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Cablevision’s Deceptive Practices

July 16th, 2009 11:10am Leave a comment

Cablevision is a sneaky, deceptive company and practices dirty tactics that are unfair to competitors. They have monopolistic tendencies and downright lie to consumers about everything.

Please explain to me how this is fair: Cablevision owns the Rangers, their arena (Madison Square Garden), and their TV channel. At first, they refused to gice Verizon the rights to these channels until the FCC forced them to do so. Cablevision then proceeded to deny HD channel access in order to form a competitive advantage in its markets. Verizon filed another FCC complaint regarding this matter which (at the time of this writing) is pending.

As a result, they can go around advertising that it is the only company that provides all NY sports teams in HD. Cablevision’s ad doesn’t state that they are the reason they are the only company that carries, due to the sports monopoly they hold.

Remember the 2002 fiasco with the YES network? If not, the Yankees formed their own TV network after their MSG (owned by Cablevision) contract expired. Cablevision refused to carry YES on their system because they were sour over losing the Yankees and were too cheap to pay royalties to YES for access to their content. The result? An entire season was blacked out on Cablevision. At the start of the second season of no deal, after arbitration Cablevision did carry YES, but sold it as a premium channel.

Next: MSNBC. MSNBC and Cablevision signed a secret agreement stating that MSNBC can only be carried on Cablevision in areas where other TV providers exist. No one knows the terms of the agreement, or when it expires. How is that legal? And what blockhead at MSNBC would sign that? All it does is limit your viewers and make you lose advertising revenue. Take Verizon FiOS for example. They carry MSNBC by default, but cannot put it on the system in areas where Cablevision is the primary cable provider.

The Connecticut Attorney General has asked the FCC to look into an exclusive programming deal between Cablevision and MSNBC, stating that this is anti-competitive and unfair, in particular to AT&T’s U-verse.

So Cablevision has two pending FCC investigations, because in short, their business practices are deceptive and manipulative. The company thinks it can do whatever it wants, but is pretty screwed.

Shameless plug: If Verizon FiOS is in your area, get it. It is beyond amazing.

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