Straight priorities: Cablevision blocks FiOS from NY gubernatorial debate

Talk about getting your priorities straight. While the whole world--and probably even those floating around in spaceships monitoring what we do--is watching Fox Networks strangle Cablevision Systems' (NYSE: CVC) sports programming access, maybe six people have noticed (or cared) that Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is seething over Cablevision's lock on the New York gubernatorial debates.

According to Verizon, Cablevision has "flatly denied" its request to have access to the debate at Hofstra University. Cablevision is not only covering the event, it's sponsoring it. Sounding a lot like Cablevision spokesmen describing Fox, Verizon's Michelle Webb, general manager and chief programming officer of FiOS1, Verizon's news channel, fumed: "Cablevision's refusal to make this historic debate available to residents and voters across New York is nothing short of outrageous. We're not asking a formal role in the debate, we're only seeking the right to make it available--live on television--to consumers who may not be able to see the event otherwise."

On more pressing and important matters--and probably to show it has its priorities straight--Verizon took the opportunity to further attack Cablevision's "anti-competitive sports programming in high definition to other carriers."

For more:
- see this news release

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FCC: Cable lock on local content unfair
Cablevision not ready to share MSG HD with Verizon