Print 49 comment(s) - last by Oregonian2.. on May 29 at 8:07 PM

Last year Time Warner Sued DirecTV for false advertising; now it's time for Comcast to join the party

Competition in the cable and television industry is as fierce as it is in the IT industry. This week, two major television giants DirecTV and Comcast go up against each other in a case over false advertising. DirecTV filed a lawsuit against Comcast this week over an ad campaign that DirecTV claims is untrue.

According to the suit, DirecTV charges Comcast with not only false advertising but also deceptive business practices in print, radio and Internet ad campaigns. Comcast's advertisements make claim that satellite subscribers feel that Comcast's cable HDTV service provides higher quality images.

In a bold statement, one of Comcast's ads claim, "Comcast wins the HD Picture Challenge, Satellite customers agree: HD looks better with Comcast."

DirecTV representatives indicated that there's no substantial evidence for Comcast's claim that its service is better. "The magid survey upon which Comcast relies does not provide or sufficiently substantiate the propositions for which Comcast cites the survey," the suit said. "Comcast's advertising and promotional claims, including the aforementioned, are literally false."

Comcast representatives indicated that the company stands behind the results of its survey.

Late last year, Time Warner sued DirecTV for the same, claiming that DirecTV produced false ads. DirecTV produced ads claiming that people would not be able to watch certain NFL football games without subscribing to its services. The ads appeared in newspapers nationwide.

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RE: Regulation
By gradoman on 5/25/2007 5:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
We are getting something that we should have had in the 90s. Don't let them fool you, they received a lot of money, promised a better network and didn't deliver -- til 2006-2006, ooh Fiber Optic network, right to your door, whooop-ti-effing-do. Quite a few OTHER modern nations have had, and have, better service than we do.

For less, mind you.

RE: Regulation
By Samus on 5/25/2007 7:25:30 PM , Rating: 3
It's just like our [USA] automotive, cell phone, utility industry, etc. We are so far behind the rest of the world, sometimes it's hard to remember why America is so great :(

RE: Regulation
By eyebeeemmpawn on 5/26/2007 11:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah for Capitalism driving inovation!!! </sarc>

RE: Regulation
By alifbaa on 5/26/2007 10:13:32 PM , Rating: 3
Capitalism does drive innovation. Capitalism is why the internet, satellite, cable, and FIOS were all invented and mastered here, not anywhere else. Capitalism is the reason why "international" business standards organizations like IEEE are largely based in the US and are always dominated by US companies and interests. Capitalism is the reason why you have enough food in your belly to sit around on your computer and write idiotic posts about how capitalism doesn't work.

What harm's innovation is government regulation. It is government regulation which allowed the cable companies to ride roughshod over consumers throughout the 80's and 90's. It's government regulation which prevented local channels from being broadcast on satellite until only 4 years ago and still prevents you from choosing out of market local stations over your in market stations. It's government regulation which placed so many restrictions in the way of FIOS that it has taken so long for it to get where it is today.

RE: Regulation
By drebo on 5/27/2007 1:34:49 AM , Rating: 2
I think you need to modify your statement a little.

There's a very important word you left out.

Poor government regulation causes problems. Government regulation is harmful when it's controlled by people who are in the pockets of those they're supposed to be regulating.

Government regulation in and of itself is not a bad thing.

RE: Regulation
By Christopher1 on 5/27/2007 7:24:55 AM , Rating: 2
That is very true. Poor government regulation is what causes problems, usually because one of the big boys buys the government in order to make a legalized monopoly or close to it.

Government regulation is not a bad thing, unless they are trying to regulate things they should not get into: sexual activities, what people put into their own bodies, etc.

RE: Regulation
By Oregonian2 on 5/29/2007 7:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
Is government regulation ever done well? Does the government hire the best and the brightest administrators to intelligently lead the regulation of whatever field the particular group is regulating?

In any case, if someone is hired who intimately knows something about the industry being regulated they'll be accused of being "in the pocket" of that industry (whether they are or not). Hire someone who isn't like that, and they're incompetent due to ignorance and will do really stupid things out of that ignorance. Plus things will be done for political pressure reasons, not because they're the right things to do anyway. Especially if the incompetent one is hired.

So yes, government regulation is often necessary, but I can't say that it's done well "as a rule".

RE: Regulation
By fxnick on 5/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Regulation
By theapparition on 5/29/2007 9:37:15 AM , Rating: 2
Sometimes, when your first, you don't always get the best things. Other counties benefit from your knowledge and initial mistakes.
American consumers are also rather slow to adopt change, so when pointing fingers, be sure to include yourself.

RE: Regulation
By Oregonian2 on 5/29/2007 7:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what you're talking about. In terms of Verizon's FIOS, they're spending an incredible amount of money to build the network, and I've a number of friends who've had the service for quite a while (at least the internet service part, the video service is new) and they love it. Unless they use debt-financing to pay for it, they're going as absolutely fast as they can (read the quarterly financial stuff they put out as to their capex spending).

Unlike a lot of other countries, we're not a zillion people per square foot. The US is spread out a lot more than many places it costs quite a bit to install things -- plus Americans are rather frugal so getting people to pay for wowie zowie stuff at a high enough percentage to get the per-user costs down can be a problem (where places like Japan have higher acceptance for spendy nice things from things I've read). Not sure why Verizon is bringing FIOS to our part of the country (west suburbs of Portland) other than we're the state's high-tech area (Silicon Rain Forest) so the acceptance percentage may be good (and that we're a Verizon area for landline phone service, formerly a "GTE" area).

The problem isn't delivery, it's making a business case of being able to profit off of it (yes, I'm using the evil word "profit", but that's what makes things happen everywhere). It's not cheap to run that fiber under my neighborhood's streets to my house and all the others (most of whom may not pay anything at all for it), especially when cable is already installed. High density places are cheaper to deliver service, but, uh, sometimes high density housing in the U.S. isn't the kind that house middle to upper class folk who would pay for FIOS sort of services. Those who would most likely sign up for it tend to be be in spread out suburbs (I only say this statistically, there are high-rise places I know locally that are VERY spendy places). Of course, other areas may vary, I only speak of the cities that I've lived in over the years. I also know that some places in the US can be very spendy to have things installed due to government and union rules. If it can't be made to at least look profitable it won't get done.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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