DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), in a grand gesture sure to set heads spinning in the Comcast Tower in Philadelphia, said it will open up its ever-so-popular Sunday Ticket NFL programming package to non-subscribers via the Internet.
Appropriately for those who appreciate a good pun, there's a catch to the offer. Potential viewers must convince the satellite company that they have a legitimate reason not to subscribe to DirecTV. Some of those reasons could be that landlords or homeowners' associations won't let them erect dishes or they can't get line-of-sight to the bird or other such difficulties. The bet here is subscribing to Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), among other cable companies, won't work.
The NFL package is a football-sized annoyance jammed into the throats of Comcast which has, in turn, held back its Philadelphia area sports programming from DirecTV subscribers, much to the annoyance of DirecTV and its counterpart Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH). The MSO's argument is that it has as much right to exclusive sports programming as DirecTV and therefore if you want to see the Phillies, Flyers, 76ers or Big Five basketball you have to subscribe to Comcast.
The FCC has apparently disagrees, but that's an ongoing dispute that's still being battled in the trenches.
- see this blog post
It's official: Dish Network, DirecTV ask Comcast for access to Philadelphia sports
Comcast, satellite providers reportedly talking about Philadelphia sports net