Unhappy New Year: MSG, MSG Plus off Time Warner Cable
It isn't a happy 2012 for Time Warner Cable subscribers.
At midnight, TWC is no longer showing MSG Network and MSG Plus. It's up for debate as to who pulled the plug (naturally, each side is blaming the other).
Here is a press release TWC issued at midnight:
MSG Networks removed its sports channels from Time Warner Cable lineups this morning, depriving New York sports fans of many of the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Sabres and Devils games. It is the second time in 15 months that MSG Networks has done this to New York-area fans, having removed their channels from DISH Network subscribers in September 2010.
“We had a deal within reach earlier this year,” said Mike Angus, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisition, for Time Warner Cable. “Despite agreeing to the asked for 6.5% price increase on rates that MSG themselves deemed as fair market rates just last year, MSG reneged on the deal and instead, demanded a whopping 53 percent increase and refused to negotiate further.
“We hate that our customers have been put in this terrible position, and MSG has offered no credible explanation as to why they suddenly need a 53% increase over last year’s rates. Perhaps after renovating the Garden they are looking for New York sports fans to fund renovations of the Forum they recently purchased in Los Angeles. Who knows, but if they have substantial new funding needs, that’s what banks – not our customers – are for. We hope the fans will remind MSG that in these economic times, no one can afford to pay 53% more for their channel.”
The good news for sports fans, however, is that they will still have access to a lot of their favorite teams’ games on Time Warner Cable. Nearly 40% of the remaining Knicks games, most NBA playoff games and the NBA All-Star game will still be available to our customers. Nearly 30% of Rangers games, nearly 20% of Sabres games and some Devils games will also be available as well as the majority of the NHL playoffs. To learn more about what channels the games are on, visit our website: www.twcconversations.com/MSG .
“We understand that sports costs are rising, but everyone in the sports food chain has a responsibility to manage costs with a long-term view and to understand what consumers consider to be a reasonable value, and can afford and absorb. Unfortunately, MSG is not accepting that responsibility, and is instead passing along massive price increases that will end up in our customers’ bills. In these tough economic times, our customers have to stick to a budget, and so do we.”
To offset a little of the disappointment caused to our customers by MSG’s decision to take away their programming, Time Warner Cable announces a special month-long freeview of Time Warner Cable Sports Pass, a package of more than 15 sports-oriented channels that normally retails for residential customers at $5.95 per month. The freeview will be available from January 1 – 31, 2012. A list of channels included in the Time Warner Cable Sports Pass and eligibility requirements can be found at www.TWCConversations.com/MSG.
MSG's statement was on its Facebook page.
Despite MSG Media’s attempts to engage @Time Warner Cable in negotiations for nearly two years, no agreement was reached.
We offered Time Warner Cable the same price that other TV providers are paying for our networks. Time Warner Cable thinks that it deserves special treatment and wants to pay less. That is simply unfair.
Fortunately, you have options. Other TV providers in the New York area carry MSG and MSG Plus, where you can watch the upcoming @Knicks, @Rangers, @Devils, @Islanders and @Sabres games.
Find out how MSG has you covered: Visit keepMSG.com or call 888-533-7674
My feeling is that both sides are to blame. Just get a deal done. Stop the stupid bickering.