DOJ: News Release

McGrath: State Receives $260,000 from DIRECTV Settlement

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath said Wednesday that the state has received $260,000 from satellite television company DIRECTV as part of a 22-state, $5 million settlement.

The settlement resolves consumer allegations of misleading and deceptive advertising. The multi-state group focused on just a few of the problems consumers had complained about:

  • programs that were advertised were not viewable;
  • all sports programs in the “Sports Package” were not available;
  • all local channels were not available as advertised;
  • many viewers had bad reception, and
  • DIRECTV’s cancellation policies were unfair.

DIRECTV denied the allegations, but agreed to the settlement.

“This settlement is a good one for our state,” McGrath said. “Montana is a high-use area for satellite TV service. Many of our residents do not have access to cable.”

In addition to the financial settlement, DIRECTV agreed that advertising will be accurate, and changes to advertised offers will be clearly noted so consumers will not be deceived. DIRECTV will make it clear to customers which channels will be available, and which nights it has to make programming and pricing changes. Sports packages will include clarifications about potential blackout periods.

The company also agreed to pay restitution to individual consumers. To receive restitution, Montana consumers must either have filed consumer complaints in the past about DIRECTV, or file complaints about DIRECTV – either with the state’s Office of Consumer Protection or with DIRECTV – before May 11, 2006.

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