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AT&T Files Program-Access Complaint Against Cablevision

AT&T filed a complaint Aug. 13 with the FCC, charging that Cablevision has engaged in anti-competitive practices over access to high-definition programming on its Madison Square Garden network.

The filing follows a similar program-access complaint lodged in July by Verizon, which said Cablevision "intentionally and unlawfully" refused to make available sports programming featuring the New York Knicks and New York Rangers--which it owns--as well as the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabers.

According to Reuters, AT&T noted that, based on FCC rules, cable operators, such as Cablevision, can't prevent other video providers from offering a competing service to customers. The company's Connecticut customers currently receive Madison Square Garden programming.

Cablevision addressed the situation.

"Their customers already receive every single game offered on MSG and MSG Plus," Cablevision said in a statement, according to Reuters. "Now they want the FCC to force MSG to hand over its HD programming, which is a product of many years of technological development and investment. The idea that a phone company more than 15 times our size needs a regulatory bailout is absurd."