Kukla's Korner Hockey
Adrian Dater at All Things Avs tries to present the full story between the Directv/Versus dispute.
I don’t know about you, but until a deal gets done, I can’t put any trust in either side.
In case you missed it yesterday, Mike Chen shared his experience with his readers when it came to dealing with Directv over this issue.
NEW YORK, N.Y. (September 29, 2009)-VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), kicks off its fifth year of NHL coverage on Thurs., Oct. 1, with a must-see night of hockey featuring three of the best teams during last year’s regular season. Opening night will also showcase NHL superstar Alexander Ovechkin’s season debut and the Colorado Avalanche honoring 20-year NHL veteran Joe Sakic by retiring his jersey. The double-header begins with a clash between Eastern Conference titans when the Washington Capitals visit the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Avalanche hosting the San Jose Sharks at 10 p.m. ET.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Sidney Crosby isn’t saying this for the record but those around him will tell you he’s pleased that he won’t be named captain for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics. He’d rather be just another player in Vancouver. The betting here is Scott Niedermayer will be named the captain.
• One reason to avoid Versus this year: The very capable Christine Simpson, sister of Craig and Dave, has been dropped by the network.
• Reasons to wonder about the Florida Panthers: Bryan McCabe has been named team captain and apparently he was the only choice.
• Mike Babcock is coaching Team Canada. Steve Yzerman is the general manager. But quietly, the Red Wings will tell you they hope that Nicklas Lidstrom will decide to not play in the Olympics in February. They’d really like their captain to take the two weeks off.
more NHL talk…
Sorry to see Chris Simpson will not be back with Versus. Who at that station makes the hockey decisions? Talk about not have their finger on the pulse of the NHL fans!
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Each side’s interpretation differs greatly, but the bottom line for the 14 million homes in which Versus was available on DirecTV is this: If the dispute isn’t settled by Thursday, the hockey lovers in that group won’t be able to see the two NHL games that will be broadcast exclusively on Versus…
A DirecTV spokesman said the possible effects of incurring the wrath of NHL fans might be enough for the satellite provider to put Versus back on its listings, even if a new agreement isn’t reached by Thursday.
“If we don’t have a deal with Versus by the time hockey season starts, DirecTV would certainly be open to putting these games up for our customers while we continue to negotiate,” DirecTV vice president of public relations Darris Gringeri said. “Obviously, Versus has to allow us to do that, but we’d certainly be open to doing that. At the end of the day, it would be their decision.”
A Versus spokesman who did not want to be named said: “Why would it be our decision when DirecTV is the one who took us down in the first place?”
Here’s an idea Versus, why don’t you get a deal worked out with Directv instead of telling us what to do.
from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,
Good news: Both sides confirm negotiations are ongoing after talks broke down earlier this month; and Jade Ekstedt, spokesperson for DirecTV, said the parties are “very aware” that the clock is ticking to the start if the season.
The less-than-good news: Getting Versus back on DirecTV by the first official puck drop isn’t looking particularly promising at this point, according to the network’s president.
If you have Directv, what are your future plans? Are you looking at moving to a different provider and if so, when will you make that decision?
I know I am holding off on ordering Center Ice for this season, waiting to see how this conflict will end. Even if Directv does not bring back Versus, I will probably stay with them, for the simple reason that I think their HD delivery is top-notch and is much better than the PQ Comcast offers.
I know Dish is another choice, but I am really not that interested in switching over to another satellite provider.
Also, KK member Hippy Dave gave his views on this topic a few days ago in the KK Member section.
from Mike Reynolds of MultiChannel News,
Versus president Jamie Davis said the network’s distribution fallout with DirecTV is about positioning, not price.
Davis said network talks with the nation’s No. 1 DBS operator broke down over DirecTV wanting to remove it from some 6 million subscribers. Before the plug was pulled on Sept. 1, Versus, which had resided on the Total Choice Xtra package, counted 14 million DirecTV subs among its 75.5 million base.
“DirecTV wanted to take Versus away from 6 million subscribers who were receiving it for no additional cost. That was simply not acceptable for us. We hope to resolve things amicably, but that’s a non-starter.” Davis, noting that the network wasn’t called by the DBS operator late Monday that it was about to be “turned off,” said there haven’t been any discussions since the service was disconnected Tuesday morning.
When a three-year extension was announced with Versus in 2008, your commissioner was all smiles and claimed interest in the game would grow in the U.S. along with the Versus viewership.
Well, surprise, surprise, that looks to be yet another ruse in a long line of poppycock propaganda that insults the intelligence of hockey fans across the board whenever it’s shamelessly used.
It’s time the NHL got its hands dirty to ensure its investment with the Versus product pays off, rather than sitting idly by and telling the rest of us everything will be alright.
-Rory Boylen of The Hockey News. More from Rory on this topic plus what else, the Phoenix situation.
Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S., owns Versus. They regularly try to charge us amounts well in excess of what is fair and reasonable to carry the programming they own. Their reason is obvious: they want to stifle competition from DIRECTV. Comcast’s unfair terms undermines DIRECTV’s ability to offer our customers the best possible value. If we simply accept these terms, we would have to absorb the unreasonable costs Comcast wants to charge us, and in turn we will be forced to increase the rates our customers pay. We do not want this to happen. In fact, Comcast has forced us to remove Versus because we would not accept the terms they demanded.
We are currently in contract negotiations and will continue to work with Comcast until the matter is resolved. Rest assured that we are making every effort to ensure that you continue to be satisfied with your service.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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