NBA1

DIRECTV NOW Pulls Comcast SportsNet From Their Lineup


DIRECTV this week pulled Comcast SportsNet (also known as CSN) from their lineup without any official statement. Cord Cutters News contacted DIRECT NOW for comment this morning but have received no reply.

Comcast SportsNet is a regional sports network owned by Comcast and run by NBC Sports a Comcast Owned Company. Markets include Bay Area, California, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England, New York, Northwest, and Philadelphia. Each of the networks carry regional broadcasts of sporting events from various professional, collegiate and high school sports teams, along with regional and national sports discussion, documentary and talk show.

Suddenly this week after being on DIRECTV NOW since launch they have vanished from the DIRECTV NOW guide. Some readers have reported that DIRECTV NOW customer service said they where pulled for “technical issues” yet we can not confirm that. It does seem that most customers who contact DIRECTV NOW are being told affected channels should return to DIRECTV NOW and some have been told it will happen in about 10 days.

This has left many DIRECTV NOW customers upset with few official answers.

We have reached out to DIRECTV NOW and will update this post when we learn more.

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  • acmphotodude

    CSN Bay Area and CSN California are the ONLY reasons I chose DirecTVNow. At the end of the month, no channels, no customer. Very pissed off.

  • acmphotodude

    I’ve suspected for the past couple of days that the “technical issues” are the fact that Comcast raised their prices and Directvnow is figuring out how to break the news to us, the ones that will pay for it.

  • 1EYEDJimmyBivvins

    Direct TV and Dish never had CSN Philly on their satellite services and DTVNow and Sling never had it on their OTT services. No RCN no deal. I will NEVER pay for a service that does not provide my RCN. Took free trial of Sling and DTVNow and dumped them immediately. Live sports and live regional sports in particular are propping up the pay tv industry. Where a service does not provide RSN they will do poorly. I pray Vue keeps my RSN but if they drop it I will crawl back to my overpriced cable company.

    • Dean Stibbs

      The rumor is that the Xfinity Roku app will be hitting no later than 12/15. When it does come out, it will offer the chance to get OTT service and do away with the box and HD fees (supposedly).

      As a fan of CSN Philly also (Go Flyers!), I hope they become another alternative for it instead of just Vue …..and without having to actually get cable service

      • REP

        Not if you’re streaming outside your house.

        • Dean Stibbs

          Of course not, Vue doesn’t allow you to use the Roku app outside of your house either. I have no issues with it, and I don’t think people should expect it.

          If you want streaming outside the house, Xfinity makes an Android app

  • MrLightRail

    Someone needs to come up with an all-sports streaming network, and get these whiny bastards who bitch about sports programming out of other streaming services, so those of us who DO NOT give a damn about sports can stop subsidizing their programming!

    • Matt

      I’m with you 10,000 percent, sports taxes on my cable bill was one of the reasons I cut the cord. Why should I have to pay a tax for something I never watch? I subscribe to OTT services to watch movies and TV shows, could care less about all the sports networks they keep adding.

      • Dean Stibbs

        Because live sports pays the bills. That is also why they advertise which sporting events you can watch on Vue and Sling TV so heavily.

        • MrLightRail

          Thats Bull. We subsidize your expensive sports..you want sports, then foot the entire bill for it!

          • Dean Stibbs

            Hahahaha…you’re funny. You wouldn’t have these services without sports

          • JJ

            Yes we would. Netflix doesn’t need sports to turn a profit. Sports are significantly more expensive than any other kind of programming.

          • Dean Stibbs

            Sports are more expensive because they are more popular and generate more revenue.

            Netlfix is more an add-on than a cable replacement. Xfinity even added Netflix to their X1.

            Again, to compete against cable, services like Vue and Sling HAVE to have live sports in their package.

            You can disagree with me all you want, but if you read up on it you will see for yourself

          • Scott Lewis

            I don’t understand the argument some of you are making. There’s a combination of huge demand and high ad dollars for sports content. As such there’s a huge desire for the providers to distribute those channels. As such, the producers of those channels can charge a high price.

            There’s nothing unique. Less lucrative channels do the same thing, for a smaller price. There’s comparatively less demand and money in, say, TLC than ESPN, but everybody still subsidizes TLC, in that they are able to charge $X/month per subscriber, and when a Comcast or a PS Vue carries it, that’s what they pay.

            Some channels fall in a premium tier. So if you don’t want the highest package, you’re not counting towards the subscriber count for said channel, and not subsidizing it.

            ESPN, being SO lucrative, can use as part of their negotiation that they want to be on the lowest available tier, IE: everybody gets our channel, and everybody pays for our channel. Being so lucrative, the Comcasts and the Vues of the world agree to that demand.

            Sometimes, those negotiations fail. That’s why Viacom channels disappeared from Vue recently. All 21. Because they bundle them all together, knowing that generally speaking, people want Comedy Central so bad, that they’ll kick in a few cents more for MTV2 or whatever, and that’s why we have bundling.

            The fact that some of you don’t care about sports in irrelevant. I don’t care about TLC or HGTV and someone else might not care about Food Network or BBC America. But you’re all paying for all the channels available, and the chances of that changing are pretty slim. This is why you can pay $30 bucks for Vue and get more than 3 channels.

            The other alternative is a Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Prime, etc. You’d never get 50 of those, because it’s going to cost too much, because it’s going to be unsubsidized. It’s a different model. But because the cable channels own so many, and some are so much stronger than others, they are not likely to change the model just so some guy doesn’t need to pay for ESPN to get A&E. There’s no reason to do so, and if you are willing to cut the cord over that issue, basically – they’re okay with that. They perceive that the number of you is so small that it’s still more lucrative to bundle everything together.

            Maybe it will change, but almost certainly not for sports in the next 5 years. Too much money at play to expect a $8.99/month ESPN over the top subscription app with $3 addons for SEC network or ESPN U. Just not going to happen. But you aren’t subsidizing sports. You’re paying a portion of your bill for all the channels. And the channels that are added, are either valuable to consumers (ESPN), or riding along because they’re owned by companies with valuable channels (ESPN) that can force other content on you.

            I don’t watch any Disney channels. You don’t watch any sports channels. Vue will continue to offer both, it will be mandatory, and it’s not about to change.

            The only reason you pay THAT much more to “subsidize” ESPN, is because it’s really, really worth it. It makes a ton of money, and without ESPN these alternative providers would never have even been able to launch. Remember how big the deal was when Sling launched as option #1 for cord cutters that “it included ESPN”. It was basically the lynchpin of the early marketing strategy,. It’s not because they hate sports haters. It’s because they smell the money.

          • skyvolt

            We understand that and we know why it is bundled with sports, but at the same time, it would be nice to have some company stand up and give us content without having to charge everyone for sports channels they never watch. See, I don’t mind getting channels I don’t watch like Disney XD as part of the Disney package, because it probably adds less than a dollar. But ESPN? That drains your pockets.

    • FREETELEVISION

      I totally agree. Let them get a $29.99 sports only channel. $5 extra if they want female mud wrestling or whatever other $5 extras they want. Sounds like the best alternative.

    • Dean Stibbs

      Like it or not, cable replacement services like Sling TV and Vue would fail if it wasn’t for the sports channels.

      • MrLightRail

        Absolutely not. Prices would come down, and there far more non sports people.

        • Dean Stibbs

          Nah, biggest revenue maker is sports. Hands down.

          Without live sports, Vue and Sling TV are not much different than Hulu.

          If you start looking around, it is mostly sports that these services advertise.

          You can not pull enough customers away from cable to make it unless you offer live sports.

          • JJ

            Hulu has more than ten times as many subscribers as Vue and Sling TV combined. No-sports services can thrive just fine.

          • Dean Stibbs

            Hulu has also been around a lot longer, and a lot of people use Hulu to supplement cable.

            Again, DTVNow, Vue and Sling are live streaming services intended to replace cable.

            And by the way, Hulu is trying to add live sports….

          • skyvolt

            Point is, a lot of people would subscrible to a cheap package with all the non-sports channels.

        • Scott Lewis

          Even if there are more sports people than not, the real question is how many TV watchers are sports people. According to Nov. 28th Nielsen ratings for prime broadcast network TV, four of the top 5 programs were NFL related. On Cable, only 2 of the top 5 were NFL related. There’s a reason why these guys want to cater to sports fans. And not insignificant is the reality that a pretty high percentage of sports fans watch live, and therefore do not DVR skip commercials. Super valuable.

        • skyvolt

          Exactly. Without sports, we would probably have a $15 per month package with all the important channels, DVR, and On Demand and everything we could ever ask for.

          • Scott Lewis

            ESPN won’t allow it, because of how strong they are. They mandate ESPN on the “cheap tier” because of the power they hold. And if you want to build an entire service without ESPN at all, guess what, it’s not ever going to have ABC or Disney, because again, they demand it. And by the time you’ve pulled all that out, there’s nothing really all that impressive to offer a wide swathe of consumers.

          • skyvolt

            I wish Disney could just make ESPN officially a premium cable like HBO and have people subscribe to it separately without forcing us to pay for ESPN when all we want is to watch some other ABC or Disney shows.

          • Scott Lewis

            I hear you. But as a sports fan, I’m glad they don’t. Because it’d cost me more. And there’s a bunch of people at Disney saying “no way, because we’d have to lower prices and lose profits”. There’s even a bunch of sports league executives saying no way, because they know their network carriage contract would be less. It’s not going to change anyway soon, because none of the people who could make such a change have any reason to do so. Especially since you’ll probably keep subscribing to Comcast, Vue, Sling or whatever. When ten million people cord cut in a year and DON’T go to a Vue like service, then maybe some things will change. We’re nowhere near that year yet… this is my last comment, since I can see that you understand my point and get why it happens, and I get your frustration, but selfishly, am glad it works that way, since I’d rather keep paying $45 for Vue than $20 for ESPN and have just $25 left over for everything else.

          • skyvolt

            The best compromise would be 3 types of packages:

            a) the current subsidized package type for people who want both sports and other stuff

            b) a sports-only package type for people who only watch sports and don’t want to pay extra for other things. to them, paying $20 for sports would be cheaper than $45 for everything if they only watch sports.

            c) a non-sports package for people who are never going to watch sports.

            but as you said, neither the cable companies nor the content owners would compromise their profits for something like this. so, this is probably going to be a fantasy forever and always.

          • Karl Childers

            And that’s why jumping from SlingTV’s Blue package to the Orange+Blue adds $15 and includes only 5 additional channels, 3 of which are ESPN.

    • Scott Lewis

      One could probably say the same about whatever channels you enjoy. Well, probably they could say it a bit nicer, but my point still stands. All these streaming services, as well as the traditional cable and satellite providers all need to pull in channels to attract a mass market, and attract as many subscribers as possible, all while juggling the carriage fees paid to keep costs to where they can charge a price that people will stomach.

      Sorry, but sports is a HUGE draw in that equation. I realize it’s not your cup of tea, but remember, the market is the market, and they are going for a mass market, not MrLightRail, or any other individual. Sure, you don’t care, but I specifically do, and we are both attractive to these guys as potential customers.

      • skyvolt

        Sports are way more expensive and we are all made to pay more for you guys who like sports.

        • Dean Stibbs

          A lot of the channels you like only exist because sports makes enough money for the provider.

          Just like in college, the sports programs (especially football) are a big part of the funding for the school’s other activities. In the TV world, sports money bankrolls a lot of the other channels

          • skyvolt

            I don’t disagree with how money from sports helps other areas. I just we had the freedom to choose less expensive channels. Without sports, the other channels would be more expensive but not as expensive since we don’t have to pay for sports.

    • JJ

      That already exists. Its called Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. If you’re not willing to wait for your shows to come out on those platforms you can buy season passes. Either option is usually cheaper than subscribing to any of these live streaming sources. Ala carte already exists on iTunes, Vudu, etc. as they allow you to buy individual seasons and even individual episodes. That’s more ala carte than letting you pick your own channels.

      • skyvolt

        Why do we have to be penalized for watching our shows live by paying for you sports guys?

        • Scott Lewis

          What channel(s) do you watch? Am I penalized because of something you watch that’s on a channel I could care less about? I “have to” have CNN, MSNBC, HLN, FoxNews, CNBC, Fox Business News and probably a few other news channels I’m forgetting. I guarantee you I don’t watch ALL of those. I don’t think anybody’s complaints is about sports channel bundling. It’s about how expensive it is to bundle sports channels relative to … MSNBC or HGTV. Oh well. It’s worth it, for reasons I’ve explained in other comments.

          • skyvolt

            Yes, exactly, the problem is the bundling. The Disney bundle costs like over $15 just because of ESPN. If it wasn’t for the bundling, I would probably get ABC and other Disney networks at a very low cost.

            I watch CW, and other scifi/supernatural/superhero shows and comedies on other networks. ESPN costs like $15 bucks in the Disney bundle. If I didn’t have to pay for ESPN, I would get ABC and other Disney networks at a much much lower cost.

            Even for big networks like CBS, Fox and NBC, they still have to factor in sports because of the MNF, TNF and Sunday NFL Football games.

          • Karl Childers

            Dish’s Flex Pack allows you to separate ESPN from Disney Channel. Each are offered in their own separate add-on package ($10 for Kids pack, $10 for National Action Pack). Freeform is in yet another pack. So you may still end up with channels that you don’t want but at least you have a little more flexibility. You also might find this interesting:
            http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/04/01/espn-for-36-analyst-shows-true-cost-of-a-la-carte.aspx

          • skyvolt

            They just inflate the a la carte prices as a way of forcing people to buy the bundle but in reality, it would cost less if they didn’t care about bundling. Like ESPN alone shows over $36 yet the entire Disney package costs like about $10-$15.

            That’s like Apple raising the price of iPhone and iPad to over $2,000 each but allowing you to buy both as a package for only $1,000.

            Sure, A La Carte will be more expensive than when bundled but not THAT expensive. It’s pure business manipulation.

          • Karl Childers

            Your example isn’t an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended). The cost of an iPhone, which is one product with a unit price, is paid by the individual consumer. Whereas the cost of cable television programming, which is one service sold to many consumers, is shared primarily by subscribers and advertising. When the operating costs of a cable channel are shared by fewer subscribers (which results in decreased advertising revenue) then the price will increase. Would ESPN be $36 like the article suggests? I don’t know but I wouldn’t expect it to be even remotely close to the existing carriage fee.

          • skyvolt

            OK i see – when we put advertising into the equation, it complicates things. Because the operating cost is pretty much constant, yet by reaching more people, you get more revenue because of advertising.

  • Hank Mack

    I live 150 miles east of San Francisco and had CSN Bay Area for years on both Dish and Direct TV. Now it is gone. It was one of the main reasons I signed up for DTVNow and it was also in the Sling lineup. Given the 49ers are so awful it is no loss but I will miss the SF Giants.