Policy

DirecTV to Bar: Last Call

2/16/2007 2:55 AM Eastern

DirecTV is cracking down on restaurants and bars that are misusing or misappropriating its programming, and it recently obtained a $50,000 judgment against a New York bar, according to the direct-broadcast satellite provider.

The company has also settled many other commercial misuse cases to date.

The $50,000 judgment was the result of a civil lawsuit DirecTV filed against Bounce Deuce for violations of several federal statutes including the Cable Communications Act of 1984, which provides for statutory damages of up to $100,000 per violation.

The lawsuit against Bounce Deuce was one of five complaints DirecTV filed last year against commercial establishments in New York and Florida. The DBS provider has several other commercial-misuse investigations under way across the country.

The judgment was entered against Bounce Deuce for its unauthorized showing of the 2006 NFL Sunday Ticket package. DirecTV filed two other similar civil complaints against commercial establishments in New York in December, and those cases are pending in federal court.

Last April, DirecTV filed civil complaints against two Florida commercial establishments for the unauthorized public display and misappropriation of DirecTV residential service for commercial purposes. Both matters have been resolved.

“Fraud and commercial misuse are on our front burner this year, and we will continue to aggressively target those bars and restaurants who misrepresent themselves as residential accounts to avoid paying the appropriate commercial fees,” James Whalen, DirecTV’s vice president of office of signal integrity, said in a prepared statement. “This illegal activity is not taken lightly by us or the courts and the fines under federal law are substantial.”

September