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Sources: Comcast In Talks with DISH, DirecTV About Philly RSN Carriage

Comcast is in talks with DirecTV and DISH about carriage of itsregional sports net in Philly, according to sources familiar with those talks.

That does not come as a big surprise. Both satellite carriersformally asked for access to the RSN in the wake of the FCC's decisionearlier this year that terrestrially delivered networks were not de factoexcluded from complaints about access to distributor-owned programming (theso-called terrestrial exemption).

Comcast has long argued that it would make its Philly RSNavailable to satellite competitors, as it already does to cable and telcocompetitors--FiOS and RCN--when they make exclusive programming, like DirecTV'sSunday Ticket package of NFL games, available to Comcast. But the FCC's rulechange prompted the talks.

A source said talks are ongoing, but that Comcast is still notinclined to make the programming available, and even if it does, not withoutconditions of carriage that would make it more palatable to the company.

A DirecTV spokesman confirmed that the company had made a formal request for access, but said the company was "waiting to hear back." Asked if that meant the company was not in discussions, he declined comment.

A Comcast spokesperson had no comment. A DISH spokesperson was not available for comment at press time. 

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.