• Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

Altitude Sports and Comcast continue to stay at odds immediately after settling lawsuit


Mar 17, 2023

Immediately after a number of years of squaring off in court, Altitude Sports &amp Entertainment and Comcast Corporation have reached a settlement in an ongoing federal antitrust lawsuit. But, though a sign of doable progress in a bigger, ongoing dispute, the two stay at odds more than a carriage deal, leaving nearby Avalanche and Nuggets fans in the dark. 

The cable provider and regional sports network announced the settlement, which is confidential, Friday afternoon. According to Comcast, the parties will quickly file a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice of the suit.  

Altitude had previously sued Comcast more than alleged antitrust violations back in 2019. In the complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, the Denver sports network claimed Comcast wanted to “extinguish competitors from Altitude,” and “strengthen its manage more than multichannel tv distribution in the Denver DMA and about the nation.”  

Comcast has denied these allegations and named the suit “meritless,” saying it remains prepared to distribute Altitude’s content material in a way that will not raise prices for practically all consumers.  

The settlement seemingly marks the finish to a bitter legal stalemate but will not resolve the ongoing carriage dispute in between the media organization and cable provider, a spokesperson for Comcast stated.  

“This substantially is clear – Kroenke Sports controls the teams, the arena, and the Altitude network. The ball is in their court to do the proper factor and make it out there to their fans, regardless of their service provider,” stated Leslie Oliver, Comcast Colorado Communications Director. “Comcast has been clear all along that we want to make the games out there to the fans who want to watch them without having creating absolutely everyone else spend.” 

The yearslong carriage dispute started in 2019 when a deal in between the two entities ended.  As a outcome, all Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets games have been blacked out for Comcast consumers, which make up about 92 % of cable subscribers in the market place, Altitude has stated in court documents. 

In negotiations, Altitude asked Comcast for a “moderate customer cost index enhance,” company leaders previously told CBS New Colorado. Comcast has stated carrying out so will raise costs for practically all consumers, though only a smaller quantity watch Altitude. 

According to Friday’s joint release, Comcast and Altitude “stay prepared to go over possible future enterprise and distribution arrangements.”  

A spokeswoman for Comcast Colorado tells CBS News Colorado the organization has previously provided to make the network out there to consumers on a standalone subscription basis, like it does with HBO or Netflix. That would permit consumers who want the channel to get it, though the vast majority, who Comcast maintains never watch the network, will not have to spend for it.   

Matt Hutchings, President and CEO of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment Media Ventures, which owns and operates Altitude Sports, has stated the organization desires to be treated the exact same as other regional sports networks across the nation. According to Hutchings, the network asked Comcast in July for the exact same deal it gave AT&ampT Sportsnet Rocky Mountain, the residence of the Colorado Rockies. 

“Comcast desires to make an instance out of Colorado’s independent regional sports network, Altitude Sports,” Hutchings stated in October.

Specialists say the ongoing dispute is element of a larger difficulty observed across the nation, exactly where regional sports networks (RSN) and cable providers continue to square off amidst a quickly altering media landscape.   

In some cities, fights more than subscription costs have led to comparable blackouts. There have also been other difficulties involving RSNs, such as Diamond Sports Group, the organization that owns Bally Sports, lately filing for bankruptcy immediately after missing an interest payment to bondholders. 

“The entire model of sports tv is broken proper now,” Darrin Duber-Smith, a senior lecturer with Metropolitan State University of Denver’s College of Small business, previously told CBS News Colorado. “You are at a point exactly where some thing has to give, and I consider the Avalanche and Comcast are on the front lines of this substantially bigger conflict.” 

Conor McCue