Nervous satellite having hockey fans can put away their pitchforks and torches, two huge media corporations can briefly end their large scale slap fight and the NHL can breathe a huge sigh of relief. DirecTV and Comcast have come to an agreement to allow Versus to appear in DirecTV’s rotation.
Versus was pulled off DirecTV’s programing packages in August 2009 after both sides were unable to agree on fee terms.
DirecTV claimed Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, had forced it to pull down Versus even though it said it was already paying Comcast more than any other non-Comcast distributor to air Versus. It said at the time that Comcast was demanding an overall hike of 20 percent on top of that.
The No. 1 U.S. satellite operator, which has 18.6 million subscribers, prides itself on being a leading sports programing provider.
I don’t think I’m the only person who wondered if hockey fans would miss playoff games because of this dispute. While it’s a shame that this squabble gobbled up most of the regular season schedule for the NHL’s national cable network, losing that extensive playoff coverage would have been devastating.