Verizon jumps on sports programming bandwagon

As expected, Verizon Communications has jumped on the sports programming bandwagon and is formally asking the FCC to force Madison Square Garden to open up its high definition programming to the telco.

MSG, which delivers HD and SD content to former parent company Cablevision Systems via the MSG Network and MSG Plus, contends it has complied with federal law by giving Verizon and other cable competitors an SD programming package. Those competitors, including AT&T, say it's not enough: if there's HD to be had they want to have it and Verizon has thus lodged a complaint with the FCC to get it.

All of which drew an interesting comment from Cablevision Systems spokeswoman Krista Ostertag: "The idea that a phone company more than 10 times our size needs a regulatory bailout is absurd."

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