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SBD/Issue 5/Sports Media
DirecTV Not Likely To Carry Saturday's BYU-FSU Game On Versus
Published September 18, 2009
BLITZ ATTACK: In Jacksonville, Garry Smits reports Versus has "launched a media blitz" including a half-page ad in the Florida Times-Union Friday and a "blizzard of radio spots in Tallahassee." The ads "make it clear that the FSU-BYU game won't be available to DirecTV subscribers, and an 800 number is provided that, when called, gives a recorded message criticizing DirecTV for dropping Versus" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/18). In Utah, Scott Pierce notes fans "want to blame the Mountain West Conference for the Versus-DirecTV breakdown," and that "ought to trouble the league." It is "more evidence of the lingering resentment over the league's TV situation." Pierce: "I'm not for a moment suggesting the criticism is correct. But it is indicative of a deeper problem that never seems to end" (DESERET NEWS, 9/18). Meanwhile, in K.C., Blair Kerkhoff reports the Big 12 "isn't happy" that DirecTV customers will not see Saturday's Duke-Kansas football game on Versus. Big 12 Senior Associate Commissioner Tim Allen: "Obviously we hope they resolve it. Candidly, while it may not be convenient there are opportunities to find the games elsewhere" (K.C. STAR, 9/18).
WHAT'S COOLER THAN COOL? Davis noted that getting Versus back on DirecTV by October 1 for the start of the '09-10 NHL season "isn't looking particularly promising." Davis: "The two sides are now talking again, and that's a good sign. I'm hoping for an amicable solution, but right now I would have to say that DirecTV is insistent in not budging off this distribution issue. If they stay the way they are, I do not believe this will ... be solved prior to Oct. 1, unfortunately." YAHOO SPORTS' Greg Wyshynski wrote the NHL "may have to become a more active player in this dispute as time runs short." Davis said, "The NHL is very squarely behind us. And remember, DirecTV pulled us off the air" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/17).