As New Yorkers get ready to revel in the New Year, sports fans may be inclined to restrain their excitement. Time Warner Cable has threatened to pull the plug on MSG Networks, when its contract expires at midnight on December 31.
The timing could not be worse for the Knicks faithful, as the long-awaited NBA season kicks off on Christmas Day.
“We have been attempting to negotiate a new agreement with Time Warner Cable for close to two years, and are simply asking them to pay fair and reasonable rates that are consistent with what other providers pay for our programming – nothing more,” said Michael Bair, president, MSG Media. “Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable is not interested in reaching a fair agreement, and, in fact, is not interested in conducting productive negotiations on behalf of its customers. Because of that, we suggest that our customers switch providers before Time Warner Cable pulls MSG’s networks off its systems.”
MSG Network is the exclusive local television outlet for the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, and Devils.
Time Warner Cable is the cable carrier for 1.2 million New York and New Jersey residents.
In addition to threatening to drop MSG Networks from its systems, Time Warner Cable is also threatening to drop music channel Fuse, which offers a partnership with MSG Entertainment.
An MSG spokesman encourages customers to call 1-888-keepmsg (533-7674) or visit keepmsg.com to find alternate providers in their area.