No Solution in Sight in MSG, Time Warner Cable Carriage Dispute
The sports channel and the cable giant have been locked in a showdown over the cost of sports networks.
NEW YORK – Channel carriage disputes often get resolved soon after the previous arrangement ends and programming goes dark in the homes of pay TV subscribers. But in a showdown between Madison Square Garden’s MSG sports network and Time Warner Cable, there is no immediate resolution in sight for now, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Dolan family-controlled MSG and the cable giant failed to reach a new agreement ahead of a New Year's Eve deadline that would have ensured continued carriage of networks MSG and MSG Plus, which broadcast games of the Dolan company’s New York Knicks and New York Rangers basketball and hockey teams. So, the channels' games went dark in TW Cable households.
According to the Journal, there are no signs of a nearing solution of the dispute. A spokesman for Madison Square Garden told the paper that "there has been no progress of any kind." A TW Cable spokesman similarly said: "We're still waiting for them to come back to the table."
The last time the two companies were in carriage talks in 2005, MSG ended up going dark for two months.
Pay TV operators pay an average of $2.48 per subscriber per month for MSG plus $2.17 for MSG Plus, according to estimates from research firm SNL Kagan.
TW Cable CEO Glenn Britt last month suggested that sports networks, which tend to get higher carriage fees, should be sold separately from core cable packages, which would allow customers to avoid their cost.
Last month, TW Cable also dropped Madison Square Garden’s Fuse music network from its lineup in the broader battle over programming costs.
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