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"The NHL and Flyers"
Rapidan, VA • United States •
Beware to all the DirecTV people out there that are NHL fans. You will not see any games on Versus this year. This means that if your team plays a game on Versus, that game will not be shown on CenterIce. Versus has EXCLUSIVE broadcast rights for those games within the US and judging by the way they negotiate with satellite providers, they will not relinquish those rights for the NHL.

Even though DirecTV is telling people that the games will be on CenterIce, these are just phone reps that know nothing of the contractual agreements. According to email correspondence that I have with sports programming, unless Versus allows the NHL to include a feed on CenterIce, the games will not be seen.

Presently Dish Network is carrying Versus but they had similar problems with the Comcast-owned channel 2 years ago. I can only imagine that the cable company will again play hardball with them when this contract is up (I have not been able to verify when that is at this time).

This is a bad business decision. Versus has a 73 million home footprint and they just eliminated 18 million homes in one show of greed. That just removed 24.6% of their viewer base from existence. I am sure that their sponsors and TV contracts will not be happy with a 25% reduction in viewership. I can see that Comcast is constantly losing viewers of their cable to satellite within their traditional areas. However, the overwhelming majority of home on DirecTV are in places where Comcast has never even thought to run a cable.

While I am rooting for DirecTV to get Versus back since 10% of the Flyers games are on the network exclusively (and no idea how many playoff games), I am not pleased with DirecTV either. They made a decision to just eliminate the channel instead of negotiating a way for fans of the programs on that channel to purchase the channel in addition to regular programming.

I sure hope that both sides come to their senses. This is bad for both companies, but worse for NHL fans across the US without any access to cable TV!
Filed Under:   NHL   DirecTV   CenterIce   Versus   Satellite  
September 6, 2009 9:31 PM ET | Delete
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