Comcast vs. DirecTV: The Cable Wars Continue

April 5th, 2017

Rainy days are made for binge-watching your favorite shows. Entire seasons have been knocked out in the span of a single rain-soaked afternoon. But the weather can put a damper on viewing, according to one cable company’s advertising.

“If it rains or it storms, you might lose TV … no shows tonight,” Comcast says in the above commercial for its Xfinity TV service, which is set to Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and which ends: “Don’t get left behind with DirecTV. Xfinity gives you reliable TV service, rain or shine.”

DirecTV challenged the spot with NAD, arguing that claims in the commercial imply that weather-related disruptions to its satellite TV service are routine and lengthy when that is not the case. NAD agreed and recommended that Comcast drop the unsupported claims, which also included, “When there’s snow or high winds, or even hail … kiss your shows goodbye.” Comcast agreed to abide by the decision.

This is just the latest in a series of spats between the two companies handled by NAD. Previously, NAD ruled in favor of Comcast, which challenged several cable superiority claims in DirecTV commercials that featured an alter-ego Rob Lowe character.

Also, the FTC sued the DirecTV alleging it misled consumers on the costs of its satellite TV service. DirecTV has reached a partial settlement with the agency on these issues.

Find more of our coverage on cable here.

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The National Advertising Division, or NAD, is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD asks advertisers to substantiate or change their claims in advertisements. As part of a voluntary system of self-regulation, however, its recommendations can be ignored by the offending advertisers. In those instances, NAD refers the offender to federal consumer protection agencies.

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