TW flags DirecTV over NFL ads


NEW YORK -- Time Warner Cable has filed suit against DirecTV, alleging that the satellite company falsely said several NFL Network games wouldn't be shown in local markets.

The lawsuit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges false advertising and deceptive business practices. It seeks an injunction against certain types of ads as well as damages and legal fees.

TWC doesn't carry the NFL Network, a fact that DirecTV made mention of in newspaper advertisements trying to lure cable customers to the satellite operator.

Ads that ran around Thanksgiving in the New York Post and Newsday said that 4.4 million Time Warner Cable customers in the New York area wouldn't be able to watch Dec. 30's New York Giants-Washington Redskins game on the NFL Network unless they watched it on DirecTV. TWC said that it wasn't true, that the game would be available over the air on WNBC-TV.

"DirecTV made similarly false claims in ads targeted at residents of Green Bay (Wis.), Cincinnati and elsewhere regarding upcoming games featuring those cities' home teams," the lawsuit said.

TWC also is upset about TV commercials on high-definition services that DirecTV made about screen resolution on its service compared to Time Warner Cable.

TWC said in its lawsuit that DirecTV had agreed to halt its ads about the Dec. 30 game and the HD commercials; in return, TWC said it wouldn't sue DirecTV for false advertising and deceptive business practices.

"DirecTV has breached its express agreements," the lawsuit said.

DirecTV declined comment on the lawsuit.