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MSG Says That Comcast Owes Customers Money in Carriage Dispute

Jason Gurwin

MSG Networks has been dark on Comcast for nearly a month, after failing to reach a new deal to carry the Regional Sports Network. As a result, MSG and MSG+, which carry New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, and New York Red Bulls, is not currently available to Comcast customers in New Jersey and Connecticut.

In a statement today, MSG Networks said that Comcast should rebate customers money for the “more than $10 a month” they are being charged for “content they are not getting.” Comcast does still offer YES Network and SportsNet NY in the relevant markets.

“Comcast shut off MSG Networks nearly a month ago but is charging its Xfinity customers in the Tri-State area more than $10 a month for content they’re not getting. Comcast shouldn’t get to pad its bottom line at the expense of frustrated sports fans — it’s time to ask when they’ll do the right thing and restore the channels or rebate all their customers’ money. Xfinity customers should call Comcast now and demand an answer.”

Fortunately, there are options for those who want to stream MSG and MSG+.

For $69.99 a month, after a 7-Day Free Trial, fuboTV offers MSG as part of their base plan. MSG and MSG+ are also available with DIRECTV STREAM “Choice Plan”, which is available for $84.99 a month, which you can try for 14-Days Risk Free.

Both services also offer SportsNet NY in New York, but only DIRECTV STREAM carries YES Network.

MSG is not available on YouTube TV, Sling TV, or Hulu Live TV. You also can’t use out-of-market packages like NHL.TV, which is now included in ESPN+, or NBA League Pass. Locally televised games will be blacked out by those out-of-market services.

MSG says that as a result of the blackout, customers have already missed “more than 30 games this month – 6 Knicks, 10 Rangers, 7 Islanders, 8 Devils, and 3 Red Bulls.”

Upon dropping the channels, Comcast said “We don’t believe that our customers should have to pay the millions of dollars in fees that MSG is demanding for some of the most expensive sports content in the country with extremely low viewership in our markets.”

At the same time, MSG Networks said that Comcast “rejected proposals that are consistent with their current deal” and that Comcast is attempting to “force us to accept terms they’d never agree to for their own regional sports networks, including SNY in New York.” The two sides were unable to agree to a temporary extension, which MSG says was offered “under existing terms.”

So how long might this last? Comcast previously dispute with YES Network, which carries New York Yankees games – which lasted from mid-2015 to early 2017.

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