Game on! MSG & Time Warner end dispute

Feb 17, 2012

There is an official end to the dispute between Madison Square Garden and Time Warner Cable.  

MSG  has reached a tentative deal to put Knicks games  back on television for some 2-million Time Warner Cable subscribers in the New York area. 

Friday night's Buffalo Sabres game will be aired. 

The Sabres issued the following statement just before 6:30 p.m. Friday:

"MSG Media is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with Time Warner Cable for carriage of our networks – MSG, MSG+ and Fuse, effective immediately, including tonight’s 8:00pm match-up between the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Hornets, as well as the Devils and Sabres games. We would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership in helping us resolve this matter.  We would also like to thank Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and NBA Commissioner David Stern, whose assistance helped allow the parties to reach an agreement. We are committed to providing our fans with award-winning programming that continues to warrant their loyalty and allegiance, and we thank them for their patience."

Time Warner also issuing a statement on reaching a verbal agreement with MSG:

"Time Warner Cable has reached a verbal agreement for carriage of MSG, MSG+ and Fuse, effective immediately.MSG will return to Time Warner Cable’s lineup in time for tonight’s Knicks, Sabres and Devils games. Time Warner Cable expressed appreciation for the concern and encouragement provided by Governor Andrew Cuomo,as well as New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and NBA Commissioner David Stern. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed."

The dispute had left subscribers unable to watch the Knicks since Jan. 1, and in Western New York,  Sabres fans were not allowed to watch games. 

Knicks fans couldn't tune in to watch Jeremy Lin lead the team to seven straight wins. That led to criticism and pressure to resolve the dispute.  A person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity said the deal comes just in the nick of time - the next Knicks game is Friday night against the Hornets.  

According to reports the settlement was urged by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  The New York Times says Governor Andrew Cuomo and executives of both companies, James Dolan of MSG and Glenn Britt of Time Warner, reached a long-term deal Friday.  

Governor Cuomo released a statement on the agreement:

"I applaud both Mr. Dolan and Mr. Britt and their companies. I thank them for being responsive to the needs of New Yorkers," said Governor Cuomo.

Attorney General Schneiderman also released the following statement:

“Our office has worked diligently with Time Warner Cable and MSG Networks over the last month to bring about a resolution to their dispute. We are pleased that both parties have reached an agreement that will finally allow Knicks, Rangers, and Sabres fans to enjoy the rest of this season’s games.”

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released the following statement in response to reports that MSG and Time Warner have resolved their dispute:

I’m thrilled that Sabres fans will be able to watch their team again, and that New Yorkers across the state will be able to marvel in ‘Linsanity’ from the comfort of their own home. This is great news for sports fans throughout the Empire State, and I’m pleased that MSG and Time Warner have worked to resolve this situation.” – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer