by Cliff Weathers
MSNBC, and it’s popular political shows such as Morning Joe, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Countdown, is coming to Verizon’s FIOS service in Bergen, Rockland and Orange Counties, FIOS reports.
This is big news for political junkies in the area. FIOS subscribers have either have had to go without the popular news channel, or those wanting to subscribe to FIOS have delayed switching to the fiber-optic cable alternative.
Verizon’s FIOS service has not offered MSNBC in much of the NY/NJ Metro area because of a deal NBC struck with Cablevision several years ago. The contract blocked the news channel from appearing on services that compete with Cablevision’s Optimum service.
Verizon had filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission in order to get the network on FIOS. It is not clear whether intervention by the government led to this development. Nor is it clear that this is a result of an agreement betweeen Cablevision, FIOS, and NBC’s new corporate parent, Comcast, which is yet another cable television provider.
Political commentators such as Maddow, Joe Scarborough, Keith Olbermann, and Ed Schultz can now be watched on channels 103 and 1545 (in high definition). The service on FIOS begins February 2 in New York and February 11 in neighboring New Jersey.