The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that Cablevision and Time Warner are once again at odds over the rights fees for the former’s sports properties, Madison Square Garden television and Fox Sports New York.
The likelihood of a deal being struck before then would seem unlikely, considering the two sides have tried to reach an accord since December 2003. If an agreement is not made, fans could be without Mets exhibition baseball and Knicks regular-season basketball. Over the last year, the two sides have worked with an interim deal. There was an 11-day blackout in August of last year.
(the ageless Steve Cangialosi might as well be doing his act in his bathroom mirror if TWC takes MSG off the air)
To quote myself, much like the cinematic dud “Alien Vs. Predator”, whoever wins, we lose. Cablevision’s monopolistic practices have long been a major pain in the neck to New York viewers. TWC of Manhattan, for their part, long ago refined the policy of “the customer is always wrong.” I would like nothing better than to see both parties locked in a room…with the oxygen supply cut off. Though not being able to watch the Knicks play out the string might be seen as a modest punishment for TWC customers, these sports packages are a big part of the selling pitch for cable. The ads routinely claim that you’ll be able to watch 70 or so Knicks games a season. That Cablevision wishes to get as much loot as possible for their properties makes sense — they pay the high overhead for one (Knicks) and pay an exhorbitant rights fee for the other (Mets). And TWC would like to avoid passing said costs along to their customers (or so they claim). But selling a product to the public that your company cannot actually deliver is awfully crooked.