Let me start by apologizing if I'm digging up a dead horse to continue beating it. I'm frustrated and hoping to help build some momentum for the cause.
From what I'm hearing, it sounds like I will be missing out on the home opener tonight, as a fan in Albany. I realize there is some sort of agreement in place that causes the games to be blacked out/preempted by Buffalo Sabres games. Whoever proposed/signed off on that should seriously lose their job.
Market research or whatever other reasons I've heard to this point are not acceptable. Right now, the NBA is on strike, leaving the Rangers as the only major team calling the facility the network is named for home. There are three channels (although only 2 offered here) for crying out loud, and yet it won't be televised?
Sure, they are affiliates with the Devils, Islanders and Sabres. And they're trying to bring in revenue, giving the majority (not so certain that's the case) of their audience the coverage they want. Buffalo had an opportunity to move their minor league team to Albany and didn't. Some support, huh? New Jersey did, and at the pre-season game, the crowd heavily favored the Rangers.
I still maintain that it's utterly ridiculous to put a different team on than one native to "MSG" regardless of your geographic location. Teams that can afford their own networks should have priority on said network. Could you imagine a Mets game on YES Network while a Yankees game was going on? Or a Red Sox game? It's really a mixed audience here, Albany is not far from Massachusetts or Vermont, and I don't think twice to consider it "New England" especially compared to Connecticut or points south. You would be institutionalized if you tried to do that.
I was recently recommended to a Facebook page (disclaimer: it's not mine!) called "We Want the New York Rangers on MSG" and thought I would make a plea here to fellow frustrated fans and any sympathizers to organize. The only way to end this beyond waiting out the contract is to get enough people to open some eyes.
It seems brand new and I thought I would help spread the word. If there's already an organized approach taking this issue on, please let me know! Thanks for hearing me out!