Cablevision, Verizon Settle Spat Over Telco's Broadband Ads


Cablevision Systems and Verizon Communications said Monday that they settled the MSO's lawsuit, which had accused the telco of running false and misleading ads about Cablevision's broadband speeds.

"Cablevision and Verizon have reached an agreement to resolve the dispute without further need for litigation," the companies said in a joint statement.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The settlement was reported Monday by Bloomberg.

After Cablevision sued Verizon on Dec. 6, the telco said in a court filing it would modify the FiOS ad campaign attacking the cable operator's broadband performance. However, the telco also said it still planned to claim the MSO isn't delivering on its promised broadband speeds.

The Verizon ads said a Federal Communications Commission study showed Cablevision delivered "59% or less" of advertised speeds during peak periods. The FCC study in question was released in August but was based on data from March 2011. Cablevision said more recent data from the agency showed it had greatly improved its relative performance; for the month of October, according to the FCC, Cablevision delivered more than 90% of advertised speeds during peak periods for customers on its 15 Mbps tier.

"[A]lthough these new FCC results still show that Cablevision doesn't provide customers the Internet speeds they are paying for to this day, there is at least some information suggesting that Cablevision's services aren't as bad as they used to be," Verizon had said in the Dec. 12 filing opposing Cablevision's motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the ad campaign.

According to Verizon, the ads citing the FCC's August 2011 report stopped airing on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Verizon had said it planned to revise those ads. The revised ads were to: remove the reference the August 2011 FCC report as "new," "recent," or "just released"; not state that Cablevision's current poor performance is proven by the August FCC report or that Cablevision is currently delivering just 59% or less of its advertised speeds; and not state that to currently "get anything close to speeds Cablevision promises you would have to use your iO internet at 4:30 a.m."

One of the Verizon TV ads showed Cablevision customers' eyes spinning in a circle while watching a buffering icon on their computer screens as the narrator said, "Are you suffering from cable... vision? A new study from the FCC shows that Cablevision delivers 59% or less of its advertised speeds during peak hours."