VERSUS: Harbringers of Impending Doom, Or Posturing to Get DirecTV To Pony Up?

John Ourand of SportsBusiness Daily writes:

Versus execs today expressed skepticism that the Comcast-owned sports channel would reach an agreement with DirecTV any time soon. “At this time, we are not optimistic that an agreement will be in place with DirecTV in time for the start of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs,” a network spokesperson said. The two sides still are talking, having met earlier this week, sources said. DirecTV dropped Versus from its lineup at the beginning of September. DirecTV wants to move the sports channel to a less popular tier, similar to a deal Versus has with Dish Network. Versus is seeking to keep the same level of service that it had before it went dark on DirecTV.

Not good. ┬áBut could this merely be VERSUS telling DirecTV that they’re going to continue to whine and complain so that DirecTV will cave, or an attempt to warn hockey fans and get them to quit the satellite giant before the post season? ┬áTime will tell.

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Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

6 Responses to VERSUS: Harbringers of Impending Doom, Or Posturing to Get DirecTV To Pony Up?

  1. Rindu Muncie says:

    I am getting so tired of this. I can’t believe I will add another TV provider so I can see Sharks games (I live out of market), but won’t suspend directv because I have Center Ice on it and need it for rounds 1 and 2 when many Sharks playoff games will be on NHL CI. This is nuts.

    When it was dropped, DirecTV was willing to let it stay on at the old rate while a new deal was hammered out. Versus said no and it left DirecTV. Maybe Versus/Comcast will be kind enough to allow Versus to be on DirecTV at the old rate for the duration of the NHL playoffs. That would be reasonable and a nice gesture to the FANS/CUSTOMERS.

  2. Justin says:

    I’m also tired of this. Though I’m not going to drop DirecTV over one channel. Their customer service to me and their great signal and quality equipment for all the other channels I watch are great. I can’t stand Comcast where I live, they are just terrible all around. I’m glad I have a sports bar 2 blocks away that has crappy comcast so I can go watch the games I need to there.

    It’s really sad when so much money is getting tossed around and decided over but yet the only losers in this are the customers, just stellar.

  3. leafsfan1967 says:

    The sad thing to me is how impotent the NHL is in all this. They made a half hearted attempt to take Comcr*p’s side when this all started and since then they have been silent.

    • Tim says:

      And what exactly would you like the NHL to do? Threaten to pull NHLCI off DirecTV if they don’t cave? Threaten to cancel their contract with Versus if Comcast doesn’t cave? Can they even do either one of these legally? They could probably put pressure on one or both parties by hinting that the NEXT contract negotiations could go badly, but what’s the chance of that threat having an immediate effect?

      I suppose the NHL could offer to mediate, but I highly doubt either side would in interested in that.

  4. Justin says:

    I wonder how much other leagues that Versus has are involved in this. Their other big franchise is the IRL which that season will be starting next month and unlike hockey almost every race is on Versus which cuts out a big portion of ratings/ad money etc.

    WEC and UFC might be smaller leagues and such but I’m sure they aren’t happy either. Why can’t someone pressure someone enough to cave one way or another, I could care less I’d just like to have something to watch come April cause after the 2nd round of playoffs I’m pretty much screwed except weekends on NBC.

  5. Colton says:

    What can the NHL do about this? Do they own Comcast?. No.

    It’s completely out of their control. They can’t do anything about it. People need to stop ripping the NHL for this, it’s DirecTV and Comcast’s fault.

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