Rainbow, Cablevision Illegally Refuse Access to Sports Programming, Says Bell Atlantic

Rainbow, Cablevision Illegally Refuse Access to Sports Programming, Says
Bell Atlantic

Bell Atlantic Seeks Damages, Files Complaint Against
Rainbow with Federal Communications Commission

March 27, 1997

Media contacts:

WASHINGTON, DC -- Bell Atlantic tomorrow [March 28]
will file a
complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against
Cablevision Systems Corp. and its affiliate, Rainbow Programming
Holdings, Inc., both based in Woodbury, N.Y., seeking access to their
sports programming, as well as damages to compensate Bell Atlantic for
its losses and to deter Rainbow and Cablevision from violating the law.

Specifically, Bell Atlantic Video Services Company (BVS) alleges that
Cablevision and Rainbow have refused to provide BVS with program
rights to SportsChannel New York, SportsChannel Philadelphia and the
PRISM sports programming service in Philadelphia. As a result, Bell
Atlantic has been unable to distribute this regional sports
programming in the Dover Township, N.J., market over Bell Atlantic's
open video system.

Bell Atlantic Video Services has been seeking these program rights
since it became the programmer of record for that market
last November. BVS also notes that its predecessor, FutureVision, was
unable to secure these rights from Rainbow despite repeated attempts
to do so dating back to January 1996. FutureVision first began
providing video service in Dover Township at that time.

"Consumers in local cable markets will have a real choice only if
competitors can offer local sports programming," said William
vice president and general manager-BVS, for the Dover Township

"The laws and regulations couldn't be more clear; vertically
cable programmers like Cablevision and Rainbow must make their
programming services available to their competitors on
non-discriminatory terms," said HREF="http://www.ba.com/speeches/profiles/eyoung.html">Ed Young, vice
affairs and associate general counsel for Bell Atlantic. "Rainbow
deliberately and flagrantly flouting the law, and Bell Atlantic is now
calling them to account."

Bell Atlantic Video
Services became the programmer of record
for Bell
Atlantic's open video system in Dover Township, N.J., on Nov. 1, 1996,
when it purchased certain FutureVision assets there. BVS now has
about 3,000 subscribers on a system that passes more than 14,000

BVS now offers Dover Township more than 80 channels of programming
comprised of local and distant broadcast signals, satellite
programming and pay-per-view movies. Notably absent from the channel
line-up is the Philadelphia and New York sports programming that is of
keen interest to viewers in this community. The township sits on the
coast of the Atlantic Ocean, 90 miles south of New York City and 100
miles east of Philadelphia.

Bell Atlantic Video Services
, incorporated in 1992, is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Bell Atlantic Corporation.

Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is
at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.