BUFFALO, N.Y. - MSG Networks and the Buffalo Sabres announced Sunday that they will make the February 11th Sabres vs. Lightning game available to fans who have been shutout of watching their favorite team after Time Warner Cable dropped MSG and MSG+ from their channel lineup back on January 1st.
MSG's coverage of the game will now be telecast right here on Channel 2 and WHEC in Rochester, along with a full pregame and postgame show.
"We are pleased that we have been able to work with WGRZ-TV, WHEC-TV and the Sabres to deliver this game to Sabres fans, who are among the most loyal and passionate in the NHL," said Dan Ronayne, executive vice president and general manager, MSG Networks. "It is extremely unfortunate that the fans have been caught in the middle of this dispute and we continue to urge them to switch TV providers so they don't miss any additional games."
"We are glad that MSG has found a way to offer this Sabres game to our fans on local television," said Ted Black, president, Buffalo Sabres. "We realize that fans have been in a tough spot since January 1st and we are hopeful that Time Warner Cable will engage in meaningful negotiations with MSG so that a deal can be reached to bring MSG's networks and our games back to Time Warner Cable customers."
"2 On Your Side is thrilled to work with the Sabres and MSG to bring all of Western New York and Southern Ontario, this game on Saturday night," said Jim Toellner, president and general manager, WGRZ-TV. "We all know that Sabres fans truly make this town 'hockey heaven' and we are excited to facilitate this event as the team fights for the playoffs."
Derek Dalton, vice president and general manager, WHEC-TV said, "The Sabres are such a fan favorite in Rochester, News10NBC is excited to provide this coverage during such a crucial time in the season. We appreciate the opportunity to work with both the Sabres and MSG."
In an effort to provide Sabres fans with the opportunity to view as many games as possible in spite of this dispute, MSG has hosted numerous viewing parties in the Buffalo area since January. These have taken place in various sports bars, as well as the First Niagara Center and included free food, team merchandise giveaways, and ticket giveaways.
This results from the recent dispute between Time Warner Cable and MSG. Time Warner says they offered MSG a 6.5% increase in what they pay them to get the channel. They claim MSG countered by asking for a 53% increase.
A spokesperson for MSG told Two On Your Side "we've said all along, and been printed all the time, that TWC's claim of MSG asking for 53 percent increase is 'grossly inaccurate.'
The two sides did meet with the State Attorney General but no progress has been made so far.