Versus Receives A Small Blow From DirecTV

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sad news for Hockey fans, that have DirecTV as their cable provider. Versus is available in about 75 million homes, but DirecTV is considering dropping the channel within the week, which could drop that number by almost one-third. From Multichannel via TSB....

"In our contract discussions, Comcast has demanded a deal for Versus that is not comparable to other providers and is pushing for a significant rate hike that does not reflect current market terms or the value of its programming," DirecTV said in a prepared statement. "We will continue to try and negotiate a fair deal, but we intend to hold the line on our programming costs and protect our customers against these unfair demands that are both discriminatory and wholly unrealistic given current market rates. If we do not reach an agreement, the network will come down on Sept. 1 following the expiration of our contract with Versus."

The dispute comes weeks before the college football season is expected to kick-off - Versus is scheduled to air its first game (Texas vs. Wyoming) on Sept. 12. Versus also airs its first NHL contest on Oct. 1.

In a statement, Versus said that it is negotiating in good faith with DirecTV and hopes a deal can be reached soon.

"Since our last deal with DirecTV, Versus has added many marquee properties and has become the fastest growing sports cable network in the country," the network said in a statement. "Despite this tremendous momentum, we are offering DirecTV the ability to carry Versus the same way it does today at the market price for the network. We continue to talk and are hopeful that we will reach an agreement."
Well that's not good news at all. Versus has made a ton of strides with their programming, and with Hockey back in the National spotlight, it seems like they have more to offer than ever. Hopefully they can come to an agreement soon.

DirecTV, Versus Could Split By Next Week (The Sporting Blog)
DirecTV Could Drop Versus (Multichannel)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 2:54 PM


As is typically the case when Comcast is involved, I'll blame them. I'm sure they're asking way too much money for Versus as a way of squeezing some negative publicity out of DirecTV. DirecTV has basically every other sports channel known to man, so if they say Comcast is asking too much, I'm inclined to believe it.

Alan said...
Aug 24, 2009, 3:52:00 PM  

I'm sure Comcast has played hard ball with Versus before, because this situation occurred with ECHOstar and DISH Network before Versus was even remotely popular (not that it is popular now).

Versus was off the lineup for at least a year and a half before a deal could be brokered between the two parties.

Zach said...
Aug 24, 2009, 4:45:00 PM  

Losing Directv as a carrier would be a huge blow for Versus. Directv is the best satellite/cable television provider for sports fans by a wide margin. If Versus is dropped by Directv, it would halt all of the positive momentum that Versus has accumulated over the last few years. Both sides are just playing hardball, but Versus needs Directv more than the other way around. I assume, and hope, Versus will budge on their stance and strike a deal before the football season starts.

NJDevils015 said...
Aug 24, 2009, 7:08:00 PM  

I wonder how Versus will break the news to the advertisers of their NCAA football and NHL coverage that they just dumped one third of their households?

Keith Mitchell said...
Aug 24, 2009, 8:39:00 PM  

re: the headline

that's what she said

questionmark said...
Aug 24, 2009, 9:58:00 PM  

If they dump Versus (which is offered in HD), then I hope they replace its spot with the HD version of ESPN-U.

odisn said...
Aug 24, 2009, 11:36:00 PM  

Maybe DirecTV could offer a package deal. Give Comcast the money they want for Versus IF they throw in Comcast Philadelphia, Comcast Sports Southeast, and Comcast Northwest (the three regional Comcasts I know of that DirecTV doesn't currently carry). I'd be willing to pay up to a buck extra a month for SportsPack if all this happened.

Sep 8, 2009, 9:50:00 AM  
Anonymous said...
Sep 26, 2009, 5:21:00 AM  

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