No Knicks and Mets for You!

Decisions by Time Warner Cable in New York lead the blog today.

In New York City, fans of the Knicks and Mets will not be able to see their games for the time being as Time Warner Cable removed both Fox Sports Net and MSG Network from its lineup. In their place, CSTV and NBA TV, but they hardly replace the local programming both channels provided. The whole dispute comes down to money. Time Warner says parent company of FSN and MSG, Cablevision, is demanding too much money. Cablevision says the money is fair. Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News has the overall story.

The fans are the ones who get screwed in all of this. Unless the two sides can come to an agreement, Knicks fans will not be able to see tonight’s game and the first of five Mets exhibition games will be blacked this week. In his media column, Raissman says the shoe is now on the other foot for Cablevision and CEO James Dolan. Yankees fans can remember the dispute between the YES Network and Dolan before the two sides came to an agreement just before the regular season two years ago. Time Warner has some leverage knowing that it has a Mets channel coming next season so it can afford to wait.

Fans in Buffalo already know this, but if you have the Sports Pack on DirecTV and you flip to channel 626, Empire Sports Network, you’ll see a slide that states the channel no longer exists. Empire went dark at midnight Monday. One of the factors was the NHL lockout and another problem was the channel being dropped by Time Warner (there’s that name again). MSG Network will take over the contract to air Buffalo Sabres games when the lockout is resolved. A story from Buffalo Business First tells of the decision by parent company Adelphia to pull the plug on Empire. The NFL Network has replaced Empire on Time Warner Cable in upstate New York.

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune has a good story on the various coaches TV shows from across the country. Greenstein notes that coaches very rarely field difficult questions from their hosts. These shows are hardly groundbreaking as the questions are usually softballs and the hosts are usually the play-by-play announcers for the team.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reviews the Ford Championship at Doral on NBC. Sandomir actually timed the amount of airtime dedicated to both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. He found that Woods was on more than Mickelson, but that is to be expected. Sandomir also notes that NBC is in a position to renew its contract with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes after this year.

And according to the overnight ratings, “The Contender”, NBC’s reality show about 16 boxers finished last in its timeslot last night. The show was cursed from the beginning as one of its cast, committed suicide last month.

More news, if warranted, later today.