DirecTV Fears Deal Could Give Comcast ‘Online Loophole’

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Philadelphia Inquirer

DirecTV, the nation’s second-largest pay-TV company, has warned the government that Comcast Corp. could use its merger with NBC Universal Co. to create an “online loophole” and stream exclusive NBC content to Internet subscribers.

By streaming exclusive sports or entertainment to its Internet customers, Comcast could gain a competitive advantage over pay-TV rivals, DirecTV said in comments filed late Monday evening with the Federal Communications Commission.

An online loophole could replicate Comcast’s use of the “terrestrial loophole” in Philadelphia, which has allowed the cable giant to withhold Phillies, Flyers and Sixers games from the nation’s two satellite-television providers, DirecTV said. More…