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Comcast, Altitude settle lawsuit, but blackout remains

The dispute has kept Nuggets and Avalanche games off the air for Comcast customers since 2019.

DENVER — Comcast and Altitude Sports have settled a lawsuit in a long-running dispute that has kept Denver sports fans from watching the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche for years. 

But the settlement does not mean Altitude will be available to Comcast subscribers. 

A spokesperson for Comcast said the terms of the settlement of their lawsuit pending in federal district court are confidential except that the parties acknowledge that the settlement does not involve carrying Altitude on Comcast's cable systems. Both sides said they "remain willing to discuss potential future business and distribution arrangements," according to the Comcast statement.

Comcast argues that carrying Altitude on the terms the content provider demanded would result in a "meaningful" price increase to all of their customers, whether they watched the channel or not. They have offered to make the channel available to their customers on a standalone subscription basis so that only those people who want to watch it are paying for it. It's not clear how much the channel would cost under that arrangement. 

Altitude, in a statement, said Comcast "continues to do the wrong thing by denying the demands of fans who pay Comcast a lot of money in large part to watch the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche."

The dispute has dragged on since August 2019, when Altitude's contracts with Comcast, DISH Network and DirecTV expired. So far, DirecTV is the only major provider that has worked out an agreement with Altitude.  

Altitude filed an antitrust lawsuit against Comcast in November 2019 that claimed Comcast used its broad reach in the Denver Metro market to force Altitude out of business so that it could establish its own regional sports network. Comcast called the lawsuit "meritless" and said Altitude demanded an unacceptable price increase for a service that most of its customers don't use.

Comcast and Altitude agreed to try mediation in December 2021, but it was unsuccessful. 

The Altitude network is owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth, Colorado Rapids and other professional sports teams, venues, and TV and radio stations. Altitude broadcasts the games for all of those teams.




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