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FCC Affirms MSG Decision; MSG Must Offer HD

11 Nov

From Multichannel News

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.The commission affirmed that and refused a request to stay its effective date, though it found that “in order to provide sufficient time for compliance,” it would give them 15 days from the Nov. 10 order release date to provide the programming.

Among other content, MSG and MSG Plus televise New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils National Hockey League games and the New York Knicks National Basketball Association games, should the pro hoops league end its lockout of its players.

The Media Bureau had initially said the feeds had to be provided by Nov. 14, while a deal had to be struck on reasonable terms and conditions by Oct. 22. They now have until Nov. 25 to make the feeds available.
The Media Bureau had ruled that Cablevision/Madison Square Garden Network violated FCC program-access rules by withholding HD versions of the RSNs.

The MSG HD battle is one of the longest running in the world of cable sports television. MSG was dropped from Dish Network last year and hasn’t come to a new agreement with them.

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