DirecTV Sues EchoStar Over Ad Campaign
DirecTV, the largest satellite TV service in the United States, filed suit against rival EchoStar Communications [DISH], claiming its competitor created “false and misleading” advertisements to distribute to customers in rural areas. Those rural areas had been served exclusively by Pegasus Satellite Television, a for-profit distributor of DirecTV services. However, that relationship changed June 1, when DirecTV signed a new marketing agreement with the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) that would terminate the previous exclusive marketing rights of Pegasus Aug. 1. According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, DirecTV said the EchoStar advertising campaign conveyed the message that DirecTV may discontinue service to customers who receive it in Pegasus territories.