Cablevision to Keep Up the Anti-FiOS Heat

A court told Cablevision Systems that it had to temporarily pull ads that called  Verizon a liar, but the cable operator says it’s still free to make other “substantiated anti-FiOS statements.”

The temporary order, Cablevision said in a release issued Wednesday, “only applies statements that specifically call Verizon FiOS ‘liars,’ tells ‘lies’ or the like,” and that it can continue to take jabs at FiOS in other ways by pointing out, for example, that FiOS doesn’t have a public WiFi network of its own and that the MSO’s own WiFi network offers a faster experience than cellular.

“Verizon is mistaken. Cablevision is absolutely permitted to tell the truth to consumers about FiOS’ inferiority, so we are going to continue doing that anywhere and everywhere we can,” the MSO said in a statement.

Cablevision also seems poised to direct its competitive advertising fire in several other areas, by pointing out that the FiOS Quantum router costs $200 while a comparable Optimum router, offered to all cable modem subs,  is free, and that its network DVR (marketed as the "Multi-Room DVR") has the advantage in that it can record up to 15 shows at once (the top-of-the-line FiOS Quantum TV set-up can record up to 12). Cablevision then goes on to say FiOS is “inferior” because its customers have to pay extra for weekend installs, while Cablevision provides this penalty-free. And FiOS doesn’t carry News 12.

So, if anything, this should help FiOS’s advertising and marketing group prepare for the sort of new ads it can expect to see from its pay TV and broadband rival.  

In response to Cablevision’s latest, Verizon said the operator should check the legal scoreboard. ”An even higher authority -- the federal court -- has spoken. End of story,” a Verizon spokesman said.