DirecTV and EchoStar's Dish Network suffered another program-access defeat last week when the FCC upheld two Cable Services Bureau decisions allowing Comcast to bar the satellite carriers from carrying a Philadelphia-area local sports network. The satellite providers alleged that Comcast unfairly exploited a loophole in the program-access rules by denying them access to Comcast Sportsnet simply by transmitting the programming to cable systems via terrestrial links rather than by satellite. The commission is currently reviewing a similar appeal by RCN, which argues that Cablevision is circumventing the program-access rules by terrestrially transmitting Fox Sports Network and the Madison Square Garden Network.
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