Time for a Garden Party, If They’ll Have It

While the football Giants will claim lots of attention in the coming days as they prepare to face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, let’s not forget that there are a couple of other New York teams in action these days. The Knicks’ season is in full swing after the long lockout, and the Rangers look like they will be strong contenders for this year’s Stanley Cup.

This time of year should be heaven on earth for New York sports fans. But thanks to a dispute over fees between the MSG networks and Time Warner, some 1.7 million New Yorkers—many of them in Manhattan—have been unable to watch the Knicks or Rangers (not to mention the Islanders and the Devils) on TV.

The dispute, of course, is over money. MSG wants to charge more; Time Warner doesn’t want to pay more. The conflict is so bitter that the two sides apparently can’t even agree on just how much more MSG wants to charge Time Warner. (The cable carrier says MSG asked for a 53 percent increase, but MSG vehemently denies it.)

While the two companies attack each other in newspaper ads, many fans in Manhattans find themselves staring at a blank screen on game nights. True, the Knicks haven’t been worth watching during their recent losing streak, but still, winter without the Knicks and Rangers? It’s unthinkable.

Time Warner and MSG need to figure this one out, fast.

Time for a Garden Party, If They’ll Have It