TV Answer Man, I love the Knicks and I have Comcast Xfinity here in Connecticut which means we can’t watch their games. Do you know if Comcast will bring MSG back before the season starts this month? — Gary, Danbury, Connecticut.
Gary, Comcast on September 30, 2021 lost the MSG Networks in Connecticut and parts of New Jersey due to a carriage dispute. MSG and MSG+ are regional sports channels that have the local TV rights to the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.
The two sides have engaged in occasional finger-pointing since the dispute began with Comcast claiming that MSG Is asking for too much in carriage fees while the latter says the cable op refuses to pay what rival TV companies pay.
I predicted last December that this fee fight would continue throughout 2022 and it appears that will be the case. MSG told NJ.com last month that Comcast has no intention of bringing MSG back for the 2022-23 NHL and NBA seasons. (The NHL regular season starts on October 11 while the NBA season begins on October 18.)
“The NBA and NHL seasons are right around the corner, and unfortunately Comcast Xfinity subscribers will continue to miss out,” MSG Network told the site. “We urge affected Comcast fans to contact their Attorney General to get a full refund from Comcast for MSG Networks programming they are not receiving or switch providers.”
Both companies seem unwilling to move from their positions, and Comcast has a history of going without a regional sports network for an indefinite period of time. (The cable operator didn’t carry the ACC Network for two years before returning it last December 22. And it also didn’t have the Yes Network for 16 months before returning it in 2017.)
Comcast also less reason to compromise with every day that falls off the calendar. It’s been without MSG now for 10 weeks. Subscribers who would be angry enough to cancel probably have already done so, assuming they are not bottled up in a two-year agreement.
Gary, sorry I can’t be more hopeful. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann