Sports app

Comcast and NBC Sports app violated rules banning rating game Avalanche – The Denver Post

Comcast violated the blackout rules by hosting the Avalanche’s first seeding game on its NHL Center Ice platform on Sunday.

The game against the St. Louis Blues was also broadcast on the NBC Sports app, which was also blackouted.

Comcast owns NBCUniversal and is in a high-profile trade dispute with Altitude Sports, which held exclusive rights to Sunday’s game in the Denver area.

Of the region’s “big three” television providers, Altitude is currently only available on DirecTV, with Comcast and Dish Network unable to secure a distribution rights deal with the regional sports network.

Comcast, which is also embroiled in a lawsuit with Altitude, said holding Sunday’s game was “human error” with entering blackout restriction codes.

“We are taking appropriate safeguards to prevent this from happening again in the future,” Comcast spokeswoman Leslie Oliver told The Post.

Comcast deferred questions about the NBCSports app breach to NBC, and an NBC executive wrote in a statement, “This was human error, and we are taking appropriate steps to prevent it from happening again.”

In a statement to The Post, Altitude CEO Matthew Hutchings said: The NHL informed us last night that Comcast showed the Avalanche vs. Blues game to its subscribers at the Center Ice outdoor market in the Denver area. The league called it an error on Comcast’s part and said Comcast assured the NHL that Comcast had addressed the situation so it wouldn’t happen again. We understand that the Avs/Blues game was also made available by NBC/Comcast on the NBC Sports app in the Denver metro area. Under NHL rules, that too shouldn’t have been available. NBC SportsNet has the ability to ensure games are only shown where NHL rules allow it to distribute games. It’s ironic that these mishaps happened in a market where Comcast continues to refuse to offer Altitude on the same terms and conditions that other distributors have agreed to.

As for the rules, there seems to be a misconception that Altitude Sports is blocking games in the area. Altitude Sports continues to televise Avalanche games in the Denver area, as it has for sixteen years. Both Comcast and Dish Network have refused to negotiate deals that would allow their customers to watch Avalanche games on Altitude. The NHL imposes an exclusive regional zone for home broadcasts in the 31 markets that have teams. Under NHL rules, NBC SportNet’s telecasts of NHL games do not air in any of those teams’ home markets. Altitude Sports does not hide these games. Altitude Sports signs agreements with the team and its distributors that cover the national market designated by the NHL. Other than its obligations to broadcast games, Altitude has no right or authority to create an outage, and even if it could lift an outage, Altitude would be prohibited by its agreements with its other distributors from doing so.

We encourage Comcast and DISH Network to reach an agreement that would return Altitude, the Nuggets and the Avalanche to their local fans.