Bill to block cable blackouts

A bill in the New York State Senate would not allow cable serviceproviders to block certain programs from their subscribers duringcontract disputes.

A bill in the New York State Senate would not allow cable service providers to block certain programs from their subscribers during contract disputes.

 

From Jan. 1 until Feb. 17, Time Warner subscribers were unable to watch the Knicks and other major New York area teams because Time Warner Cable and the Madison Square Garden Network were locked in a standoff about their service contracts.

 

Legislation sponsored by Senator Tony Avella and co-sponsored by Senator Daniel Squadron would require all cable providers to negotiate fairly and, if necessary, allow the Public Service Commission to mediate contract terms instead of resorting to service blackouts.

 

The senators said the bill was forced into the spotlight after many New York area cable customers were not privy to Jeremy Lin’s winning streak.

 

"As Linsanity has taken hold in New York, I'm glad that the insanity between Time Warner and MSG has come to an end,” said Senator Squadron. “Now, we need to pass this bill and prevent future impasses that benefit companies at the cost of fans. Jeremy Lin is a once in a lifetime story. Let's ensure that these cable standoffs are too."

For more local news, follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyAEpstein.

 
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