March 04, 2010
Hopes up, hopes dashed. Such has been the Versus/DirecTV dispute since September, with several false alarms sounding that a settlement was near.
Sources close to the situation tell CagePotato that the dispute will come quietly to an end next week, with DirecTV subscribers once again able to purchase Versus as part of a special sports tier. While it won't come in time for this weekend's WEC card, MMA fans with DirecTV should have the opportunity to purchase the channel by the time the UFC runs its first event on the network later this month.
A source with Versus with knowledge of the negotiations told us that the report is "not true" and that "nothing is imminent." The source told us that our report from last month stands today: "At this time, we are not optimistic that an agreement will be in place with DirecTV in time for the start of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs."
That said, the sense we get is that the negotiations are ongoing and that a deal could materialize quickly. Does that mean Versus will agree to a "special sports tier" to get back on DirecTV? Unlikely. Does that mean this dispute will end "quietly" at some point? Very unlikely, considering the level of rancor here. Does that mean we could still see the NHL on Versus on DirecTV in time of the playoffs? We remain optimistic.
Meanwhile, we're still getting emails like this one from Sean W. every day:
If they don't get a deal done why cant they just feed in the CBC feed and we just listen to the Canadians call the game. Or they simulcast the games on NHL network. When does NBC to take over? We Hawks fans love Eddie O any way but this is really going to suck because most sports bars in Colorado have Direct TV and that's what I obviously have.
We feel for you, sir, even if the warring factions probably don't.