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When I signed up for Verizon FIOS TV in August of 2008 I was told that Verizon was in a court battle regarding MSG HD channels and they were expected to clear things up by January of 2009 and add MSG HD channels to our basic package. Now, as we close in on January 2010 I am still without MSG HD. I am an avid Rangers and Knicks fan and watching them on MSG without HD is brutal. I signed on based on the promise that Verizon would be getting MSG HD soon. What is going on with this situation???? Will Verizon ever get MSG in HD??????
This question gets asked every other day it seems. It's not Verizon's fault. It's in the courts and the FCC right now. These things get dragged out.
I signed up two years ago as I was told msg hd was coming>This obviously isnt happening and im watching rangers with a horrible picture I think its also crazy to have to pay extra for certian hd channels AMC HD is extra? C'Mon Well my two year contract is up and Im going back to cable I left cable due to the nickel and diming but this is actually worse
It's absolutely ridiculous how Cablevision will withhold MSG HD until they are forced to provide it. I posted this link in a prior post- http://www.multichannel.com/article/440457-FCC_To_Propose_Ending_Terrestrial_Exemption_Source.php
We'll see how long it takes the FCC to tackle this outdated loophole, but if the loophole is closed, Cablevision will have no excuses anymore.
Last article I read on it said that the FCC was not going to act on the complaint until its next session next year. Looks like they may be putting it on hold. If I understood correctly the next session is March of next year. I wish I could find the article again. I'd list it. I'll keep looking and post if I can find it.
If this is actually true
Looks like the FCC is finally going to take action to close the loop hole. has only taken nearly 3 years
I have to admit that prior to hockey season, the MSG HD issue was a consideration (albeit a tiny one...) when FiOS TV finally became available in my area. As it turns out, even TWC didn't receive the HD feed for Sabres games outside of Buffalo, so it became a moot point as I could care less about the NYC area teams... And, as it turns out, the SD picture is light years better than it was on TWC ~ it was practically un-watchable.
That said, I do hope that this issue gets cleared up because although I'm not holding my breath, I hope to see HD Sabres games from MSG at some point in the next decade!
It looks like MSG is getting ready for a significant rate hike of about 45%.
This would push the price for MSG and MSG+ to $4.10 combined per month, in addition to the $2.46 for YES, and the $1.95 for SNY that is paid per month for each subscriber in the NY sports region. Then MSG will do everything it can to withhold their HD signal from Verizon even as it demands rate hikes.
A glimmer of hope for NY sports fans...well, maybe-
The good news is that the FCC is finally addressing this. The so-so news is that they are only addressing the discrimination part of the loophole, so companies like Cablevision cannot pick and choose who to distribute the channel to. The bad news is that once this thing goes through, Verizon has to make a case for discrimination to the commission. That won't be hard to do, but you can bet that the new "spun off" MSG will use every appeal and all legal means possible to not sell the HD channel to Verizon. Once the media bureau rules, MSG will appeal to the full commission, and the item will sit on circulation for months or years. Once the commission rules, MSG will try to appeal to the courts.
Just to give a timeline for a similar case, MASN has been in a programming dispute with Time Warner Cable since May 2007. (Verizon - MSG case would not have the arbitration part)
May 07- MASN files for arbitration because of TW denial of carriage in North Carolina, pursuant to "Adelphia Order"
Jan 08- case goes to arbitration, arbitrator rules in favor of MASN
Feb 08- TW appeals and a new arbitrator is selected
July 08- Second arbitrator rules in favor of MASN, TW files instant appeal
October 08- FCC Media Bureau rules in favor on MASN, denying all TW motions
Nov 08- TW appeals to full commission
Jan 09- item is placed on circulation, and has been rotting there ever since with no end in sight
Good news- the FCC voted to get rid of the terrestrial loophole today- http://www.multichannel.com/article/445064-FCC_Votes_To_Close_Terrestrial_RSN_Exemption.php
The bad news is that now the complaint process can only begin. Refer to my timeline example above.
Cablevision is already defending its practices in this statement-
"While we find the legal basis for the decision unfounded, we are pleased that the FCC recognized the value of Cablevision's local programming strategy and investments," the statement said. "Verizon and AT&T will not receive an FCC bailout that will allow them to capture News 12, MSG Varsity and other programming that we have developed for our customers."
"We are also pleased that despite the phone companies' overwhelming lobbying effort, the FCC has ensured a complaint process. If the phone companies complain that they are unable to compete, we are confident that we can prove that it is for a variety of reasons, none of which have to do with HD sports programming."
I agree that news and high-school sports aren't "must have" because any other provider can produce similar programming, but come on. Cablevision is going to prove that Verizon cannot compete because it has an inferior profuct to cable? What a joke!