By Avoiding Live Streaming Services, Altitude Is Now in a Bind After Being Dropped By Comcast, Dish Network, & DIRECTV
The Regional Sports Network That Covers Live Games For Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, & Colorado Rapids is One of the Least Streamable Channels
For fans of the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Rapids — it has been virtually impossible to stream games in their local market. Altitude, the Regional Sports Network (RSN) that carries the teams, has never been available on Live TV Streaming Services like Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV. Now, over the past week — the channel has been dropped by Comcast, Dish Network, and DIRECTV. And according to the Denver Post, the talks with the major distributors are “not close.”
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In a message to customers, DIRECTV said:
Altitude unfortunately forced AT&T to take this channel down. AT&T made a fair offer to keep the channel up, but Altitude rejected it.
Consumers have made it 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. But we will not do bad deals on behalf of our customers, even if it means no longer carrying certain content.
By not being available as part of a streaming bundle, has put Altitude is a bind. Unlike during other channel disputes, like the current Fox Sports RSN / Sling & Dish dispute, the channel has no place to direct customers to watch the games. While it’s currently only affecting Colorado Rapids fans, with NBA and NHL season coming up, virtually no one will be able to watch Avalanche and Nuggets games unless they’re out-of-market.
When asked by fans why the channel isn’t available to stream, Altitude President, Matt Hutchings, says a “model does not exist that can support a streaming/direct to consumer option.” While it may not be feasible to sell the channel directly, it’s odd that they haven’t brought the channel to Live TV Streaming Services.
They’re not alone though, outside of Fox & NBC Sports Regional Sports Networks, independent RSNs like MSG in New York and NESN in Boston have not been available to secure wide distribution across streaming services. Outside of AT&T SportsNet Southwest, which is available only on fuboTV, the rest of AT&T SportsNet channels aren’t available to stream.
But, now that Altitude distribution has been knocked to basically zero, they might have to reconsider offering the channel to streamers. If a deal can’t be reached before the start of the NHL & NBA seasons, it wouldn’t be surprising if they have to offer sweetheart terms to a streaming company to carry the channel.