A regional sports network heavy on Mile High pro teams, owned by Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, has been absent from AT&T-owned DirecTV, from locally based DISH Network and from Comcast since Sept. 1, with DirecTV dropping the RSN as of Midnight, August 29.
As the clock counted down to Nov. 1, KSE and DirecTV were able to iron out a new deal.
In a brief statement released close to Midnight Eastern on Oct. 31, Altitude Sports confirmed that it has reached a new carriage agreement with DirecTV.
“We’re thrilled to be back on the air with our partners at DirecTV,” said KSE President/CEO Jim Martin. “This is tremendous news for the fans of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, who have had to endure missing their teams at the start of their seasons.”
What about the two other television services serving Denver, Boulder and the rest of the market?
“We encourage all fans and local business owners who do not currently have DirecTV, to make the switch, so they won’t have to miss another minute of Denver Nuggets or Colorado Avalanche games,” Martin said, signaling that agreements with Comcast and Dish are not anticipated in the coming days.
For the past 15 years, Kroenke’s Altitude Sports has been the TV home of games and shoulder programming featuring the NBA franchise Denver Nuggets, NHL team Colorado Avalanche, Major League Soccer club Colorado Rapids, and University of Denver collegiate athletics.
AT&T had offered Altitude without interruption to subscribers since 2004. However, it balked at a reported $8 per subscriber carriage fee.
Stan Kroenke is a multibillionaire who, in addition to his Denver holdings, is the owner of Arsenal, a highly successful English Premier League football club, and the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.
He is also an owner of radio stations. Through KSE Radio Ventures, Kroenke in October 2015 purchased Wilks Broadcasting’s KIMN-FM, KXKL-FM and KKSE-FM in Denver. In fact, KKSE (formerly Country KWOF) is branded as Altitude Sports 92.5.
Two months later, KKSE-AM was acquired; it had been KRWZ-AM 950 and was sold to KSE by Entercom.
The start of the NHL and NBA seasons, respectively, did give KKSE-FM a bump in the ratings. In October 2019 it scored a 1.3 share 6+, compared to a 0.3 share in July.
KKSE-AM has a 0.2 share in the October ratings.
The Sports radio leader according to Nielsen Audio’s Denver ratings is Bonneville’s KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan,” with a 3.7 share 6+.