HEADLINES

Altitude TV boss steps down

Feb 23, 2024, 2:32 PM

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) announced on Friday that Matthew Hutchings has stepped down. He was the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, a position he held since 2013.

Hutchings’s biggest role was as president and chief executive officer of KSE media ventures, overseeing the Altitude Sports and Entertainment regional television and radio network. Hutchings announced his resignation internally earlier this month and left KSE on Friday after joining the company in 2004.

“I am grateful for the professional opportunities and thrilling experiences that have come with my time at KSE,” Hutchings said in a news statement. “We have realized tremendous growth as a company and seen unprecedented success among our teams. I will be watching and cheering KSE on as they continue to lead the way in sports, broadcasting, and entertainment in Colorado and beyond.”

The resignation was announced internally earlier this month and today is Hutchings’ final day with the company. He has been the boss in charge the entire time Altitude has been in a years-long carrier dispute with Comcast, which has kept the network off Denver’s biggest cable provider.

The dispute has kept on since the summer of 2019, when Altitude’s contracts with Comcast, DISH Network and DirecTV expired.  Hutchings, and other KSE leadership, said at the time if they accepted the offers from the other providers it would put Altitude out of business. Years later, the network is still in operation and DirecTV is the only major provider that has gotten a deal done.

The timing for the departure is interesting, given earlier this week the Gazette wrote a story about the dispute that quoted Hutchings —the first update in quite a while. The story came after Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon tweeted about the team’s TV situation during Saturday night’s NBA All-Star Game festivities.

Elsewhere in sports, it seems as though Altitude had a chance to get the Colorado Rockies rights as rival AT&T Sports Network Rocky Mountain collapsed. That did not happen and the Rockies will be broadcasted by MLB and going direct to consumers. The Rockies are one of many teams in pro sports whose broadcasting deals have fallen apart in recent years.

The Golden Knights, who were on the same network as the Rockies, play 69-of-82 regular season games this season on over-the-air traditional broadcasts available in local markets across the Great Basin. The team partnered with Scripps Sports, which owns local TV stations while at the same time, the team created— KnightTime+—a local streaming service for fans. The NHL team is one of countless teams who have had to adapt to a new broadcast model because of the changing industry.

The Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets are owned of course by KSE, which owns the network. Seemingly there would be a direct-to-consumer product or over-the-air solution to make the 2022 NHL champs and 2023 NBA champs available to watch.

Hutchings leaves Altitude without a solution for the issue that has plagued KSE for half a decade.

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