Cablevision denies Verizon's request to broadcast New York political debate

Once again Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) are engaged in a fight over content. This time, the cable giant is not letting Verizon broadcast the first political debate leading up to New York's 2010 election.

Set to be held at Hofstra University today and sponsored by Cablevision, the cable giant has refused to let the telco carry the debate to FiOS customers.

"Verizon FiOS TV customers and millions of other viewers served by other providers across the state have essentially been blacked out of the debate, denying them their rights as citizens and voters, since Cablevision is the sole broadcaster of the event," said Michelle Webb, general manager and chief programming officer of FiOS1, Verizon's news channel for Long Island and northern New Jersey in a release.  "And while the broadcast will be available on certain websites and some radio, those may not be practical solutions for many people."

At issue is the Cablevision's argument against an FCC order that closes terrestrial loophole that cable operators used to withhold local programming--primarily sports--from telco and satellite competitors.

This is not the first time the two competing providers have fought over content rights. Earlier this year, Cablevision refused to provide Verizon's FiOS TV subscribers access to high definition feeds of Madison Square Garden (MSG) and MSG+ regional sports programming.

For more:
- see the release

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