AT&T this week began offering MSNBC and MSNBC HD to all U-verse TV viewers in Connecticut, after Cablevision Systems lost its exclusive rights to carry the news channel in its service areas, a spokeswoman for the telco confirmed.
Cablevision's distribution agreement for MSNBC prevented AT&T from carrying the channel in areas of the state including Norwalk, Bridgeport, Torrington and New Haven County. Verizon had been similarly blocked from offering MSNBC, and will add the channel to the FiOS TV lineup in the affected areas of the New York market, starting next week.
On U-verse TV, MSNBC is available as part of the U100 package on channel 215, and MSNBC HD is available with an HD service subscription on channel 1215. The baseline HD service is included with the U450 programming package but with other packages AT&T charges an additional $10 a month for HD.
"We're proud to offer MSNBC programming to every Connecticut U-verse TV customer," Dan York, AT&T's executive vice president of content and programming, said in a statement. "It's extremely important that viewers have access to all the content they want."
MSNBC president Phil Griffin added, "Launching MSNBC and MSNBC HD on AT&T U-verse in the broader Connecticut area could not come at a better time. MSNBC has established itself as 'The Place for Politics,' achieving historic ratings success, and we look forward to being widely available in the Connecticut area."
Last July, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal had asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Cablevision's agreement granting it exclusive rights to MSNBC within its service areas.
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