MSG Network Hosts Party For Sabres Fans

January 4, 2012 Updated Jan 4, 2012 at 9:05 AM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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January 4, 2012 Updated Jan 4, 2012 at 9:05 AM EDT

TOWN OF CLARENCE, N.Y. (WKBW) -- A large part of the Sabres nation...kept in the dark...unable to see Tuesday night's game on live television. That's because the impasse between Time Warner Cable and MSG remains unsettled right now. The MSG sports network brought its dispute with Time Warner Cable to the people ...by hosting a Sabres party at Tully's Restaurant in Clarence. The invitation went out from MSG to Sabres fans....come watch the game here.

The sports network and the cable company were unable to reach a financial deal by January first...so MSG disappeared from Time Warner's line up. Colin MacLennan is from Canada. He was planning to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs game, but he was overwhelmed by the Sabres crowd. "I think that's pretty unfair to Sabres fans. You should be able to watch your local team for free if you want to. I think that's awful," MacLennan said.

With a large number of local hockey fans relying on MSG to see Sabres games...the restaurant filled up quickly at game time. Tully's gets MSG from a satellite dish provider. "We wanted to be here to show our support . We are going to be giving away wings and there will be refreshments and tickets and Sabres merchandise," remarked Dan Ronayne, Executive Vice President and General Manager of MSG Networks.

MSG employees worked the crowd looking for support for their network. They were ready to explain the other options a viewer has to receive MSG. "We are asking Time Warner Cable to recognize the value of our programming and the value of our channels the same as every TV provider...no more...and no less," Ronayne added.

Time Warner said in a statement, that it's eager to resume negotiations at a reasonable price. But it's still waiting for MSG to come back to the table. "We've given them multiple proposals, but at this time, they're not actively engaged in anything other than a public battle," the part of the statement said. For now, Sabres fans are weighing their options.

"It's very tempting to switch providers. Yeah, I'm thinking about it," said Sabres fan Tim Jenkins from Lockport. "It might help put revenue in local bars if me and my friends come out to the bars, hang up and have a good time. I may switch," Frankie DeCarlo from Clarence said.

For the sports network, the cable company and Sabres fans...it's all about money. "Cable is already high enough. I'm struggling as it is...so if they raise it up...I don't know what I going to do," said Clarence resident Tim Diegelman.