The Cold, Hard Numbers: Time-Warner Cable and MSG Network’s Knicks Outage

jeremy lin sad tired upset The Cold, Hard Numbers: Time Warner Cable and MSG Networks Knicks Outage

Here’s the thing about New York City and Linsanity: We can feel it. We know it’s there. But we can’t see it. Since the beginning of the year, subscribers of Time-Warner Cable—New York City’s largest cable provider—have been blacked out of watching a majority of the New York Knicks games. The reason? A licensing fee dispute between TWC and Madison Square Garden Entertainment, the company that owns the Knicks and the channel they’re on, The MSG Network.

Before, New Yorkers were pissed. Now that their home team stumbled upon the NBA’s largest sensation since the professional debut of LeBron James, they’re furious, because as of today, the blackout is still ongoing.

These are the numbers behind it:

DAYS GO BY

  • Days that Time-Warner Cable Subscribers Have Been Without MSG Channel: 47 days.
  • Days since Jeremy Lin’s first star-making Knicks game on Feb. 4: 12 days.
  • Games since Jeremy Lin’s first star-making Knicks game on Feb. 4: 7 games.

 
ON THE OUTS

  • Estimated number of New York City’s TWC subscribers: 2.8 Million subscribers.
  • Number of Knicks games TWC subscribers will have missed in February without Time Warner Cable: 11 Knicks games.
  • Number of Knicks games TWC subscribers can see if February without Time Warner Cable: 4 Knicks games.
  • Number of New York Knicks, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers games missed by Time-Warner Subscribers as of today: 147 Knicks, Devils, Islanders, and Rangers games.

 
THE DISPUTE

  • Subscription fee increase Time-Warner Cable claims MSG initially agreed on: 6.5% fee increase
  • Subscription fee increase Time-Warner Cable claims MSG ended up asking for: 53% fee increase.
  • Subscription fee increase ESPN asked for in 2011: 7.88% (or $5.06) fee increase.

 
THE APOLOGIES?

  • Number of Days since city comptroller Jonathan Liu lobbied for a reimbursement for TWC customers: 44 Days.
  • TWC customer reimbursement fee city comptroller Jonathan Liu lobbied for: $5.95.
  • TWC customer reimbursements TWC customers have actually seen: $0.00.
  • Value of two-month “sports package” TWC gave customers after MSG outage: $5.95/Month, for two months.
  • Amount one guy who complained to Time-Warner Cable enough got reimbursed for the Knicks outage: $2.60/Month, for two months.

 
SCALPER’S DELIGHT

  • Percentage of New York Knicks ticket price increase in weeks following Carmello Anthony’s 2011 trade to team: 25% ticket price increase.
  • Percentage of New York Knicks ticket price increase in weeks following Jeremy Lin’s breakout game: 33% ticket price increase.

 
$MSG‘s WINNING STREAK

  • Stock movement of $MSG since TWC-MSG outage started: 11.59% stock increase.
  • Stock movement of $MSG since Jeremy Lin’s breakout game: 3.36% stock increase*.

 
$TWC‘s WINNING STREAK

  • Stock movement of $TWC since TWC-MSG outage started: 20.53% stock increase.
  • Stock movement of $MSG since Jeremy Lin’s breakout game: 11.18% stock increase*.
  • Estimated stock gains* Charles Dolan—MSG’s largest shareholder—has made since Jeremy Lin’s breakout game: $19.78 Million in Stock Gains.

 
WHAT’S LIN GOT TO DO WITH IT?

  • Number of points Jeremy Lin has scored for New York Knicks in first five starts: 136 Points (or the most by any player since the ABA and NBA merged in 1976).
  • How much Jeremy Lin is getting paid: $762,195, or the minimum for an NBA player in his second year.

 
[*As of 02/15/2012, with data provided by Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images.]

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek

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