Distribution Feud at Center of Versus/DirecTV Dispute

VersusThe Versus/DirecTV feud continues to anger WEC fans along with fans of the NHL as a rumored "pricing" dispute has taken Versus off DirecTV's network as of August 31st, leaving MMA and hockey fans without the extensive list of games and events for their enjoyment.

670 AM The Score in Chicago talked with Versus President Jamie Davis roughly an hour-and-a-half ago regarding the current situation and what will be done regarding the network being dropped from DirecTV. Paraphrased from my own listening of the broadcast:

Negotiations were in good faith throughout the summer, but the network was dropped from DirecTV on August 31st due to what has been relayed as a pricing problem. Davis stated that DirecTV stated that it was about pricing, but Versus offered the same exact price per subscriber to DirecTV instead of the previously stated amounts.

Matt Spiegel and Danny McNeil on the "Danny Mac Show" talked about the rumors that Versus was getting 21 cents per subscriber, and that they were rumored to have raised the price to 26 cents per subscriber. Davis indicated that, while he couldn't disclose the price, it was exactly the same as it was previously.

Davis indicated that the real reason for the problems were that DirecTV wanted to package Versus into a new tier of programming that would likely make subscribers to DirecTV have to pay more money or a monthly fee for that package that included Versus. Versus did not want to do so because the sole purpose of a deal would be to get Versus into as many homes as possible, and a new tier would limit that possibility.

Davis stated that they have been picked up by DiSH network, but they are working continuously to bring Versus back to DirecTV as quickly as possible. Both sides are talking right now, and talks have not stalled as of yet.

This is an interesting development than the previous reports we've heard. Versus is easily winning the public relations war in this feud with DirecTV as DirecTV has taken the stance of being completely silent about the ongoing talk of a new deal with Versus. Versus is simply wanting to put their channel on as many eyes as possible, and they definitely have the numbers to support that. They've gained some of the best ratings the NHL has received in nearly a decade, and they are bringing the WEC solid numbers as well. It is one of the highest growing sports networks in the nation, so getting a new deal will only continue to help it grow.

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