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MSG Warns of Comcast Blackout

MSG Networks
(Image credit: MSG Networks)

NEW YORK—With the NHL and NBA seasons looming, MSG Networks is warning that Comcast/Xfinity intends to drop MSG Networks, impacting customers in New Jersey and Connecticut.

The carriage agreement expires at midnight on September 30 and if a new agreement is not reached those subs could lose access to the start of the NHL and NBA seasons. 

MSG carries games from the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and MLS’s New York Red Bulls. 

Negotiations over carriage for regional sports have been increasingly contentious in recent years as pay TV providers have sought to reduce programming costs. 

In a statement on the carriage negotiations, MSG said: “We’ve been working to reach an agreement that is fair, reasonable and consistent with other major providers, while Comcast is demanding terms they’d never accept for their own regional sports networks, including SNY in New York. Xfinity customers do not deserve to lose MSG Networks’ coverage of their local sports teams, which includes hundreds of live games for the upcoming NBA and NHL seasons. MSG Networks is ready to continue working in good faith, however, we encourage Comcast Xfinity subscribers who want to watch the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Red Bulls to visit www.keepmsg.com for more information, including alternative providers in their area.” 

In a statement published by Next TV, Comcast noted that “Comcast’s agreements with programmers expire from time to time. We have successfully negotiated thousands of agreements with programmers and reached agreements in almost every instance. We would like to reach a fair deal with MSG that makes sense for our customers before the current one expires, allowing us to continue offering their networks on our channel lineup.”