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Comcast standoff with Altitude bitter as ever, but here’s a possible solution for you

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The answer is no. No, there is nothing positive to report about a potential end to the stalemate between Comcast and Altitude that has gone on since…wait for it…nearly a year and a half now.

If you’re a Comcast subscriber (full disclosure: I’m one) you still do not have the Altitude Network on your channel feed. I asked a high-ranking Altitude executive the other day if there was anything good to report about the situation.

“I wish I had good news, but I don’t,” the person said.

With the Avalanche starting play in the regular season Jan. 13, we’re staring at another season where the team won’t be on the biggest cable provider in Denver. It’s unbelievable this has gone on so long, but it’s where we are. The situation between the two sides is actually in the courts right now.

Recently, a judge in California allowed a suit by Altitude against Comcast to move forward.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

“A federal judge finds it “plausible” that Comcast is refusing to make a good offer to license Altitude, a regional sports network that telecasts most Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche games, so that it can drive this Denver-area RSN out of business and capture the programming for its own NBC-branded sports channel. Accordingly, Comcast must continue to face an antitrust lawsuit.

The decision to partially reject Comcast’s motion to dismiss came on Friday. It’s the latest in a legal battle brought by Altitude’s Stan Kroenke, who as owner of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams as well as the U.K.’s Premier League’s Arsenal is a pretty powerful guy in his own right.

Here, the controversy surrounds Comcast’s refusal to extend the old contract for Altitude for an additional few years with a modest bump in the carriage rate. Instead, Comcast wanted to move Altitude to a “sports tier” on the cable dial and make its subscribers pay an additional fee to get the channel. The result would lower Altitude’s access to Comcast subscribers and mean less money. Altitude asserts that accepting Comcast’s terms would ultimately oust it from the market and that Comcast has made no such arrangement with any affiliated RSN throughout the nation. In other words, Comcast is allegedly attempting to bully an independent, and as Altitude claims, take control.

Crystal Ball Bonus!

U.S. District Court Judge William Martinez doesn’t buy all of Altitude’s antitrust theories. For instance, in his 41-page opinion (read here), he largely accepts Comcast’s position that one of the monopolization claims is doomed because by not carrying Altitude, Comcast may be losing subscribers, which causes it to lose market power as a buyer of sports programming.

But the judge does see something worth exploring in Altitude’s allegation that Comcast’s hard bargaining position may amount to a refusal to deal instead of a legitimate effort to keep prices down.”

Your options, Avs fan and Comcast subscriber, are these: You can dump Comcast for Directv. You can stream games illegally on any number of pirate servers.

Or, as someone recently showed me: You can still keep your Comcast internet, dump all the cable and sign up for AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now, a streaming service that you can get on things like Amazon Firestick, Apple TV, Roku and others. I know someone who is paying roughly $70 a month for this, which includes all the sports channels, HBO and 130 other channels.

I am NOT a paid spokesman for AT&T TV or Altitude, but if you want to learn more about getting this – and therefore getting Altitude – click here.

I’m told that doing this will actually save you money over your typical Comcast cable package. You know, the one that doesn’t allow you to see the Avs or Nuggets right now.

Still.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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tele_mon

Thanks for the rundown, AD. Always 1st with the good info! I lost Comcast (or they lost me) last spring. Unfortunately, they’re the only good internet provider in Vail, but my AT&T unlimited plan still includes AT&T WatchTV, a service on it’s way out apparently, which gives me about 40 cable channels. Between that and Locast, which provides all the Denver-market digital over-the-air channels, and the “other” websites showing NHL feeds, I’m getting used to being a cord-cutter. It will be interesting to see if the portion of the BILL (if it gets signed), which adds a felony charge to… Read more »

D. Kirby

Does Comcast handle the Philadelphia Flyers and 76’ers the same way as they do Altitude.
Or is that apples to oranges?

[…] There’s a new streaming option for VGK fans this season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal) At least it’s better than what Avs fans are dealing with! (ColoradoHockeyNow) […]

Greg Carlson

For those considering, I spent last season on a DNS to get Altitude via NHL tv. That was great to see the Avs, but created headaches with streaming services such as Netflix / HBO Max. I just switched to ATT TV. cost similar to Comcast. Product is not as good wrt streaming vs wired connection, user interface, etc., but at least I can watch Avs and other services without rerouting my modem back and forth. There is no perfect solution…

[…] you can get on things like Amazon Firestick, Apple TV, Roku and others and which I detailed further in this story I wrote two weeks ago. 3. You can sign up for the NHL Center Ice/NHL.tv package (it’s $99 for […]

[…] reason for this is Comcast, the largest cable provider in Denver, still hasn’t signed a contract with Altitude TV. Which is absolutely mind boggling. Seriously how have they not picked up the contract by now!? How […]

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