UPDATE: The FCC has denied a request by Madison Square Garden and Cablevision to review a Media Bureau decision that it must make high-definition feeds of its MSG and MSG-Plus regional sports nets available to AT&T and Southern New England Telephone Company in Connecticut, and Verizon in the New York and Buffalo markets, according to Multichannel News.
ORIGINAL POST: The FCC’s Media Bureau has ruled that Cablevision/Madison Square Garden Network violated FCC program access rules by withholding HD versions of MSG and MSG-Plus from Verizon and AT&T, according to Broadcasting & Cable.
The FCC ruled that it was an “unfair act” that “had the effect” of “significantly hindering AT&T [and Verizon] from providing a competing video service.”
The FCC said MSG had 30 days to make the nets available to both AT&T and Verizon on reasonable terms and conditions.
Verizon and AT&T said it was a win for consumers, while Cablevision said the FCC’s Media Bureau had not gotten its facts straight.
The decisions follow the FCC’s move to close the so-called terrestrial loophole/exemption that had prevented access complaints against withholding of affiliated terrestrially-delivered networks. The FCC gave AT&T and Verizon a chance to refile their complaints under a new standard of unfairness.
The rules also made clear that HD and standard-def channels are separate entities for the purposes of access. Verizon carried the SD versions of the channels, but Cablevision had not made the HD versions available.
… well it’s about damn time.
Yes, it was from the end of September but some how was near silently done. Cablevision has till the end of November to make MSG HD available to Verizon FIOS.
What the Dolans and Cablevision were doing have pissed off a TON of New York Rangers fans who had FIOS but could not access MSG in High Definition.
I just hope James Dolan and Cablevision do not find some type of loop-hole to stall the day of when MSG HD can premiere on FIOS or some how appeal the FCC’s ruling. It would be a huge disappointment to sports fans, especially this early on in the season.
Hat tip to Ranger Nation member Chris Albin for giving us a heads up on this ruling.
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