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Avatar of BillBy on October 1st, 2009 at 8:46 am

Hockey fans held hostage- DIRECTV-Versus Deal Appears Unlikely Today

» by in: Sports Related

Today is the first day of the 2009 NHL season and wouldn’t it be nice if I could watch the games. From the New York Times-

The National Hockey League season starts Thursday, but a dispute threatens to keep DirecTV subscribers from watching the games televised by Versus. If there is no resolution, an opening-night doubleheader (Washington at Boston and San Jose at Colorado) will not be seen on DirecTV, and the Rangers-Devils game Monday night will be blacked out.

DirecTV, a satellite operator, pulled Versus from its lineup at midnight Aug. 31 when the two sides could not agree on a request for higher fees by Versus and DirecTV’s plan to change the way it distributes Versus.

Directv and Versus each give different reasons for why the two sides are having this squabble. Either read the rest of the New York Times article to hear them or see this previous post of mine.

In the meantime thousands of NHL hockey fans who subscribe to Directv are about to get screwed over. I’m among them, the Florida Panthers are scheduled to play the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow in a game that will only be carried on Versus and it looks like I’ll be unable to watch it unless I want to go to a sports bar.(Out of the 82 games Florida played the last two seasons, I missed watching maybe 10 games each season. In most instances they were games that weren’t broadcast) I’ve got Comcast Cable too at my house, but Versus isn’t coming in on my television.(Funny thing is, I’m getting every sports channel next to it on my receiver. It’s just Versus that’s blank) Comcast is the owner of Versus. I’m mad at both sides in this silly dispute, but my anger is more focused at Directv and the NHL. Firstly Directv looks to be the unreasonable party, because I have yet to hear any other satellite or cable provider complain about the fees Versus wants. Why isn’t anyone complaining?

Versus is getting plenty of complaints from angry NHL fans. In an effort to placate me when I called to voice my unhappiness , I was offered $50 off the Center Ice Package that I pay for.

As for the NHL they are sitting on the sidelines and taking no stance in this affair. Rather than fight for their fans, they issue empty platitudes about how Directv and Versus are important partners to the league. This dispute is clear proof of how dumb this league was when they entered into a television contract with this third rate television channel. Fans and hockey commentators thought it was dumb after it was announced four years ago and it looks even more idiotic today.

Update- The $50 off offer has been withdrawn by Directv, in spite of me having an appointment for Dish TV to come over tomorrow and hook me up for their service. Directv apparently doesn’t value their long-time customers. I’m bolting after being with them for 8 years. They can also count on me bad mouthing them from this day forward. I was very unhappy with them recently when I learned a Pay Per View movie I ordered was only available on one television set in my house even though I’m paying monthly charges for three receivers in the house.

Comcast came by and I do have Versus now.(My development has a cable deal with Comcast and up till recently EWTN wasn’t shown in English on Directv. My mother-in-law watches EWTN or Filipino Channels all day long) So I will be able to watch tomorrow’s season opener for the Florida Panthers from the comforts of home.

2nd Update- To keep me as a customer, Directv has taken $30 off my next 6 bills.

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