Monday, March 20, 2006

Verizon Seeks FCC Intervention in Cablevision Sports Programming Case

Verizon filed a formal program access complaint with the FCC seeking regulatory intervention to help it secure Rainbow's sports programming in New York and New England.

Through Rainbow Media Holdings, Cablevision operates regional sports networks in New York that hold rights to produce and show games of local teams including the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils.

Rainbow also operates and owns a 50 percent interest in a regional sports network that holds rights to produce and show games of the Boston Celtics, among other teams in the Boston area.

Verizon said it has made repeated requests for more than a year to begin to negotiate a carriage agreement for Fox Sports Network New York, Fox Sports Network New England and Madison Square Garden Network -- all controlled by Rainbow.

Verizon argues that Cablevision's consistent refusal to negotiate carriage is "an attempt to block competition and preserve its market position... and the 1992 Cable Act specifically prohibits this type of refusal to deal."

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