Comcast broke blackout rules by hosting the Avalanche’s first ranking match on Sunday on its NHL Center Ice platform.
The game against the St. Louis Blues was also broadcast on the NBC Sports app, which was also subject to a power outage.
Comcast owns NBCUniversal and is in a high-profile commercial feud with Altitude Sports, which held the exclusive rights to Sunday’s game in the Denver area.
Among the “big three” TV providers in the region, Altitude is currently only available on DirecTV, with Comcast and Dish Network unable to strike a distribution rights agreement with the regional sports network.
Comcast, which is also involved in a dispute with Altitude, said the broadcast of Sunday’s game was “human error” by entering blackout restriction codes.
“We are taking the appropriate protections to prevent this from happening again in the future,” Comcast spokeswoman Leslie Oliver told The Post.
Comcast deferred questions about the violation of the NBCSports app to NBC, and an NBC executive wrote in a statement, “It was human error, and we are taking appropriate action 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 on the Center Ice package in the outdoor market in the Denver area. The league said it was a mistake on Comcast’s part and said Comcast assured the NHL that Comcast had fixed 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 Metro Denver area. By NHL rules, that too should have been unavailable. NBC SportsNet has the ability to ensure that games are only broadcast where it is permitted by NHL rules to distribute games. It is ironic that these mishaps have occurred 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 region. Altitude Sports continues to televise avalanche games in the Denver area, as it has for sixteen years. Comcast and Dish Network have both refused to negotiate deals that would allow their customers to watch Avalanche games on Altitude. The NHL maintains an exclusive regional zone for home broadcasts in the 31 markets that have teams. Under NHL rules, television broadcasts of NHL games on NBC SportNet are not broadcast on the domestic market of any of these teams. Altitude Sports does not exclude these games. Altitude Sports signs agreements with the team and its distributors that cover the national market designated by the NHL. Apart from its obligations to distribute the games, Altitude does not have the right or the authority to create a blackout, and even if it could lift a blackout, Altitude would be prohibited by its agreements with its other distributors from doing so. To do.
We encourage Comcast and DISH Network to strike a deal that would return Altitude, the Nuggets and the Avalanche to their hometown fans.