AT&T Seeks FCC Action On MSG Nets - Broadcasting & Cable

AT&T Seeks FCC Action On MSG Nets

Telco will submit amended complaint following inaction on HD feeds by Cablevision sports nets
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AT&T will officially
ask the FCC to require Madison Square Garden networks to negotiate for U-Verse
carriage of their HD feeds in Connecticut.

AT&T sent a
letter to Cablevision and Madison Square Garden last week
(June 24) requesting
that the channels be made available within 10 days. That request came after the
FCC process for requiring access to terrestrial nets became official last
week.

But an AT&T
source says the company already knows the answer, which is "no," and
that it will be filing the amended complaint to the FCC.

Verizon amended
its complaint Monday against Cablevision
, making the same request for HD channels.
Both AT&T and Verizon complaints involved carriage of HD signals in
Connecticut. Both carry the SD feeds of the channels, which include coverage of
the Knicks, Rangers, Devils and Islanders.

The FCC's access
rule change included clarifying that an HD feed is considered a separate
channel from an SD feed. AT&T and Verizon certainly agree, arguing that for
sports fans who increasingly have HD sets, delivering that crystal-clear action
is crucial to attracting customers.

Cablevision has
been referring questions about the complaint to MSG, which was spun off earlier
this year into a separate public company
. An MSG spokesperson was not
immediately available for comment. But in a statement last week, the company
indicated that making the SD feed available was sufficient, and AT&T's
letter points to Cablevision's argument that it had granted Cablevision an HD
exclusive in areas served by AT&T.

The AT&T
source said that Cablevision's lawyers had told the company that they did not
read the FCC's new terrestrial exemption order as requiring Cablevision to
make the HD feed available.

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