Direct TV Pulls The Versus Network From Programming Lineup

MMAJunkie.com has the story:

Bad news for mixed-martial-arts fans who use DirecTV: The company pulled its Versus feed, which is home to World Extreme Cagefighting, on Tuesday night with no promise it'll return.

DirecTV dropped the signal following a midnight deadline after the broadcast satellite service couldn't reach an agreement with Versus on what it would pay to carry its signal.

Versus, which is also a broadcast home to the NHL, was asking for a fee increase.

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) contacted DirecTV officials for comment and was directed to a message on the company's Web site.

The message blamed Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator in the U.S., for the bloackout The cable company also owns Versus.

“They (Comcast) regularly try to charge us amounts well in excess of what is fair and reasonable to carry the programming they own,” the message stated. “Their reason is obvious: They want to stifle competition from DirecTV. Comcast's unfair terms undermines DirecTV's ability to offer our customers the best possible value. If we simply accept these terms, we would have to absorb the unreasonable costs Comcast wants to charge us, and in turn we will be forced to increase the rates our customers pay. We do not want this to happen. In fact, Comcast has forced us to remove Versus because we would not accept the terms they demanded.”