Comcast, satellite providers reportedly talking about Philadelphia sports net

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) must really be feeling the pressure to please everyone to push ahead with the NBC Universal acquisition. Broadcasting & Cable reports that the MSO is in talks with satellite providers DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and DISH (Nasdaq: DISH) about giving up its stranglehold on Philadelphia sports by opening the Comcast Sports Net (CSN) channel to the satellite providers.

Despite direction from the FCC, public outcry and the fact that it has offered the service to Verizon's FiOS and RCN, Comcast has continued to wave a "terrestrial loophole" in the face of satellite providers who to broadcast Philadelphia's local sports network. The loophole, which the FCC is trying to close, says that cable operators don't need to share programming if they don't beam it off satellites. Comcast has long maintained it will share its sports if DirecTV opens up its exclusive NFL football package; a non-starter in negotiations.

DirecTV, which has low penetration rates in a Philadelphia market where Comcast holds exclusive rights to three of the major sports franchises, has made a forma request for access and is "waiting to hear back," a spokesperson told B&C.

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