SBD/January 26, 2012/Media

After Three Weeks, Both MSG And TWC Say Companies Are Nowhere Near A Deal

MSG exec said it is likely dispute could last as long as two-month blackout in '05
Representatives from both Time Warner Cable and MSG Network said that they are "nowhere near a deal after more than three weeks of wrangling," according to Nina Mandell of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. MSG Network Exec VP & GM Dan Ronayne said Tuesday night, "There are no productive talks going on at this time." He later added that it was "likely the dispute could go on as long as the 2005 blackout, which lasted two months." Mandell notes on both companies’ Facebook pages, fans are "demanding a solution that gets the games back on television." TWC on Tuesday "took 10 fans who couldn't get the game on TV to see the Knicks play the Bobcats" at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. MSG Network "held more watch parties at bars that get the games on TV from providers other than Time Warner." Since going off the air, the network said that it has "held 20 watch parties, where it gives away logo merchandise" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/26).

WHERE TO WATCH: In Rochester, Britney Milazzo writes the "local Sabres fans' loss was good news for some local restaurants and bars -- but only those that can get the games" through DirecTV, which carries NHL Network. Local restaurant The Retreat Manager Roz Hickey said, "Even as a hockey-themed bar, we're seeing more people than before come on game days." However, Docksiders Owner Steve Hillman, whose restaurant does not have DirecTV, said that "business is down about 35 percent with no Sabres games to show." TWC Manager for Western New York Joli Plucknette-Farmen said the cable provider, which also recently added NHL Network, is "reminding (customers) that switching video providers doesn't guarantee they'll be safe from losing MSG programming in the future." Plucknette-Farmen: "Our customers are doing their homework and educating themselves on this issue." Plucknette-Farmen added that "the number of customers who have left Time Warner over the MSG squabble has been insignificant" (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 1/26).
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