Altitude opened a window into its negotiations with Comcast for ending the television blackout of locally broadcast Avalanche, Nuggets and Rapids games.
The Kroenke-owned independent regional sports network (RSN) — unavailable on the state’s largest cable provider since September 2019 — made its latest contract offer to Comcast with a Wedesday news release.
Altitude’s latest proposal: Match the same pricing terms and distribution model Comcast currently provides to AT&T Sportsnet Rocky Mountain (ATTRM), the RSN home of the Colorado Rockies.
“Our goal is a simple one. We want to return the Nuggets, Avs, Rapids, and Mammoth games back to our fans on Comcast,” said Matt Hutchings, president of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment media ventures. “Comcast representatives have recently said that they are fans of the Avs, Nuggets, and Rapids. Our hope is that by offering Comcast a model they’ve clearly been comfortable with over the last three years, we might give fans throughout the Front Range back the championship teams they’ve been missing.”
The specifics of Comcast’s carriage deal with ATTRM were not included in Altitude’s news release. The Rockies and ATTRM did not respond on Wednesday to requests for comment about its contract with Comcast. In 2019, ATTRM announced it had reached a “multi-year extension” for locally broadcast Rockies games. ATTRM is also the RSN home of the Utah Jazz and Vegas Golden Knights in their respective local markets.
Comcast spokeswoman Leslie Oliver, in a Wednesday afternoon statement to The Denver Post, said: “Every cable network is different and has its own value proposition. We have been and remain willing to distribute Altitude on terms and conditions that make sense for our customers. Altitude’s latest proposal would still require nearly every Comcast subscriber in the Denver area to pay a substantial fee for Altitude even though most Comcast customers have no interest in Altitude’s content. Comcast is still hopeful to reach a solution that makes Altitude available to Comcast subscribers who want to watch it.”
Altitude participated in two media sessions with Comcast over the past six months to resolve its antitrust lawsuit with no results. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty acknowledged in court documents that a settlement was not reached on July 12 but said the court “will continue to work with the parties toward a resolution of the case.” It is unclear when the parties will meet again.
Altitude previously declined to comment on negotiation progress. The RSN’s statement on Wednesday signaled a new approach toward achieving a resolution. However, in December, Altitude announced plans for a new offer that “would bring the case to a close and return the network to Comcast for Front Range fans.” It did not bring a resolution to the blackout.
“Altitude remains committed to broadcasting Nuggets, Avalanche, Rapids, and Mammoth games despite operating the network at a significant loss due to limited distribution,” Altitude said in a news release. “It will continue to employ hundreds of Coloradans and feature in-depth coverage of our professional teams and local sports content that isn’t available through any other broadcaster.”
Three years of regular season Avalanche and Nuggets local game broadcasts (2019-21) in Colorado have been unavailable on Comcast. The Rapids have 13 games left this year before the MLS transitions game broadcasts to Apple TV next season.
Altitude has also not reached an agreement with DISH Network. The RSN is available locally on DirecTV and Evoca TV.