Soccer | Crew notebook: Precourt confirms opener will be on TV

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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A deal has yet to be announced, but sources have told The Dispatch that the Crew season opener on Saturday will be on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, ending a two-year relationship with Fox Sports Ohio.

In a phone interview yesterday, Crew investor-operator Anthony Precourt confirmed that the game at D.C. United would be on television but declined to name the network. The Crew is one of five Major League Soccer teams without a local broadcast deal with three days to go before the season.

“Folks are worried, but it’s going to be great for our fans,” Precourt said. “Obviously, there is uncertainty right now, but we’re really excited about how folks will receive it. (The deal) is going to be great for the club and great for our fans.”

Precourt said a deal was “forthcoming” but did not say when. The Crew signed with Fox Sports Ohio for the 2012 season in a deal that was completed 17 days before the season.

“The process has taken a long time,” Precourt said. “When lawyers get involved, it gets really bogged down, but at the end of the day, we’re going to have an incredibly robust TV package and more content than ever before for our fans.”

A representative from Fox Sports Ohio declined to comment, and a message to Time Warner Cable was not returned.

TWC SportsChannel is not available through other cable or satellite providers.

The new package is expected to include pregame and postgame shows and potentially other programs during the week.

Yesterday on Twitter, an account run by Major League Soccer, @MLSsupport, confirmed that the Crew’s opener will be available on MLS Live.

“The game will be on television this weekend,” Precourt said. “Everyone will have a broadcast, and I’ll leave it at that.”

Roster moves

The Crew completed its roster with the signing of third-round draft pick Adam Bedell.

The forward from the University of Detroit Mercy had 23 goals and 22 assists during a four-year career. He will add depth at forward after first catching the eye of the coaching staff at the Crew’s regional combine in December.

He gives the Crew 31 signed players, but homegrown defender Matt Wiet will open the year on the disabled list and will not count against the roster limit until he is activated.

The Crew also opted not to sign defender Patrick Slogic, who was an undrafted trialist in camp. Goalkeeper Daniel Withrow, who was cut during the preseason, was at practice as the Crew looks to secure a role for him as a pool MLS goalkeeper.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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