Over the past few months ICN has been keeping tabs on an odd development regarding cable news delivery in the New York City area. During that time ICN received several queries from befuddled readers and/or MSNBC viewers who wanted or were being forced to switch to Verizon FiOS but only found MSNBC available via Cablevision. Verizon, for example, has rolled out FiOS for every major cable news channel (FNC, CNN, HLN, CNBC, etc..) with one notable exception, MSNBC, in New Jersey and Long Island.
ICN has heard from several individuals in and out of the “industry” that Cablevision holds an exclusive carriage agreement with MSNBC. All other potential MSNBC providers, like Verizon, are therefore frozen out in areas where Cablevision operates. It is not known how or why Cablevision got an exclusive carriage deal for MSNBC but not other NBCU properties or why NBCU would even grant Cablevision an exclusive on MSNBC and MSNBC alone. This is a real head scratcher. Lots of unanswered questions. How long does Cablevision have the exclusive? Why did this happen? The bottom line is if you want MSNBC on Verizon FiOS in any area Cablevision operates, you’re out of luck.
UPDATE: Went back and clarified what was going on as I had introduced ambiguity into the story.