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Altitude Blackout on Comcast, DirecTV, & Dish Has Colorado Avalanche Fans Looking for Not So Legal Options to Stream

Jason Gurwin

If a goal horn goes off and no one can watch it, does it actually make a sound? Well, fans of the Colorado Avalanche are about to find out.

It’s nothing new for fans of the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets to not be able to stream their games. 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. But, the channel has been dropped by Comcast, Dish Network, and DIRECTV — and talks with the major distributors are “not close.”

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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. Up until now, fans haven’t missed any regular season NHL or NBA games, but with the Avs kicking off the season tomorrow night against the Flames — fans have been looking for ways to watch the game.

The blackout has forced Avalanche fans to resort to options that certainly wouldn’t be considered kosher. Across various message boards, fans looking for options have received suggestions to use illegal streams offered on Reddit. Additionally, some fans are signing-up NHL.TV, the league’s out-of-market package, and then using a VPN to make it appear that they are outside of Denver 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.

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 puck drop at the opener, it wouldn’t be surprising if they have to offer sweetheart terms to a streaming company to carry the channel — otherwise fans are going to be forced to find “other ways” to stream.

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