The battle between DirecTV
and VERSUScontinues, even
as ratings for the NHL are
up on the network
President of the Versus network Jamie Davis said on the NHL Live radio show that ratings are up 30 percent. But, Davis wasn’t on the show to talk about a ratings boost, he was on to talk about a dispute between Versus and DirecTV.
Davis claimed that DirecTV was insisting on a clause to take Versus away from 6 million existing subscribers, then offer the Versus network for an additional fee. DirecTV accused Versus of asking for a 20 percent increase.
"We have an offer to them on the table which is for not one extra penny than what they were paying before, and we're not asking for any extra money or extra distribution," Davis said. "We just wanted to continue on a status-quo deal with no strings attached and they have rejected that."
Davis’s claim that Versus didn’t want more money may contradict a statement by Comcast, who owns Versus. Comcast said in a statement, “Versus offered DirecTV a fair and reasonable offer to carry the network at the market price. We hope DirecTV will make the right decision for their customers and put Versus back on the air."
That’s not what DirecTV says. A statement released by DirecTV after dropping Versus said “Comcast, which owns Versus, has forced us to take down the channel because we will not submit to their unfair and outrageous demands.”
Davis implied in his interview that the two sides could still come to an agreement. "The two sides are talking, that's good news," he said. "If there was no dialogue, that would be really, really bad."
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Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network. He can be followed on Twitter
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