Altitude Sports is a Denver-area RSN owned by Stan Kroenke, which serves as the broadcast homes for Denver’s Kroenke-owned teams: the Nuggets, the Avalanche, and the Rapids.
The Rapids are obviously in season now, and both the NHL and NBA seasons are coming up soon. Fans of those teams, though, are currently caught in the middle of a carriage dispute that has seen Altitude’s distribution cut significantly this week, as it’s been dropped by DirecTV, Comcast, and DISH Network.
Today is potentially the LAST DAY that Altitude TV won't be blocked from Comcast and DIRECTV…
— AltitudeTV (@AltitudeTV) August 31, 2019
Mike Singer has a solid breakdown in the Denver Post:
A 15-year partnership dissolved Saturday evening, as the long-running deal between Altitude Sports and two of their major distributors, Comcast and DIRECTV, expired.
Despite recent talks between the two sides, there was no deal in place as of Sunday morning. One person familiar with negotiations described the two sides as “not close.”
Earlier this week Altitude Sports, the Kroenke-owned regional sports network of the Nuggets, Avalanche and Rapids, among others, was dropped by DISH Network.
As is almost always the case, the dispute boils down to a disagreement over rights fees.
Kenny Miller, the executive vice president of Altitude, insisted that what Comcast and DIRECTV were offering wasn’t a sustainable business.
“I don’t know if it’s confident, it’s hopeful,” Miller said of the possibility of reaching a deal before the respective season openers. “I keep going back to the fact that they’re regional sports network owners and they know what production costs and rights fees and everything that goes into a regional sports network and what makes business viable. A 50 percent cut in rates and going to 20 percent of the subscriber base is not a viable business. You would hope that there is a reasonable deal. Fair is not putting a company out of business.”
It’s rare (though possible) that disputes like this don’t end up resolved. In the meantime, though, there are some viewers on Twitter who had their channels nixed by mistake:
— Schultz (@Beerbrad) September 1, 2019
@DIRECTV @DIRECTVService been using the record team function but it’s recently become faulty. last week it recorded a game on ESPN Deportes, don’t even have that channel. This week I preemptively recorded it in two places, but getting Altitude messages on non Altitude channels. pic.twitter.com/bP4E8bp95P
— Kraft Punk (@KillOffCarl) September 1, 2019
too bad DirecTV won't show the game that were contractually supposed to get. Since when are we in the altitude Sports Net geographical region? Wouldn't that be the Colorado Rapids? pic.twitter.com/U8Tsioqcrx
— Doug Weaver (@SMSouthDWeav) September 1, 2019
That’s not good! Hopefully the technical side gets figured out, because losing a channel is one thing, but mistakenly blacking out viewers in other viewing areas is something else entirely.