AT&T U-verse To Ring In MSG HD Nets In Early 2012


AT&T expects to add MSG HD and MSG+ HD for U-verse TV subscribers in Connecticut in early 2012, after Cablevision Systems was thwarted in its bid to block an FCC order requiring it to make the networks available to its telco competitors.

"We look forward to bringing MSG HD and MSG Plus HD to U-verse TV customers in the new year," AT&T said in a statement. "We're pleased that the resolution is in favor of competition, and more importantly, our AT&T U-verse customers."

On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied a petition by Cablevision and MSG Holdings to review the Federal Communications Commission's September order to make the HD feeds of regional sports networks available to Verizon Communications' FiOS TV and AT&T's U-verse TV.

Verizon moved to immediately add both of the regional sports nets to FiOS TV, providing it on Thursday morning for subscribers in New York and New Jersey.

Both telcos carry standard-definition feeds of the MSG networks in the New York region. But Cablevision had refused to provide the HD versions, citing FCC rules that terrestrially delivered HD networks were exempt from program-access requirements -- a loophole the FCC closed last year.

MSG Network is the RSN home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, New York Red Bulls, New Jersey Devils and WNBA's New York Liberty.

Cablevision spun off MSG Holdings last year along, which comprises: MSG Networks and Fuse Networks; the Madison Square Garden arena itself, as well as Radio City Music Hall, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, The Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre in Boston; and the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, the New York Liberty and the Connecticut Whale team franchises.