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Altitude Still Off TV, Offers Stream To Denver Bars

“44 Denver-area bars have signed on to legally stream the Nuggets and Avalanche through November 2nd. Plans beyond this week have not been announced as Altitude still works to reach a deal with cable providers.”

Brandon Contes

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Altitude TV reached a deal to have Nuggets and Avalanche games legally streamed by an extensive list of local bars through the end of the week. The regional sports network remains in a dispute with the “Big Three” television providers in the Denver metro area, AT&T, DISH Network and Comcast.

When the dispute between Altitude and Denver cable providers began in August, there was hope a resolution would occur before the NHL and NBA seasons start. Weeks into both seasons, locals are still unable to watch the Nuggets and Avalanche. 

In the interim, Altitude has looked for ways to bring Denver’s local NBA and NHL teams to fans, most recently reaching a deal for a group of bars to stream their games. 44 Denver-area bars have signed on to legally stream the Nuggets and Avalanche through November 2nd. Plans beyond this week have not been announced as Altitude still works to reach a deal with cable providers. Currently though, a deal does not appear imminent. 

“It remains clear that the Big Three remain unconcerned about Nuggets and Avalanche fans ability to enjoy their hometown teams. We will continue to evaluate the viability of providing access to legal streaming of these games,” said Matt Hutchings, the COO of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment which owns Altitude. “We need to balance the needs of our fans and the concerns of these small business owners, with where we stand with Comcast, DIRECTV and DISH Network as they continue to stonewall the distribution of Altitude Sports.”

The three major cable providers, AT&T, Dish and Comcast have also released statements defending their handling of Altitude’s blackout. 

AT&T:
“Unfortunately, Altitude forced AT&T to remove its channel from our customers’ lineups. AT&T made a fair offer to keep the channel available, but Altitude rejected it. Consumers have made clear they want more choice over the channels they pay to receive in their homes. Our goal is to offer Rapids, Nuggets and Avalanche games to anyone who wants them most at a value that makes sense to our customers overall. We will not agree to bad deals that do a disservice to our customers, even if it means no longer carrying certain content.”

DISH Network:
“We love sports fans, but the deal Altitude has proposed makes no sense for the vast majority of our customers. Altitude is asking us to pay for a majority of subscribers – in the high double-digit percentages – when only a single-digit percentage of our customers actually watches the channel. It’s an outdated model that no longer works for consumers. There are creative solutions to bring back Altitude. We urge Altitude to work with us to reach a logical, long-term agreement for them, for us, but most importantly, for our mutual viewers.”

Comcast:
“We’ve offered Altitude different options which would ensure Nuggets and Avalanche fans can enjoy the games on Comcast.  Thus far, Altitude has rejected those offers.

“Every month, Comcast pays programmers like networks, local TV station owners and others – like Altitude — for the ability to bring their programming to our subscribers.  When contracts near an end, Comcast evaluates the terms to ensure we’re delivering our customers the best entertainment at the best value. We would like to reach a fair and reasonable fee agreement with Altitude while avoiding driving up costs for our customers.”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

FOX Ends MLB Regular Season Coverage With Highest Audience of Season

FOX reeled in 2,657,000 viewers for its two game slate (Rays-Astros or Mets-Braves).

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FOX’s regular season coverage of MLB ended so strongly that it featured the best Saturday night baseball telecast on the network all season.

FOX reeled in 2,657,000 viewers for its two game slate (Rays-Astros or Mets-Braves). The Mets-Braves series was a battle of two teams trying to win the National League East division.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Unveils New NBA Graphics Package, Theme Song

The network unveiled a new scorebug, with colors for each team corresponding to what uniform they are wearing.

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As ESPN prepares for the upcoming NBA season, the network unveiled a new graphics package and theme song Tuesday.

The network unveiled a new scorebug, with colors for each team corresponding to what uniform they are wearing.

“Leading creative initiatives like this one are exactly what we envisioned when we created ESPN’s groundbreaking in-house Creative Studio almost two years ago,” said Carrie Brzezinski-Hsu, Vice President, ESPN Creative Studio. “We take sports from game to experience. It takes a dynamic collective of creative capabilities and storytellers to make fans feel like they are part of the game.”

“Like everything involving the NBA on ESPN, this has been a total team effort,” said Tim Corrigan, Vice President, Production. “We were thrilled to collaborate with our ESPN Creative Studio group to bring this new look and feel to life. It’s big, bold and contemporary and we can’t wait for fans to see it.”

The network has also unveiled new theme music for the upcoming season.

ESPN partnered with Made Music Studios for “the next evolution” of the NBA on ESPN’s sound.  The network says “Made Music created a hip hop-based concept with the power and energy synonymous with ESPN’s NBA Productions”.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Accused Of Data Sharing Without Consent In Class Action Lawsuit

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act.

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According to a potential class action lawsuit, user data from ESPN.com and ESPN+ has been allegedly shared with Meta Platforms without users consent.

Corrado Rizzi of ClassAction.org has proposed the suit, alleging that ESPN “uses a pixel installed on the back end of its website to track when website and app users take certain actions, such as clicking on an ad or viewing video content”. That “pixel” is used by Facebook to capture “a subscriber’s Facebook ID, with which anyone can ‘quickly and easily’ locate, access, and identify a particular Facebook account and a file containing details of a watched video and its corresponding URL.”

Rizzi adds that ESPN.com and ESPN+ subscribers aren’t told their data could be shared. He also shares that while ESPN could create its website to information isn’t immediately shared with Facebook, it benefits financially from utilizing the “pixel” on its website.

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The VPAA, according to ClassAction.org, “prohibits ‘video tape service providers’ from knowingly disclosing without consent consumers’ personally identifiable information, including that which identifies someone as having requested or obtained specific video materials”.

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