Connect with us

Sports TV News

Altitude Files Lawsuit Against Comcast

“Unable to reach a deal with Comcast, Altitude Sports is claiming the cable provider has negotiated unreasonably in hopes of eventually supplanting the independently owned network with one of their own RSNs.”

Brandon Contes

Published

on

Denver’s Altitude Sports is going to battle with Comcast, alleging the cable giant wants to drive out the independently owned RSN and replace it with one of their own. Altitude is controlled by Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, the same company that owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids (MLS) and the Los Angeles Rams.

In August, Altitude was blacked out on DirecTV, Comcast and DISH Network, leaving Denver sports fans unable to watch their local teams as the NHL and NBA seasons began. On Halloween, Altitude announced they reached an agreement to relaunch the network on AT&T’s DirecTV, but the network remains dark on Comcast and DISH. 

Unable to reach a deal with Comcast, Altitude Sports is claiming the cable provider has negotiated unreasonably in hopes of eventually supplanting the independently owned network with one of their own RSNs. According to Altitude, Comcast has sought lower payouts and to remove the network from their basic cable package, but the cable provider does not impose similar terms on their own RSNs.

A majority of RSNs in the country are owned by either Comcast, AT&T or Sinclair Broadcasting Corp. Altitude is among the lesser amount of independently owned RSNs, such as MSG Networks and the New England Sports Network.

“During the same fifteen years of the relationship between Comcast and Altitude, Comcast has acquired independent RSNs all over the country in order to reduce competition for the licensing of sports programming,” the lawsuit states according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Comcast has also engaged in a series of large mergers and acquisitions that strengthen its control over multichannel television distribution in the Denver DMA and around the country.”

“Against this backdrop, in the past year, Comcast began making demands in negotiations with Altitude that Comcast knew made no economic sense and would drive Altitude out of business,” the lawsuit continued.” The demands represent dramatic cuts in rates to be paid to Altitude. Comcast’s proposals would also require subscribers that want to receive Altitude’s programming to pay even more to Comcast each month by moving Altitude from one of Comcast’s more widely distributed packages of channels to a package of television programming services for which the customer would have to pay an additional fee.”

Comcast responded to the allegations, calling them “meritless,” adding that they provided their customers with a credit, as seen in the Tweet below.

Earlier this month, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser began exploring why DirecTV and Comcast continued charging RSN fees after they stopped distribution of the Altitude Sports Network. Comcast ultimately gave customers a credit of $1.25, the amount they deemed the Altitude Sports Network to be worth to each monthly cable subscriber.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

Published

on

Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

Published

on

F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Published

on

Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.