/// MSG, Time Warner Cable to End Blackout

February 17, 2012  |  Media Week

Thanks to the intervention of some New York political heavyweights, the seven-week staring contest between MSG Network and Time Warner Cable came to an end on Friday afternoon (Feb. 17). After having refused to negotiate with one another throughout the standoff, Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan and Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt have worked out a preliminary agreement to return the MSG feed to some 1.1 million TWC households in the New York metro area. Dolan and Britt effectively were muscled into a negotiation after City Council speaker Christine Quinn threatened to drag both executives in front of a public hearing, where they would be made to answer to an increasingly aggravated public. In a letter sent to both executives, Quinn on Thursday warned that she’d schedule a hearing before the City Council if a resolution weren’t reached by March. The perceived frontrunner to succeed New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Quinn deftly played the Jeremy Lin card. “At a time when all New Yorkers are getting together behind Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks, now is the time to resolve this dispute once and for all,” Quinn wrote. An undrafted Harvard grad who has turned the basketball world upside-down since making his first career start for the Knicks, Lin scored 136 points in his first five outings while leading the team to seven straight wins. Also throwing his clout behind New York sports fans was Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who worked the phones this week in a bid to spark a resolution. Late Friday afternoon, the governor confirmed the standoff was over: “I applaud both Mr. Dolan and Mr. Britt and their companies,” he wrote in a statement. “I thank them for being responsive to the needs of New Yorkers.” Quinn soon followed suit with a confirmation of her own. “I want to thank the MSG Network and Time Warner Cable for coming to a deal that will put the Knicks and the Rangers back on TV,” the speaker said.

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MSG, Time Warner Cable to End Blackout

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