DENVER • The end of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment’s work to bring its franchises to Colorado to more local fans still seems over the horizon.
Josh Kroenke discussed KSE’s ongoing negotiations with Comcast, the state’s largest cable TV provider, during a media meeting Friday at the Ball Arena. The mediation has grown into an active litigation, and many fans have been unable to watch the Nuggets, Avalanche, Rapids and Mammoth for three years now, all of which have had successful seasons since the blackout began. The end is not in sight.
“We want to make it as accessible as possible to all of our fans, whatever the distribution model,” Kroenke said. “Comcast is playing a significant role in this process and once this issue is resolved we will have more flexibility to offer Altitude programs to our fans. I can’t give a timeline, but we’re working really hard and we’re just as disappointed as our fans.”
The president of the Nuggets stated that Comcast’s proposal is not sustainable from the KSE’s point of view and added that the fact that they still operate a regional sports network is a sign of their commitment to the community.
“Altitude has been a disaster for the past few years and we don’t want to sign up for what they are offering us because that would only make it even more of a disaster,” Kroenke said. “He stayed online because we care about our fans. Now we are financing this at a heavy loss in the hope that we can figure it out and make a sustainable model.”
Streaming is a popular potential solution. NESN, another regional network that airs Red Sox and Bruins games in the Boston area, recently announced plans for $30 a month to stream those games without a cable subscription, but NESN is completely distributed by Comcast, which is not the case with Altitude.
Similar alternatives have been explored, but much remains to be done.
“Streaming is part of the solution,” Kroenke said. “We’ve partnered with a few industry leaders, but not quite on this one.”
Kroenke struggled with the idea that fans’ disappointment didn’t reach the family. He said he heard about it at the grocery store and reiterated that it upsets him both on a business and personal level. Rapid changes in how much people consume sports in the modern era complicate the issue even more, but Kroenke is keen to work on a solution while it could take a long time.
“We’re trying to sift through these… changing models on the fly and understanding them economically, which allows us to operate in a way that’s sustainable because right now what they’re offering us just doesn’t work in any way. , form or form.
“If we had signed up for this, it would have entailed the layoff of many employees,” Kroenke said.
“This issue is not unique to Denver. I can hear their frustration and we are trying to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”