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Altitude Still Off TV, Offers Stream To Denver Bars

“44 Denver-area bars have signed on to legally stream the Nuggets and Avalanche through November 2nd. Plans beyond this week have not been announced as Altitude still works to reach a deal with cable providers.”

Brandon Contes

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Altitude TV reached a deal to have Nuggets and Avalanche games legally streamed by an extensive list of local bars through the end of the week. The regional sports network remains in a dispute with the “Big Three” television providers in the Denver metro area, AT&T, DISH Network and Comcast.

When the dispute between Altitude and Denver cable providers began in August, there was hope a resolution would occur before the NHL and NBA seasons start. Weeks into both seasons, locals are still unable to watch the Nuggets and Avalanche. 

In the interim, Altitude has looked for ways to bring Denver’s local NBA and NHL teams to fans, most recently reaching a deal for a group of bars to stream their games. 44 Denver-area bars have signed on to legally stream the Nuggets and Avalanche through November 2nd. Plans beyond this week have not been announced as Altitude still works to reach a deal with cable providers. Currently though, a deal does not appear imminent. 

“It remains clear that the Big Three remain unconcerned about Nuggets and Avalanche fans ability to enjoy their hometown teams. We will continue to evaluate the viability of providing access to legal streaming of these games,” said Matt Hutchings, the COO of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment which owns Altitude. “We need to balance the needs of our fans and the concerns of these small business owners, with where we stand with Comcast, DIRECTV and DISH Network as they continue to stonewall the distribution of Altitude Sports.”

The three major cable providers, AT&T, Dish and Comcast have also released statements defending their handling of Altitude’s blackout. 

AT&T:
“Unfortunately, Altitude forced AT&T to remove its channel from our customers’ lineups. AT&T made a fair offer to keep the channel available, but Altitude rejected it. Consumers have made clear they want more choice over the channels they pay to receive in their homes. Our goal is to offer Rapids, Nuggets and Avalanche games to anyone who wants them most at a value that makes sense to our customers overall. We will not agree to bad deals that do a disservice to our customers, even if it means no longer carrying certain content.”

DISH Network:
“We love sports fans, but the deal Altitude has proposed makes no sense for the vast majority of our customers. Altitude is asking us to pay for a majority of subscribers – in the high double-digit percentages – when only a single-digit percentage of our customers actually watches the channel. It’s an outdated model that no longer works for consumers. There are creative solutions to bring back Altitude. We urge Altitude to work with us to reach a logical, long-term agreement for them, for us, but most importantly, for our mutual viewers.”

Comcast:
“We’ve offered Altitude different options which would ensure Nuggets and Avalanche fans can enjoy the games on Comcast.  Thus far, Altitude has rejected those offers.

“Every month, Comcast pays programmers like networks, local TV station owners and others – like Altitude — for the ability to bring their programming to our subscribers.  When contracts near an end, Comcast evaluates the terms to ensure we’re delivering our customers the best entertainment at the best value. We would like to reach a fair and reasonable fee agreement with Altitude while avoiding driving up costs for our customers.”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Sports TV News

Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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