| Sunday April 20th 2014

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Comcast sucks: Versus on DIRECTV


DirecTV vs Comcast

I hate them for what they did to TechTV. They destroyed it just to get their G4 crap on DirecTV. Now this…

On-air message says Versus is not available. Why?
Our contract with Comcast expired August 31 and we were unable to reach agreement on a renewal. Comcast was not only demanding renewal terms that did not reflect market value for the channel but also demanding carriage terms that were discriminatory. Comcast forced us to drop Versus unless we agreed to their unreasonable terms.

Dear DIRECTV Customer:

We want you to know we’re doing everything we can to keep your favorite sports programming on DIRECTV but we’ve simply reached an impasse with Comcast over its Versus channel.

In sports, we all expect fair play and a level playing field – a competitor that plays by the rules. Evidently that’s not the rule book Comcast plays by. Its unreasonable demands are the economic equivalent of juicing to gain an advantage over its competitors. And our fear is that their egregiously greedy behavior may ultimately kill coverage of your favorite sports on television.

The deal that just expired was well above market value and beyond what other significant distributors were paying. To add insult to injury Comcast demanded we carry Versus at a 20 percent premium in a new deal, thereby forcing us to take down the channel. We’re not happy about this, but we hope you understand that we must hold the line on programming costs in order to protect our customers from unwarranted price increases in this difficult economic climate.

We have successfully negotiated hundreds of carriage deals, but sometimes you need to stand up to a bully and there is a strong possibility that if Comcast makes these same demands to other distributors, they will also be forced to drop Versus resulting in significantly reduced exposure and availability of the sports you like to watch on Versus. Maybe that’s what Comcast wants; other than greed it’s the only other explanation.

You have our commitment that we will continue to negotiate in good faith with Versus to try and reach a fair settlement. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Derek Chang
Executive Vice President, Content Strategy and Development
DIRECTV, Inc.

Comcast said they were raising the rate because of increased costs to add College football. To be sure Comcast sucks, and DirecTV sucks. It is amazing to see what DirecTV has written after they did worse with the MLB Extra Innings Deal.

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