Nuggets, Avalanche See Attendance Increase Amid Ongoing RSN Dispute
The impasse between Comcast and the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment-owned Altitude Sports & Entertainment has meant blacked-out Avalanche and Nuggets games since August, but it has led to a "fan anomaly in Colorado," according to Kyle Fredrickson of the DENVER POST. Home attendance is "up by 31,047 over 45 combined Nuggets/Avalanche games this season compared to the same point a year ago, an indication of loyalty among those excited to follow" the two teams, both of which are "positioned to reach the playoffs." Local sports retail store Sportsfan Owner Derek Friedman said team-licensed merch sales at four local locations have seen "positive trends versus last year." Local fans Lynn and Ray Medina "do not subscribe to DirecTV," which is the "only major television carrier currently airing Altitude programming." Instead, the Medinas have "found live streams of the games online, but not from NHL- or NBA-approved websites and the video quality is inconsistent." So the Medinas "splurged on an 11-game season ticket package this season," and have "bought extra seats from friends and frequent local sports bars to catch games on DirecTV." Ray Medina said, "It hurts my wallet. It doesn't hurt my fandom" (DENVER POST, 1/18).
WORST POSSIBLE TIMING: In Colorado Springs, Paul Klee notes three months into the "best start in Nuggets history, and the infuriating Comcast-Altitude TV standoff has the team enraging fans at a time it should be gaining them." The same goes for the "rockin'-and-rollin'" Avalanche, who are second in the Western Conferense. It is a "travesty these booming young teams, who operate under the same ownership umbrella as Altitude TV, are going to regret for years to come." At this point, it would be a "shock if a deal's struck this season" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 1/20).