- DIRECTV Argues SportsNet Philly
In a remarkable show of obstinacy, Comcast continues to restrict DIRECTV Philadelphia
customer programming by refusing to allow the leading satellite provider access to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. In doing so Comcast hopes to poach Philadelphia area customers from DIRECTV, effectively holding sports fans in the area hostage. As DIRECTV offers superior sports programming in every other regard, many customers are refusing to leave, blaming Comcast for withholding the channel from DIRECTV's basic sports package.
Comcast's move is startling because it hampers the company's own profit margin. Normally a broadcaster receives a percentage of the subscription cost from every customer that has a subscription with DIRECTV Philadelphia , DISH Network, or any other satellite provider in the region. However, by barring these providers from carrying SportsNet Philadelphia, Comcast is losing a substantial amount of revenue. This is of course part of a desperate gambit to push subscribers away from the popular satellite service and toward basic cable, ultimately making up for the lost funds. Unfortunately for Comcast, subscribers are sticking steadfastly by DIRECTV, deciding to go without SportsNet Philadelphia in lieu of losing the panoply of other channels and high definition programming DIRECTV offers.
For their part, DIRECTV officials slammed Comcast's decision, chastising Comcast for employing cheap negotiation tactics reserved for first-time carriage requests, despite the fact that both Dish and DIRECTV Philadelphia have been requesting programming access for more than a decade. The problem also seems limited to the Philadelphia area, as other regional Comcast programming continues to air on DIRECTV as part of their exclusive sports bundles. Many industry insiders believe it is only a matter of time before Comcast gives up on this ploy, for the simple reason that Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia needs DIRECTV more than DIRECTV needs it. With the new baseball season approaching and the Phillies set to be in contention once again, many expect a new deal to be hammered out before March. Meanwhile, DIRECTV Philadelphia continues to put the pressure on Comcast in hopes of getting a resolution to this stalemate sooner rather than later.
Once the deal is made, DIRECTV's acquisition of SportsNet Philly will make it the undisputed leader in Philadelphia sports coverage. It's part of DIRECTV's commitment to bring more sports
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