Verizon Makes Pact with Time Warner for SU Sports

September 17, 2010 by

Updated -- SYRACUSE -- Many of the ads for Verizon's FiOS TV service take jabs at Time Warner. Likewise, TWC points out many services it offers, that Verizon does not. But one major difference has been eliminated: a deal announced today means FiOS customers will be able to watch many SU games that were previously available only to TWC customers.

A press release issued today by Verizon says "SU football and men's basketball games carried on Time Warner Cable Sports will now be made available to Verizon to provide to its central New York FiOS TV customers." The announcement says such games will be carried on Channel 1.

The new deal goes into effect immediately, so when Time Warner Cable Sports does its own cablecast of Syracuse's football home opener against the University of Maine tomorrow... FiOS customers will be able to watch too.

Verizon notes that it previously carried about 60-70 percent of SU's games in the past, through deals with other sports programming providers -- but Time Warner previously held the exclusive rights to many games it had cablecast on its own Time Warner Cable Sports channel.  With the new deal, FiOS customers will have access to the TWCS-produced SU football and men's basketball games.

Additionally, Verizon says the deal includes permission for FiOS to carry Time Warner's coverage of University of Buffalo and "other ... Division I football and men's basketball games."

Both Time Warner and Verizon are keeping mum about the terms behind the deal.

Earlier this week, Syracuse University announced a deal with SNY to carry over 300 hours of SU-related programming, including live games, classic replays, and weekly interview shows featuring the head coaches from SU's most popular athletic programs.

Update: Thanks to an anonymous reader who points out the deal might very well exist only due to an FCC ruling, upheld by a federal appeals court earlier this year.  As reported by the New York Times, the ruling says cable companies that also own channels featuring original programming must make that programming available to competitors.

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