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DirecTV to FCC: Fox Ads Misleading

10/31/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Washington — In a letter to the Federal Communications
Commission, DirecTV told the agency that Fox is
misleading consumers in advertising related to their cable
programming dispute.

In the missive to Media Bureau chief Bill Lake, the top
satellite-TV operator said that Fox is using misleading ads
informing DirecTV customers that, “ ‘soon, in some markets,
you may lose your local Fox station,’ even though
our retransmission-consent agreement does not expire
for over two months.”

The parties are currently engaged in a battle over the
increased license fees for FX, National Geographic Channel,
Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox
Movie Channel, Fox Deportes and the 19 Fox Sports Net
regional channels.

Fox Cable’s agreement with DirecTV expires Nov. 1, but
its deal for Fox-owned TV stations does not expire until yearend,
DirecTV said in the missive to Lake.

The provider added that Fox has also “refused to provide
us a separate offer for the continued carriage of its broadcast
stations.”

DirecTV says it has asked Fox to stop running the ads,
but that the programmer has not done so.

Fox declined comment.

The FCC is currently considering clarifying the definition of good faith retrans negotiations. DirecTV told
Lake that in its ads, Fox is purposely trying to confuse
and alarm consumers.

“Such conduct is certainly not what the Commission
had in mind when it made Fox a steward of the
nation’s airwaves entrusted to serve the public interest,”
said DirecTV executive vice president of content
strategy and development Derek Chang in the letter,
dated Oct. 27.

November

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