DirecTV Chafes Charter
The St. Louis-based cable operator filed suit Monday against DirecTV, alleging that the satco is going after its coveted cable customers with misleading ads that call the MSO's ability to serve customers and to add new services into question.
According to Multichannel News, the suit points to print ads with a life preserver, declaring: "With Charter Cable filing for bankruptcy, now's the time to save yourself. Get help while you can. Get DirecTV."
Charter, which looks to shave $8 billion from its $21 billion debt load and obtain $3 billion for refinancing and new capital through a pre-arranged bankruptcy, has previously said that it will be business as usual during the process. (See Charter Ready to Rock the Vote and Charter Turns to Chapter 11.)
It's also launched a 60-Mbit/s Docsis 3.0 tier in St. Louis, and, despite the distraction of a bankruptcy, has actually seen operations improve steadily in recent quarters. In the most recent period, Charter said revenues rose 6.5 percent, to $1.66 billion, while revenue-generating units increased by 149,600, or 4.1 percent. But all that couldn't prevent a loss of $205 million, narrowed from a loss of $359 million a year ago.
For now, DirecTV is having none of it. A spokesman for the company told Los Angeles Business that DirecTV hasn't seen the complaint "but we stand by the accuracy of our advertising."
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News
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