07.06.2005 12:00 AM
DirecTV Files Complaint Against In Demand on Prices
DirecTV--the DBSer that is going after prospective HD customers in a very visible way these days--has filed a complaint with the FCC Media Bureau, claiming that competitor In Demand has proposed anti-competitive pricing for its HD channels. In Demand, for its part, called DirecTV's allegations without merit and that its pricing policies are in full compliance with FCC rules, according to published reports.

In Demand allegedly required that DirecTV's payments be based on the far greater number of all DTV customers--not the number of HD subs, per se. DirecTV's filing states that In Demand sought a dime monthly per digital subscriber for channels INHD and INHD2. Since all of DirecTV's 14 million subs receive "digital service" (DBS feeds are an entirely digital technology, unlike cable), DirecTV claims the pricing scheme by In Demand is discriminatory.

DirecTV reports its should be charged on the basis of the number of HD customers, which is only about 5 percent of all DirecTV subs. Reportedly, HD sub figures for Comcast and Time Warner cable, which have their own deals with In Demand, are similar--or about one-in-every-20 digital subs tapping into HD services.

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