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Verizon lobbies FCC for help securing TV content

Ryan Block, @ryan

The time is coming for telcos like Verizon, for example, to start thinking about television content deals. They are, after all, laying fiber to the home in communities across America, so getting content to throw up on IPTV is at the top of their list of priorities. Unfortunately it's not as simple as calling up MSNBC and syndicating their programming; there are arcane exclusivity deals and cable ownerships of sub-networks, like how Fox Sports New York is owned (indirectly) by Cablevision. It sounds like negotiations for such programming weren't going so well for Verizon, since they've gone over the heads of Cablevision and petitioned the FCC for help securing TV content. This is all well and good if the cable companies are holding their content for ransom, so to speak, but it does smack a little of hypocrisy: remember how reluctant Verizon and the other telcos were with providing 911 access to VoIP providers like Vonage? Those companies were trying to get access to 911 systems years before the FCC stepped in and mandated that everyone place nice.

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