It appears Verizon will soon get the green light to go after video customers in the Big Apple, a city/metro region where Time Warner Cable and Cablevision service 1.4mln and 3.1mln customers, respectively. City news outlets say negotiations for a 15-year franchise agreement are close to conclusion, although desired “cherry picking” by Verizon has delayed a pact that was expected last month. The telco already offers its FiOS Internet service in parts of all 5 boroughs and has also begun building out its FiOS TV network in the city. It’s also armed with video franchises for 94 NY communities, and has expanded in the area the availability of its V Cast mobile TV service. Time Warner Cable doesn’t believe the expected competition will be any more intense than what is already occurring with Verizon in 2-3% of its nationwide footprint, and that “ongoing marketing efforts, improvements in customer service and innovative, value-added features… all help to make our offer attractive and competitive,” said a spokesperson. CVC is planning to compete mainly with value propositions. “Cablevision is proud of our long history of service in New York City and is focused on delivering real value to customers,” said a spokesperson. But NYC is a different animal: both MSO’s contracts for the city expire later this year, and its great number of MDUs no doubt has Verizon salivating ( Cfax, 1/11).