Friday, February 17, 2012

A weasel won a war

After 6 weeks, MSG Networks have returned to Time Warner Cable systems throughout New York, and, particularly in the upstate corridor, the deal also brings the music channel Fuse back to TWC, after it had been removed in mid-December due to low ratings.

What that tells me is that MSG/Knicks/Rangers/Cablevision owner James Dolan got what he wanted out of the deal, and he can thank Jeremy Lin, the overnight sensation who has led the Knicks to a 7-game winning streak headed into play tonight against New Orleans, for giving him the leverage he needed to broker the deal. NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman got the two sides back to the negotiating table, and, you have to assume that once TWC suits realized the amount of ad revenues lost because of the current successes of the Knicks & Rangers, magnified by the hyperactive press coverage given to Lin, the 2nd year player out of Harvard who is also the first Asian-American to be a starter for an NBA team, the handwriting was on the wall.

For TWC subscribers, the "Sports Pass" free preview, which enabled viewers to save $6 on channels like ESPN Classic, Fuel, & the CBS Sports Network, will soon come to an end, just as college baseball season heats up and college basketball & hockey wind down toward their post-seasons.

In the end, money talked, bulloney walked, and a weasel walked away like a thief in the night.

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