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Comcast v. MSG: A Blood Feud


Here we are, almost a hockey season later, and MSG Networks is still firing shots at Comcast. Most notably, 30 second spots which, one would think, could otherwise be used for more advertising revenue. No matter, MSG is, apparently so torqued at Comcast for dumping them, this feud is likely to fester; like Olczyk v. Keenan.

Although the timing on this isn't great, with a playoff series at its peak and, seemingly, not much interest on this subject anyway, a few thoughts, I believe, are still in order.

At this point, MSG needs to get over it and move on. I think the primary reason for their beef, is that Comcast has messed with their business model. Clearly, MSG would rather have their product included with a broader service, rather than as a separate streaming package. Who broader than Comcast ?

Consider this, Mr./Mrs. Ranger/Knick fan, wouldn't it be preferable to pick up MSG Network as a separate service on Roku, Rather than have to subscribe to Fubo, DirectTV, et al ? The problem with this from MSG's standpoint is that most subscribers would dump MSG Network in the summer and risk missing out on the drama of a tennis match from 1996 or the undeniable appeal of 'The Bettor Half Hour'. As soon as the playoffs end for the Rangers or Knicks (cue the Jim Mora audio), the service is cancelled...til about late September or so (with apologies to Red Bull fans).

So it's no wonder MSG Networks is throwing this Dolan-esque tantrum after getting dumped like a geek before prom. That being said, MSG has stated several times that it would be willing to offer itself as a separate streaming service like, for example, TNT. Here is one article that discusses this:

https://thestreamable.com/news/msg-network-plans-to-launch-in-market-streaming-service-by-end-of-year

But will they ?

For years, it's been speculated that TV viewing services will be done a la carte. It's definitely better for the consumer, as he/she pays for only what they want. It should be better for the networks themselves not to be beholden to larger providers (Comcast, Optimum, Dish, et al).

But, apparently, due to some alternative circumstances, it doesn't seem to work for MSG.