kraken's opener not being televised locally, as it was ESPN's decision to air it on ESPN+GETTY IMAGES
The Kraken's debut home game Saturday night at Climate Pledge Arena was not "broadcast on any U.S.-based television channel," as ESPN picked up the game but decided to "carry it exclusively" on ESPN+, according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. The matchup against the Canucks is "one of 13 games this season in which the league’s national television deal with ESPN and Turner Sports took precedence over the team’s regional Root Sports Northwest partner." While some Seattle-area fans with Comcast had "access to the game on CBUT[-DT] -- the Vancouver-based CBC station," many fans were left "outraged when they tuned in to Root Sports" and saw Trail Blazers programming instead. Some "vented their displeasure at Root Sports on social media," but the decision had "nothing to do with the network and everything to do with the NHL and its new national partnership." This does seem to be "a missed opportunity for the new team to expand its fan base within a market." But other than the team "pressuring the NHL to ask its brand-new partner to reconsider the Kraken decision, there really wasn't much else to be done" (SEATTLE TIMES, 10/26).