Updating this earlier column:
Attorney Dan Jacobs, also a part-time host on 104.3 The Fan, Thursday reported the settlement conference involving Altitude Sports’ antitrust lawsuit against Comcast is set for February 23 at 11 a.m.
It will be presided over in federal court by Denver Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty.
Jacobs earlier had noted Hegarty’s track record at getting two sides to settle is a formidable percentage, in the high 90s. He already was the magistrate assigned to the case being heard by Judge William J. Martinez.
Jacobs also has cautioned that settling the antitrust case wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that Altitude’s broadcasts of Nuggets and Altitude would return to Comcast because of the other hurdles to clear.
But in his Thursday tweet about the scheduling of the settlement conference, Jacobs rhetorically asked: “Games back on TV by March?”
To me, that seems overly optimistic, given this impasse has lasted more than two years and Murphy’s Law is in play.
But here’s what Jacobs said Thursday night when I asked why, given the enmity and delay, he was optimistic that they could be back on by March? Even if they settle the suit, that’s not an agreement on the rights fee is it?
Jacobs responded: “There are two ways, in theory, to settle the suit. 1) A new broadcasting agreement, which is what Altitude seemed to be proposing in court the other day; OR, 2) A different agreement that doesn’t include getting on Comcast. It seems more likely to me if there is an agreement because that was the whole reason Altitude sued for to begin with. If they drop the suit, it’s not back to square one — a deal with Comcast has either been struck or is likely dead forever.”