August 7, 2012
Fresh off his star turn as Indiana Jones , Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is trying his hand at making parody videos. No, he's not joining the throngs who've recast "Call Me Maybe. " But he has reworked the popular and rather silly DirecTV "Don't Let This Happen to You" ads. To promote the state's week where people can shop without sales tax, Franchot just released a video on YouTube and to make sure people saw it, sent out a press release with this headline: Comptroller Video Encourages Marylanders to Shop Maryland Tax-Free or Face the Consequences.
July 18, 2012
DirecTV subscribers have lost"SpongeBob SquarePants," "The Daily Show" and "Mob Wives. " Unable to reach a deal with Viacom, parent of several popular cable channels, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and VH1, DirecTV is no longer carrying the media giant's networks. DirecTV has almost 20 million subscribers around the nation. Both sides blamed each other for the channels coming off of the satellite broadcaster on Tuesday evening. Viacom said DirecTV dropped the channels without warning.
July 11, 2012
Media companies routinely play chicken in negotiations over such issues as retransmission fees and bundling, terms that mean next to nothing to their customers until one of the companies they subscribe to lets things get out of hand. Usually, that never happens. But it did at midnight Tuesday with DirecTV and Viacom, which resulted in the satellite TV provider's 20 million customers being without such Viacom-owned channels as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and VH1. In all, 17 channels were lost at midnight with shows that feature such performers as Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, SpongeBob SquarePants and Snooki.
July 9, 2012
More and more these days, it seems as if the most interesting TV projects are coming from new and different places. "House of Cards," which Netflix is making in Baltimore, leads the parade. But DirecTV is getting in the game, too, and this week debuts a six-part mini-series about a transgendered contract killer played by Chloe Sevigny ("Big Love," "Boys Don't Cry"). "Hit & Miss," which premieres at 10 p.m. Wednesday on DirecTV's Audience Channel is a British import created by Paul Abbott, who is usually praised for "Shameless"and "State of Play.
June 23, 2011
Peyton Manning and Eli Manning have filmed a trailer for a fake police drama called “Football Cops” in which they disarm gun-wielding criminals with footballs. Well, I think it’s fake, but I really hope it’s not. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely watch the Manning brothers be buddy cops if DirecTV actually produced it.
December 15, 2010
The Maryland attorney general's office has settled with DirecTV Inc. over marketing and billing practices and with Dannon Co. regarding unsubstantiated health claims in its advertising. DirecTV denied wrongdoing but agreed to pay $13.25 million in restitution to Maryland in addition to dozens of other states and the District of Columbia. The settlement also requires the company to change the way it electronically debits money from customer accounts and to make it easier for customers to cancel or change service.