FCC Rules Rangers, Devils, Isles Games Must Be in HD on Verizon, AT&T; Cablevision to Appeal
September 22, 2011 2 Comments
The FCC today has ruled that a pair of high-definition regional sports channels operated by Cablevision’s Madison Square Garden network must be offered to Verizon’s FiOS and AT&T’s U-Verse video services. The move comes after a complaint was filed in July that said MSG refused to sell the formats — which Cablevision carries in its stable of offerings — in the greater New York region, thereby hindering competition. “By directing Cablevision and MSG to make their high-definition programming available within 30 days, the decision promises to give consumers in New York and New Jersey a choice to obtain the sports programming they want,” Verizon SVP and deputy general counsel Mike Glover said in a statement from Verizon announcing the ruling. Verizon also had to petition the FCC to allow it access to standard-definition versions of the channels in 2006.
Cablevision will appeal the FCC decision. The cable company said in a statement that ”the data clearly demonstrates that there has been no competitive harm to the nation’s two largest phone companies as a result of not having two HD channels they already receive in SD….Instead of competing on the merits in the marketplace, Verizon and AT&T are manipulating federal law to gain an unfair advantage.”