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Comcast drops MSG’s Rangers, Knicks games after saying almost no one watches them


Julius Randle #30, of the New York Knicks, drives to the basket in Round 1 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks. This was on June 2, 2021 at Madison Square Garden. New York City.

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Madison Square Garden Network swapped barbs ComcastFriday was the day that the dispute between the media companies over the rights fees which hampered pro-sport content from the site, lasted.

Comcast and MSG ended their broadcast agreement on September 30, so sports fans in New Jersey and Connecticut are left without any content that features the New York Knicks or the Rangers of the National Hockey League. MSG is the controlling entity of both. MSG also controls the network and airs Major League Soccer, Devils, Islanders, and NBA games. The NBA season begins on October 19, and the NHL season on October 12.

MSG: The failed negotiations “disappointing,”Comcast claimed they wanted to make us accept terms that we wouldn’t have agreed to for their regional sports networks. SNY airs Mets MLB game on another regional sports network.

MSG stated in a statement that Comcast has rejected any similar agreements it had with other carriers.

MSG Network has also placed a banner across the network. websiteNotifying consumers about the dispute It is operated by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.Trades on New York Stock Exchange, and is valued at $2.4 Billion.

Comcast doesn’t know how much MSG is paid by the company to help distribute their channels. Its total revenue was $166.1 Million. fourth-quarter earnings report last August. However, the report noted that “affiliation fees revenue fell $9.7M” primarily because of the effect of an approximately 7% decrease in subscribers.

Comcast, parent company to CNBC, has defended MSG’s decision. Comcast, the parent company of CNBC, stated in a statement that it had internal data showing “95% of all subscribers who have received MSG within the last year did not view more than 10 of approximately 240 of its games.” New York City residents are not served by Comcast. They can instead receive cable services from Charter and Altice USA. Verizon

Comcast stated that they don’t think that customers should be required to pay millions of dollars for MSG content that is extremely expensive and has very low viewing figures in their markets.

On the Xfinity Website, you can find: company wroteIt will lower regional network fees (RSN), which it will charge customers who live in areas affected by MSG Network’s demise.

This dispute is being discussed in media circles as a signal RSNs, which could have an impact on local pro-team revenues.

Madison Square Garden is packed with fans before the New York Knicks vs Golden State Warriors game on February 23rd, 2021. Madison Square Garden opened its doors for the first time in nearly a decade after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RSNs are now living in a new reality

Comcast’s loss of MSG viewers comes at an important time for the Knicks. Last season, the team reached the NBA playoffs for the first-time since 2013. It also energized its fans. Comcast is not the only one that has problems with RSNs that have New York City-based teams.

The Yankees co-owned YES Network. In 2015 the channel dropped it. In 2017, the channel was re-acquired by Comcast. This dispute was necessary because the Yankees, a top sports brand in New York, needed to be resolved. Major League Baseball is the primary blood vessel for RSNs.

NBC’s RSN is located in New York and SNY. It also has properties across the country, such as Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago. Comcast extended its partnership with Google-owned YouTube in order to stream its NBCUniversal content.

Lee Berke, an old sports media rights advisor, said that the Comcast, MSG dispute was a “risk”, as customers might object. However, he cautioned that RSNs face danger if their strategy is not improved.

Berke explained that “the Comcast MSG Situation is more than just a temporary problem.” It’s an indication of a continuing, significant problem for RSNs in order to continue receiving distribution from pay TV services. The pay-TV universe is shrinking.

Berke said, “The cable providers’ feeling is: ‘How many subscribers will we lose versus the increased margins we have by not having these costly RSNs,” Berke explained. They’ll continue to do it if the subscribers are lost more than the savings.

MSG does not carry MLB games so sports marketers can’t use that advantage. The loss of Comcast also meant that distribution was affected. MSG refused to agree terms with Comcast in 2010. Dish NetworkThis caused it to be dropped from the satellite services. It is still not available via the satellite service.

Dish has slashed RSN offers overall throughout the years. Dish has stopped selling it for now. AT&TSportsNet is a company owned by the owners Root SportsIt just purchased the rights to Portland Trail Blazers. It also removed NBC Sports properties in April.

Dish president Brian Neylon said in a statement that “the current RSN system is fundamentally flawed.” last April. The model is so expensive that almost every customer must pay for RSNs even though they are only used by a very small number of people. These channels are becoming more expensive, so it is no longer a good idea to add them to our TV line-up.

Berke said RSN offerings would further declineIn the future.

“When your pay-TV universe has shrunk to 100 million subscribers at peak, down to approximately 70 million or less – shrinking to about 8% a year – it becomes more and more difficult to maintain the same stable of channels you’ve had in the past,” Berke said. The RSNs feel the heat and bear the brunt of all these changes.

Most of MSG’s subscribers are in the New York area, but losing Comcast viewers in surrounding regions impacts affiliate revenue and impressions – that could hurt advertising sales. Berke also considered other ways that you can watch hockey content.

“If you truly want hockey, we have new packages with ESPN/TNT,” he stated. ESPN+ will show 75 more NHL games, and Hulu will have them.

Disclosure: CNBC is part of Comcast’s NBCUniversal parent company.