Luke Thomas wrote about the problems between DirecTV and Versus, stating that both parties needed to reach an agreement before August 31st. The deadline has passed and it seems like nothing was settled, meaning Versus and in turn, the WEC, gets dropped.
DirecTV confirms this on twitter, but blames it all on Comcast:
To confirm: Comcast has pulled Versus, a channel we have long supported. Tell Comcast its time their pattern of unreasonable demands ends.
Many asked about terms. DIRECTV already pays Versus more than any independent distributor and yet Comcast seeks a 20%+ hike on that rate
We offered to carry Versus through Sept while talks continued -- Comcast declined.
DirecTV has more on this on their official site:
Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S., owns Versus. They regularly try to charge us amounts well in excess of what is fair and reasonable to carry the programming they own. Their reason is obvious: they want to stifle competition from DIRECTV. Comcast's unfair terms undermines DIRECTV's ability to offer our customers the best possible value. If we simply accept these terms, we would have to absorb the unreasonable costs Comcast wants to charge us, and in turn we will be forced to increase the rates our customers pay. We do not want this to happen. In fact, Comcast has forced us to remove Versus because we would not accept the terms they demanded.
Our contract with Comcast expired August 31 and we were unable to reach agreement on a renewal. Comcast was not only demanding renewal terms that did not reflect market value for the channel but also demanding carriage terms that were discriminatory. Comcast forced us to drop Versus unless we agreed to their unreasonable terms.
Now this is all from DirecTV, and we haven't heard from side of Comcast, so I suggest taking it with a grain of salt. For MMA fans though, what's more important than pointing fingers or blaming the networks, is finding out what happens to the WEC.
Do they stay with Versus and hope DirecTV and Comcast settle their issues? Do they get a new TV deal? Or is now the time to fold them over to the UFC?