Updated 02/18/2012 11:14 AM
Deal Brings MSG Back To Time Warner Cable, But Knicks Return With A Loss
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Time Warner Cable viewers in New York City who had been waiting for their first look at "Lin-sanity" will have to wait a little longer for a win.
Time Warner Cable and MSG reached a verbal agreement Friday afternoon to end a month-and-a-half-long viewer blackout for about two million subscribers, but the New York Knicks fell flat in their return to TWC with an 89-85 loss to the New Orleans Hornets at the Garden.
Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin had 26 points but the team was hampered by poor three-point and free-throw shooting as the Hornets jumped out to a 14-point first-quarter lead and never looked back.
Before Friday's deal, MSG and MSG Plus had been unavailable to Time Warner Cable customers since New Year's Day, when the companies failed to reach a new agreement on carriage fees.
Friday's deal also means Time Warner Cable customers can once again see games with the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, as well as the music channel Fuse.
The heat had increased on both media companies as the little-known Lin took over the Knicks' point guard duties and led the struggling team on a 7-0 run. On Friday the Associated Press cited a source close to the negotiations who said that Lin's successful run, along with the Rangers' recent high-caliber play, forced the deal.
While Lin will have to wait a little longer for his first win on Time Warner Cable, fans waiting to see Friday's Knicks game said they were grateful for the deal and grateful for how Lin has bolstered a formerly lackluster team.
"It's very exciting. It's been about 15 years since I've had this much excitement watching the Knicks," said a fan.
"Obviously as an Asian-American, I identify with him, but a lot of it also has to do with the fact that he's just made some amazing plays, highlight reel stuff that you can't help but cheer for," said another.
"I got three words: thank you, Lin!" said a third fan.
In statements on Friday, both Time Warner Cable and MSG Media would not release the details of the agreement, but they thanked Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and NBA Commissioner David Stern for helping their negotiations.
Earlier in the day, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also sent a letter to Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan and Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, asking the two companies to reach an agreement.
Time Warner Cable is the parent company of NY1.