MANHATTAN — New York sports fans got a rude awakening on New Year’s, after the MSG network was removed from cable giant Time Warner’s lineup at midnight.
The network — which carries Knicks and Rangers games, as well as the Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres — was taken off the air following a dispute between the two sides over pricing.
“We think MSG is being unreasonable — and unfair to fans,” Time Warner wrote in an email to subscribers Sunday.
“They continue to demand a 53 percent price increase for their programming, which just doesn’t make sense. We do want MSG to return to our channel lineup, and we will continue to work hard to reach an agreement that gives you the sports you love at a price you can afford to pay.”
MSG executives said the network had been trying to lock in a deal with Time Warner for years, claiming the the cable provider “grossly mischaracterize[ed]” the channel’s position on the matter.
"We are disappointed that MSG and MSG Plus will be dropped from Time Warner Cable's lineup," said MSG Media president Michael Bair.
"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.”
Time Warner noted that it will still carry nearly 40 percent of the Knicks’ remaining games and nearly 30 percent of the Rangers’ remaining games without MSG.