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Versus and the Comcast - DirecTV Dispute


Well-known member
I read a lot of posts on the MWC Board, but I don't feel like signing up for yet another one, especially since I deal with enough CSU idiots in other places :)

However, I've seen a lot of people there who think the whole Versus thing is all Comcast's fault. I'm not really sure why I've started this personal vendetta against DirecTV, but I HATE being lied to and being treated like an idiot. I'm going to cancel my subscription as soon as my contract is up... not sure what I'll go with instead, but oh well...

Anyways... my point here was this... does anybody here post on the MWC Board? If so, could you share this information? It contains some quotes from the higher ups within both Comcast and DirecTV. Feel free to edit, as long as you don't change any facts... thanks!

Alright, since everybody seems to have heard only DirecTV's side of this, here are the actual facts:
Part of the breakdown in this deal depends on Comcast raising the price for Versus - the raise is from something like 23 cents/month per customer to 28 or 29 cents/month per customer. A pretty significant raise percentage-wise, but compared to ESPN's $2/month per customer, it really isn't that bad. I'd happily add 10 cents per month to my DirecTV bill to have Versus back.

What DirecTV does NOT want you to know is that part of this is because Comcast does not want to allow DirecTV to move Versus into their Sports Package ($11.99/month). Doing this would mean that Versus would lose availability in several million households that don't have and don't want the Sports Package. This would bring Versus very close to, or even below the 70 million household availability that I believe Versus guaranteed in their contract with the NHL. But yeah, don't let DirecTV completely off the hook, they want to force you to pay $12 more per month to get access to Versus. They're not the good guys in this. They're just as greedy and sneaky as Comcast.

All this information and contract talk is readily available through news sources like AP and Reuters. DirecTV has done a pretty good job of spamming other outlets with their talk of how unfair Comcast are treating them, though, almost completely drowning out the real facts, which is that they're trying to get you to pay a bunch of extra money every month to get Versus. I'm going to cancel my DirecTV subscription and probably go with Dish or something once my contract is up. I hate how they try lying to me, and then when I confronted them about it, they tried up-selling me on their stupid sports package which apparently is better than what anybody else has (except at the moment, it doesn't include Versus, obviously).

Take a look at what DirecTV is saying on their information page:
This is particularly funny:
"The bottom line is this, if we were to accept their unreasonable demands, we would have no choice but to pass on the increase in cost to our valued customers. We do not want this to happen, especially in these difficult economic times. That's why we're standing firm in our negotiations with Comcast."

Here's a quote from Versus President Davis:
"They wanted to take it away from six million people, and put it on a different [price package] tier, and charge people more money than they were already paying. And that was something that was simply unacceptable," Davis said.

And here's DirecTV's response when confronted about it:
"we’ve asked for packaging rights similar to other distributors like Dish,” which it says carries Versus on its AT250 tier and has about a 35% penetration rate. “Our contention is, if it’s good for Dish, why isn’t it good for us? At this [point], the deal is terminated and we are treating this as a new network, from scratch. So we’re attempting to gauge the market and Dish seems like a good barometer"

Why don't they talk about this as well, instead of just how "unfair" they're being treated and "not wanting to pass along the cost to their customers," when in fact they are trying to stiff you for an extra $11.99 per month?

Charge me 25 cents extra per month, I can take that increase - or give me back the 23+ cents you are still charging me, even though I'm not getting the channel anymore!
Thanks - I saw the post :)

Good to hear some other people already heard about this as well, especially since as long as Comcast takes the entire blame, there's absolutely zero pressure on DirecTV to work this out. As a matter of fact, if they come off as the good guy, more people might choose them instead of Comcast.

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