Judge Tackles Comcast's TRO Request Against DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket Ad Campaign

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A federal judge in Illinois has sacked Comcast's initial request for a temporary restraining order against DirecTV's ad campaign for the NFL Sunday Ticket package.
Comcast filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Chicago on Aug. 4 over what the cable giant claims is DirecTV's  false advertising through multimedia messaging that promises "free" and/or "no extra charge" access to the DBS provider's exclusive offering of the pro football league's out-of-market package.
The nation's top distributor had sought to enjoin DirecTV's campaign, as well as collect punitive damages and recover attendant legal costs.
"We're pleased the judge recognized Comcast's veiled attempt to limit our ability to compete in the marketplace and denied the TRO," said Jon Gieselman, senior vice president of marketing and direct sales for DirecTV in a statement. "We're happy to go head-to-head with Comcast any day on whose service is superior, so we look forward to competing in the marketplace rather than the courtroom."
DirecTV's offer for Sunday Ticket, which provides subscribers with all NFL games carried by Fox and CBS on Sunday afternoons, makes the service available for no extra charge to new customers purchasing the Choice Xtra package or a higher level of service. The Sunday Ticket's full regular-season retail price is $334.95.
Comcast did score a win of sorts over DirecTV's "Eagles" ad, in which Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders, flutters in a fairy costume, as a fan complains that he can't see Philadelphia Eagles games on Sundays. DirecTV, after the NFL objected in a missive, amended the ad during its opening moments by inserting the words "10 am, Los Angeles" on the screen. Comcast's complaint objected to this ad because the creative flies into Philadelphia, its home market, indicating that cable customers are unable to watch Philadelphia Eagles games on Sundays.

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