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DirecTV, Versus agree on contract

After a six-month dispute, the satellite provider and network have come to terms in time for a busy spring programming schedule.

March 15, 2010

Just in time for the NHL's push to the playoffs as well as the IndyCar racing and cycling season, Versus and DirecTV have settled their six-month dispute.

Versus was back on DirecTV on Monday afternoon on the same tier of programming it had been before the contract ended at midnight Aug. 31.

According to a statement, Jamie Davis, president of Versus, said, "We're excited we were able to come to a fair agreement that puts Versus back in millions of homes with DirecTV in time for a busy spring programming schedule."

Derek Chang, executive vice president of strategy and development for DirecTV said in the same statement, "We are pleased both sides were able to work out a satisfactory deal to bring this programming back to our customers."

According to three sources who had information about the negotiations but who could not speak publicly, the high profile of hockey after the Olympics as well as anticipation for the upcoming cycling season where Versus will televise both the Tour of California and Tour de France where Lance Armstrong is expected to race, played a part in a contract agreement being reached.

Versus, which is owned by Comcast, a cable carrier that is in competition with satellite television provider DirecTV, is also scheduled to broadcast a live UFC fight this weekend.

— Diane Pucin

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