Altitude sues Comcast, says cable provider is running Denver sports network out of business
The dispute preventing Denver Nuggets fans from watching basketball games on Comcast turned uglier Monday as Altitude Sports & Entertainment filed a lawsuit calling the cable company “anti-competitive” and trying to eliminate the Denver-based regional sports channel in order to buy it “at a dramatically discounted rate.”
Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche games vanished in late August and not just from Comcast channels, but Dish Network and DirecTV, too. DirecTV has resolved its beef with Altitude. Dish has not.
The situation is tough for Altitude, but particularly painful for pro sports fans because, unlike the Denver Broncos, who are sucking wind, the Nuggets and Avs are having thrilling seasons.
Denver-based Altitude said Comcast wants to pay less to air the games even as it charges sports fans more per month to watch the games, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado. Comcast’s demands “made no economic sense and would drive Altitude out of business,” according to the lawsuit, which seeks damages and a jury trial.
The discounted payment, however, isn’t the only reason Altitude is upset. It said Comcast, which owns several other regional sports networks, knows how much it costs for the rights to air professional teams and sporting events. The offer essentially makes it economically unfeasible for Altitude to survive as a business. And most customers in Denver don’t have an alternative in cable providers so Altitude is calling Comcast a “monopsony,” an economic term used to describe a market situation in which a single buyer controls the demand for goods and services.
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