Time Warner Cable throws ball back at MSG in retrans row

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 19-12-2011

In the latest of a retrans battle that has been lasting nearly two years, Time Warner Cable (TWC) has agreed to pay MSG the original asking price to carry its sports channels.
And in what could be a propaganda coup to win hearts and minds of fans of the sports channel, TWC has reiterated its pledge to not take MSG off the air through the NHL and NBA seasons.
TWC claims that after pulling their original demand for a 6.5% increase in fees off the table, MSG was demanding a 53% increase in fees over what it paid in 2011.

Going on the offensive and presenting itself as the sports fans’ friend TWC said it was hopeful that MSG would “put fans first” and “do the right thing” for their viewers and our customers. "We will not remove MSG/MSG+ from our New York cable systems,” said Mike Angus, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisition for Time Warner Cable. “That ball is in MSG’s court, so these channels will come off only if MSG pulls the plug…Time Warner Cable and our customers have stood by MSG and its teams through thick and thin…Our customers have paid whether the teams won or lost; they deserve better."
In an open letter to MSG Media President Michael Bair, Angus stressed that programming costs were e skyrocketing and that TWC was “working work very hard to negotiate lower fee increases to keep our customers’ bills as reasonable as possible”. The bottom line though, Angus declared, was that a 53% rise was not reasonable.
“Asking our customers to pay millions for a channel they clearly don’t want and don’t value is nothing more than a tax on New York sports fans…I doubt many of our customers got a 53% raise this year," the high paid executive Angus added, somewhat unhelpfully for negotiations.