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Volume 25 No. 48
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COMCAST SPORTS NET EXPLAINS DIRECTV AND PRIMESTAR BAN

          As reported in yesterday's Hollywood Reporter, DirecTV
     filed a complaint with the FCC Tuesday charging Comcast
     Corp. with unfair competition for refusing to offer its new
     Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia to satellite programmers. 
     In Philadelphia, Michael Rozansky reports that Comcast
     SportsNet's move "leaves customers who receive" DirecTV and
     PrimeStar DBS services without SportsNet's 140 Flyers,
     Sixers and Phillies games a year.  Between the two services,
     around 78,000 area home subscribers would not receive 
     SportsNet.  In a statement, SportsNet President Jack
     Williams said DirecTV's position "is totally without merit,"
     and added that the '92 Cable Act gave regional programmers
     "the ability to choose how and to whom they market their
     products."  But Rozansky adds that Williams' statement "did
     not say why Comcast SportsNet refused to let satellite
     companies have the channel, and the company would not answer
     any questions" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/25).  More from
     Williams' statement: "SportsNet has been offered to a wide
     range of local multichannel video providers, not only
     wireline cable companies, but also wireless cable, and
     apartment house and condominium cable vendors throughout its
     market" (Edward Moran, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/25).