I and every other Comcast subscriber used to have a channel 725. Even if it was only a static screen that had twinkling piano music with an explanation as to why there was nothing more to see on the channel, at least the channel was there. It was a thing.
There is no more Altitude channel on my Comcast menu/guide. As you can see above, it doesn’t exist. Channel 725 (the HD version of channel 25) is gone from the offerings.
As a Comcast subscriber (I’m locked into a two-year contract, too expensive for me to get out, plus I have my email address through Comcast, which is a pain in the arse to change) I am currently being charged $6.75 per month for “regional sports fees” – down from the previous $8 per month.
Yet, I only get one other regional sports network from my previous offering – ATT Sports. That’s the Rockies channel, of which I watch very infrequently.
That’s some of the basis for the lawsuit Altitude filed against Comcast in November. Although it’s an antitrust lawsuit, the seemingly undersized rebate amount is part of the suit. That is, Altitude is accusing Comcast of pocketing ill-gotten gains, which…oy, never mind, I should keep my opinions out of this.
The only reason I’m not absolutely apoplectic about this is because I, like many of you, know of sites where I can just stream the game for absolutely nothing anyway. I’m not going to give out the site address I watch, but people know how to find it and others. Do I feel any guilt about this? No, not really. What choice am I being given, as a Comcast subscriber and avid Avs watcher (who likes to watch the occasional Nuggets game sometimes too)?
That’s why I also see little hope for the TV/sports industry. Streaming is to regional TV as Craigslist was to newspapers, and Napster was to the music industry. I don’t see how any of that genie goes back in the bottle – ESPECIALLY when so many people are finding these streaming sites every single day, people like me who had to search for alternatives and had no idea about them before. Normally, I’d just give my money to Comcast and watch on that channel, but when it’s taken away from me, what else am I supposed to do?
There was supposedly an initial meeting in court today between the parties, with the judge supposedly deciding whether the suit can even move forward (I hear it will, but nothing official yet). Then comes discovery, then maybe an actual “trial.” Comcast no doubt has a million lawyers and can stall this thing out forever if it wants, and frankly I don’t see how Altitude really wins this thing without losing, if that makes any sense. The bottom line is, without a court order to put Altitude back on their programming ledger – highly, highly unlikely anytime soon, if ever – the channel will be dark on Comcast – by far the most-watched cable provider in Denver.
Or, as is now the case, nonexistent.