Time Warner wins round in DIrecTV case

Satellite TV company not allowed to air misleading ads

Time Warner Cable won the first round of its ongoing lawsuit against DirecTV when a federal judge in New York on Thursday got DirecTV to stop running certain misleading ads.

The injunction orders DirecTV to remove ads that claim TW Cable subscribers won’t be able to receive home-team games in markets where the NFL Network (carried by DirecTV, but not by TW Cable) has exclusive national rights to these contests.

The ads are false, because NFL bylaws permit a TV station in the market to carry a local game that’s not available to viewers from a national service like NFL Network.

TW Cable markets like N.Y., Cincinnati and Green Bay are getting bombarded by the ads because TW has refused to sign a deal with the NFL Network, claiming it’s too expensive, even though the channel carries eight regular-season primetime games each season. The purpose of the DirecTV ads: To get cable customers who are NFL fans to cancel cable and buy a satellite dish.

Another series of ads DirecTV will have to pull are the ones featuring celebs like Jessica Simpson and William Shatner, which claim that DirecTV beams a sharper picture into homes than TW Cable does.

Both DirecTV and TW Cable agreed to the injunction, signed by Judge Laura Taylor Swain of New York federal court.