Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: directv
...you might have an issue in the future, according to Alex Sherman at Business Week:
DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite- TV provider, is threatening to pull more than 25 channels owned by News Corp.’s Fox Networks to “mitigate the madness” of programming price increases by content providers, a company executive said.
Fox is asking DirecTV to pay 40 percent more for channels including FX, National Geographic and several regional sports networks, according to DirecTV Executive Vice President Derek Chang. DirecTV will remove the channels from its package offerings by Nov. 1 if Fox doesn’t lower its asking price, Chang said in an interview today.
DirecTV is the latest company to spar with content providers about programming price increases. Cablevision Systems Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.’s FiOS pulled the Tennis Channel last month after the network asked for “significantly higher” fees. In October 2010, Cablevision paid Fox what it called “an unfair price” for World Series games after a two- week blackout
from Directv tweets,
VERSUS will be returning to the same programming packages it was at the end of August 2009.
DIRECTV and Comcast have reached an agreement to return VERSUS to the DIRECTV programming lineup today.
added 4:45pm, Directv tweet says channel shoudl be back by 7:00pm ET today.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., and PHILADELPHIA, March 15, 2010 - DIRECTV and Comcast have reached an agreement to return VERSUS to the DIRECTV programming lineup today. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
VERSUS will return to the same DIRECTV programming packages it was in at the end of August 2009.
“We are pleased that both sides were able to work out a satisfactory deal to bring this programming back to our customers,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV.
“We’re excited that we were able to come to a fair agreement that puts VERSUS back in millions of homes with DIRECTV in time for our busy spring programming schedule,” said Jamie Davis, president of VERSUS. “We look forward to super-serving these fans with NHL regular-season and playoff coverage, our first live UFC event and much more.”
In the last week, readers have asked DIRECTV’s Twitter reps if Versus will soon return to the air. The standard reply: They think so.
“We have productive talks going on with Versus and should have an update soon,” one DIRECTV tweet said.
Another DIRECTV Twitter rep stated: “We have productive conversations going on with Versus and hope to have news soon.”
“I believe that it will work out and we will be back in the 16 million home that we were on in the DirecTV universe once they work this out. And I am hopeful that the sides will work this out in advance of the playoffs. But in terms of the coverage we get and the treatment we get, we couldn’t be treated better by anybody else.”
-Gary Bettman on the Versus/Directv dispute and the Versus coverage. More at Chicago Breaking Sport News.
Sports Illustrated writer Josh Gross wrote yesterday on his Twitter page that he’s been told that a resolution will occur in March.
“For DirecTV subscribers concerned they’ll miss UFC on Versus (Jones-Vera, Gonzaga-dos Santos) I’m told a resolution is expected by March,” Gross said.
from Carl Steward of the Oakland Tribune,
This year’s Cal-Stanford game is being televised exclusively on Versus, which was dropped from the DirecTV lineup at the end of August when its contract to carry the network expired. Negotiations on a new deal between Versus and DirecTV have been stalled for nearly three months because of a feud over carriage fees.
The Pac-10 has already lost its DirecTV audience in five previous games televised on Versus this year, including Stanford-Arizona on Oct.”‰17 and last week’s Cal home game against the Wildcats.
The Pac-10 doesn’t have a direct contract with Versus, which is owned by Comcast. It does have a deal with Fox Sports Net instead, a deal that runs through the 2011-12 basketball season.
“They (Versus) are really a sub-licensee of Fox, which puts out five to six games to Versus every year,” said Jim Muldoon, Pac-10 associate commissioner for communications and football administration. “There are selection rights to put one game on FSN and one game on Versus each weekend. Versus, for this particular weekend, had the selection preference and took Cal-Stanford.”
Cal and Stanford fans don’t have much recourse other than to complain to DirecTV or Versus. Muldoon said the Pac-10 is powerless to apply
from Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News,
More than two months after their contract ended, Versus and DirecTV remain at distribution loggerheads, their impasse showing no signs of subsiding.
However, a pair of external factors - negotiations toward a long-term expanded distribution package with Dish Network and the potential union of Comcast with NBC Universal - could exert pressures that facilitate a resolution.
Comcast’s national sports service has been off the No. 1 DBS provider’s air since their contract expired on Sept. 1. In the meantime, the parties have continued to negotiate a four-year deal, but remained locked in their stances over price and positioning, while Versus continues to ring up Nielsen advances.
The ratings amelioration has come without DirecTV’s 14 million-plus homes, as much of that subscriber loss has been made up by sneak previews on a number of cable operators and Dish Network, which has provided Versus a full berth of its homes. As such, Versus’ sub count has only declined to 71 million homes from 75 million, before the DirecTV drop.
The Dish free preview, though, is slated to end on Nov. 30. However, sources familiar with the negotiations indicate that Versus and Dish are moving toward a more permanent, expanded placement for the network.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
We don’t care if the chairman of DirecTV has kidnapped a busload of children of Comcast executives and is threatening to dunk them in a vat of sulfuric acid. We’ll always be on the side of DirecTV in this dispute.
...Could you ever imagine Comcast doing anything like that to make up for a shortcoming? All Comcast is interested in is taking your money and eating the souls of kittens.
David Pollak and some members of the Sharks organization had a chance to talk with Bill Daly today…
Tonight’s Sharks game is a Versus-only telecast, which means, of course, that fans who subscribe to DirecTV won’t be able to watch from the comfort of their living rooms. Bettman has been on record before, urging fans to write both the network and the carrier to reach a new contractual agreement. Essentially, the league is a business partner with each, but doesn’t have the legal wherewithal to force a settlement and can only lobby from the outside, not sit at the table.
“Unfortunately, we’re still at status quo,” Daly said when asked about where things stand. “The league office has made significant efforts both with Versus and DirecTV to try to break the logjam and try to move towards sensible ground. The good news is, the parties continue to talk, they’re exchanging drafts, but in terms of forecasting a resolution, at this point there’s no good news to report.”
more and other topics discussed with Daly…
from Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News,
We’re deep into a “he said-he said” situation here with our friendly satellite carriers—Dish Network and DirecTV.
Dish and Fox Sports Southwest can’t agree on 20 Stars games _ about one quarter of the season _ that have been taken from Channel 27 and added to the FSSW schedule this season. For now, those games will be carried by all the cable systems and DirecTV but not Dish. So why won’t Dish carry them? Dish subscribers missed out on last night’s Stars romp over Nashville. You can be sure the grievance between Dish and FSSW is all about $$$$.
I am sure I am missing out on one of the great, early season regular games, Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers.
Sure there are ways to get the game, but I want to watch it on my HDTV 55 inch Sony!!!
You too, let Versus, Directv and the NHL know how you feel.
Please keep the comments civil in nature.
from pucksandbooks of On Frozen Blog,
Gary, like a lot of other hockey fans, has made a lot of furious phone calls to DirecTV about the situation, but the impasse remains. It’s a brutal one, from my vantage, because of DirecTV’s seemingly incongruous negotiating position. On the one hand, the provider has quite publicly alleged that Versus is little more than an elaborate infomercial outlet, the provider of esoteric outdoor broadcast coverage like game hunting and such. Simultaneously, however, DirecTV is attempting to bundle Versus in a costlier sports package for all of its subscribers.
No doubt DirecTV this offseason acknowledged the NHL’s increased television popularity—fueled to no small degree by the wide array of the league’s likable young guns—and is seeking to profit from the enthusiasm surge. From its vantage Versus understandably doesn’t want a dramatic alteration in the way it is offered by providers, as specialty bundling packages as opposed to basic plan inclusion necessarily decrease overall viewership numbers. Until the impasse is resolved, millions of hockey fans across the country are denied access to the league’s national network provider.
Gary noted that changing providers, in addition to being a general nuissance, seems impractical for a service he’s otherwise pleased with, and particularly when only about a half dozen Caps’ regular season games are broadcast on Versus. Potentially more, however, could run there in the postseason.
from Greg of PuckDaddy,
Yet this dispute lingers on, and one can’t help but sense DirecTV winning a war of attrition. It’s suffered PR backlash from college football, MMA and hockey fans in the last several weeks. It’s been the target of national ads and an open letter on NHL.com urging fans to take action. Now, Versus is sending drones to canvass arenas like the network’s running fro state delegate.
DirecTV has acted unprofessionally and hypocritically in this dispute, but Versus is working PR channels extremely hard and not getting that much traction. Whatever losses DirecTV is taking in subscribers, it wasn’t enough to get into serious talks before the NHL season started; so what will it take?
And how much longer are hockey fans going to have to suffer through this?
Enough!!! Get a deal done before the puck drops tonight.
Read the latest on this topic from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times.
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.
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.
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.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
When asked Tuesday if the league was concerned enough to involve itself in the process, NHL spokesman Frank Brown simply pointed to the calender.
“Today is August 25. The next NHL telecast scheduled for VERSUS is Oct. 1,” he said.
The “what, me worry?” approach may seem a little cavalier to fans whose only access to hockey is through the netlet, but it’s also revealing about the nature of the dispute.
from fredfa, an AVS moderator,
On some of Versus’ most popular programming, NHL regular season games, the network averaged a little over 300,000 viewers last year. (Even early round Little League World Series games on ESPN outdraws that by a wide margin: over a million viewers watched the LLWS games Monday night.)
Two weeks ago, in the summer dodlrums, TNT AVERAGED 893,000 prime time viewers.
A&E (which charges about 25 cents a sub a month) averaged 690,000.
So given the marketplace, YOU assign a cash figure to what Versus is worth.
from Stuart Levine of Variety,
Versus may be off DirecTV as of Sept. 1.
Comcast-owned sports cabler that has made strides recently with the NHL playoffs and Tour de France is in a fight with DirecTV over an increase in carriage fees.
According to research firm SNL Kagan, Versus earns about 18¢ per subscriber and is asking for more.
The net is available in 75 million homes, up from 62 million three years ago.
Versus says it’s asking a fair market price for a network on the rise and is hoping a deal gets worked out by next week.
To see what other sports networks receive per subsciber, check out this post at AVS Forum.
As we know, most of these talks go down to the wire and then some. Hopefully for the sake of NHL fans who have Directv (me), this will be settled soon.
Watching the HD feed of the Devils/Canes game. In OT, poof!, Directv logo pops-up. Wait a minute thinking it will come back, nope, switch to the SD feed of the game, it’s over, Devils win.