Versus Network Off of DirecTV

With the August 31 deadline having passed Versus has been removed from DirecTV.  The L.A. Times wrote about the reason for the dispute between the satellite giant and the sports network last week:

Robert Mercer, director of public relations for DirecTV, said: "Versus' overall ratings are poor and have not increased nearly enough to justify what we're paying them, let alone the significant increase they're asking for.

"It is a significant rate hike and the deal is discriminatory because Versus is not offering the same package options as other distributors."

...

On DirecTV, Versus ranks 61st among 74 English-advertising supported cable networks.

Obviously to MMA fans the story is the fact that WEC shows are going to become unavailable for a large percentage of viewers.  The loss in eyeballs will no doubt result in a loss of cash for the promotion, but also for fighters who are given sponsorship deals based on the number of eyeballs that will be on their fights.

From an overall sporting perspective the coverage change comes just days before the start of the college football season.  With Versus having a deal with the Big 12 as well as carrying a small number of Pac-10 and Mountain West games the pressure to work out a deal will increase with every passing day.

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