SBD/Issue 236/Sports Media

MSG Networks Inks Ten-Year Extension To Carry Sabres Games

MSG Networks Ink Rights
Deal With Sabres
MSG Networks and the Sabres have agreed to a ten-year extension of their TV deal, under which MSG owns the exclusive local rights to telecast the team’s games. The deal starts after the ’06-07 season and runs through 2016-2017. In addition, the Sabres will take control of selling all ad inventory during broadcasts, starting with the upcoming season (Sabres). Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn would not disclose the annual fee the team is receiving, but said, “The financial package is better than what we currently enjoy.” In Buffalo, Alan Pergament noted ’06-07 is the final season of the Sabres’ $8-9M annual deal with defunct Adelphia Cable. Quinn said that the team paid “a minor fee to control advertising sales this season, revenue that Adelphia kept last season.” The Sabres will pay for production costs starting in ’07-08 –- “believed to be in the range of [$2-2.5M] a season — and will keep all the advertising revenue to offset the costs.” Adelphia paid for production costs in the previous deal. Quinn believes that MSG “will remain on basic cable on local systems that Time Warner operates” (BUFFALO NEWS, 9/1).

THRASHERS: In Atlanta, John Manasso reported FSN will broadcast 61 Thrashers games this season, “which will be more evenly spread throughout the season than last year’s front-loaded schedule which almost left the season finale ... not broadcast locally.” The Thrashers will have a “stronger national presence,” as three games will be carried by OLN and two will be on NBC (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/2).

DUCKS: The Ducks will have a franchise-high 78 games broadcast locally this season, besting the previous mark of 73 set last season. FSN Prime Ticket will cover 40 games this season, KDOC-Ind will air 30 games. The Ducks’ four road games against the Kings will air on FSN West. Four Ducks games will air nationally: three on OLN and one on NBC (Ducks).

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