MSG and Time Warner Cable Fail To Settle Dispute
Buffalo, NY (WKBW)- The Buffalo Sabres take on the Oilers Tuesday, but if you have Time Warner Cable you won't be able to watch it. Tuesday's game is the first of many that the cable provider won't carry unless the company can strike a deal with MSG. Both companies could not reach a resolution over programming costs by the New Year's deadline, so MSG was pulled from the network. MSG televises the majority of the Sabres games during the regular season, as well as the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders and Devils games. As of Tuesday, no new talks are planned between Time Warner Cable and the MSG Network, leaving die-hard Sabres fans frustrated. "It hurts the fans definitely," said Colin Harper of Tonawanda. The MSG Media President says he's disappointed with Time Warner and says the network is simply asking to be valued for its programming. Time Warner says it's eager to resume negotiations at a reasonable price, but claims it's still waiting for MSG to come back to the table. Time Warner Cable released this statement to Eyewitness News: "We're still waiting for MSG to come back to the table. We're eager to resume negotiating a reasonable price for MSG on behalf of our customers. We've given them multiple proposals, but at this time, they're not actively engaged in anything other than a public battle. We were close to an agreement for a 6.5 percent increase in the price we pay, but MSG reneged on that offer a few weeks ago. We offered an extension at close to that rate until September 2012 so we could continue negotiating. MSG refused that, too, and insisted on a 53% increase. We do want MSG to return to our channel lineup, and we will continue to work hard to reach an agreement that gives customers the sports they love at a price they can afford to pay. 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. Even without MSG, Time Warner Cable will carry almost 20 percent of this season's remaining Sabres games, dozens of other NHL and NBA games, all of the NBA playoffs, and most of the NHL playoffs. For information on where to find your favorite teams, visit www.twcconversations.com/MSG." MSG Released this statement yesterday: "We are disappointed that MSG and MSG Plus will be dropped from Time Warner Cable's lineup," said Michael Bair, president, MSG Media. "All we have asked is for Time Warner Cable to value our programming in the same way as other TV providers -- nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, they rejected every offer we made to them for almost two years. In the end, they were simply not interested in conducting serious negotiations on behalf of their customers and instead spent their time grossly mischaracterizing our positions to the public. We certainly hope Time Warner Cable returns to the negotiating table and reconsiders our good faith proposals. Until that happens, we encourage Time Warner Cable subscribers to switch providers by calling 888-keepmsg (533-7674) or visiting keepmsg.com."