Programmer Scrutinizes News Corp./DirecTV

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From our friends at SkyReport.com

Victory Sports, the Minnesota entity preparing to launch a new regional sports network with the Twins baseball club, continued to put pressure on News Corp.'s proposed takeover of Hughes and DirecTV, telling the Federal Communications Commission last week that the deal could create competitive imbalances among programmers.

In a six-page letter sent to the FCC Wednesday, Victory Sports said DirecTV and News Corp. could be compelled to exclude certain networks from the satellite TV platform. "If News Corp., a major content provider, controls DirecTV, one of the largest multichannel providers, News Corp. would determine whether competing content is available on DirecTV," Victory said.

"Given the significant market share of DirecTV, exclusion of content by DirecTV could, in and of itself, determine the fate of unaffiliated networks and content providers," the company added.

Victory also said if DirecTV excludes certain networks from its service, the market pressure on other pay-TV platforms to provide the excluded content would be significantly reduced, resulting in depressed pricing and reduced distribution of the programming.
 
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