BYU fans, businesses trying to adapt without Versus

BYU fans, businesses trying to adapt without Versus

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SALT LAKE CITY -- BYU fans, sports bars and restaurants with DirecTV are having to plan around a contract flap that will keep them from seeing and showing the Cougars' game against Florida State Saturday.

DirecTV dropped Versus from its lineup after the two failed to renew a deal by Aug. 31.

"I'm a year into it, and already I can't see three of the games. It's very frustrating," said Rob Hall, a BYU fan who lives in Riverton.

Hall says he is going to have to drive 30 minutes to Provo to watch the game with his in-laws. He blames the Mountain West Conference.

"I understand that companies fight over some of these issues, but what was the conference thinking to begin with to get us into this mess it seems like we're in every year," Hall said.

Sports bars are also finding themselves in a pickle. Many have DirecTV and have weighed whether to purchase a Comcast box simply to carry the BYU game.

Chris Simonsen, the owner of Lumpy's on Highland Drive, says he won't buy a box until this starts impacting Ute games, which are a major contributor to his business.

"To get Comcast for a week or two and spend a couple hundred dollars, it's not worth it," Simonsen said. "We're definitely going to have it for when Utah plays, but we didn't really anticipate this."

In a statement, Versus president Jamie Davis said DirecTV "has openly insulted our passionate sports fans and viewers by calling Versus ‘an infomercial network.'" Still, he says he hopes Versus and DirecTV can "resolve these issues soon."

DirecTV officials have also been reported as saying they're hopeful a new deal with Versus can be reached eventually.

Iggy's Sports Grill also hopes a deal can be reached soon. All but one of its locations had DirecTV.


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