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Judge Rejects Comcast Demand for Limits on DirecTV Ads

DirecTV says it is eager to compete in marketplace, not court

An Illinois federal judge denied Comcast’s request for a temporary restraining order barring DirecTV from making various claims about its NFL Sunday Ticket service.

“We’re pleased the judge recognized Comcast’s veiled attempt to limit our ability to compete in the marketplace and denied the [temporary restraining order]," said Jon Gieselman, senior vice president of marketing and direct sales for DirecTV.  "We’re happy to go head-to-head with Comcast any day on whose service is superior, so we look forward to competing in the marketplace rather than the courtroom."

In a suit filed last week, Comcast objected to DirecTV offering customers Sunday Ticket for "free" or at "no extra charge." Comcast argues that the service is not free because it "requires a two-year contract with hefty termination fees for early cancellation, with the NFL Sunday Ticket service automatically renewing in the second year at full price."

It further accuses DirecTV of going to "great lengths to conceal this fact from customers."

Comcast's suit will still continue, but it would have been a good sign for Comcast's future success if the judge has sided with the company early on.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.