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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Rochester, NY where FIOS is not available and Both Dish Network and Time Warner have lost MSG network feeds through failed negotiations. The only carrier left is Direct TV and I am considering switching in order to continue watching Sabres games. The concern that I have is that Direct TV is refusing to disclose whether their current contract with MSG will be coming up for renewal within the next two years and that leads me to believe that it probably is. I would switch over today if they would just assure me that they will be carrying MSG for the length of my contract with them but they are being very evasive and claim that they don't have that information. MSG has also not yet responded to emails. Why so secretive about the length of the contract? I'm not looking for specific terms, just some reassurance that I won't be held hostage with ETF's if MSG decides to use the same negotiating tactics with Direct TV when the current agreement expires. I would think that it would be a great advertising tool to announce to all of the current Time Warner customers that they won't have to worry about loosing MSG during their commitment if they make the switch. Does anyone out there have any knowledge of the current situation or contract that DTV has with MSG?

Sorry if this is a duplicate thread. I mistakenly posted this question in the Dish Network GD forum first.

Thanks
 

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The CSR on the phone probably isn't being evasive, they just don't have access to information about the actual contract between Directv and MSG Networks.

Contract information is often held fairly private in the TV business, so it isn't always easy to find. However, a quick Google search found this article from December 2009 indicating that Directv and Rainbow Media had signed a new contract for MSG. It doesn't give an end date, but most of these contracts are fairly short. I wouldn't be surprised if it expires December 2012.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's my concern. I'm guessing it was a 2 year deal and could potentially end halfway through a new residential contract. And with the way that MSG has been strong arming other carriers there is a real risk of seeing them pull their programming from DTV as well. At the moment, there is no other way to watch Sabres games on TV and I would hate to be in the same situation a year from now with the addition of a DTV contract and ETF's.
 

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"trh" said:
What about some of the online options like NHL GameCenter?
Would not help if you are trying to watch your in-market teams. DirecTV has had a good track record with most channels. It made a deal with News Corp. for a bunch of channels, despite a public dispute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
trh said:
What about some of the online options like NHL GameCenter?
I prefer to have it on TV in HD but Gamecenter is an option. Last time I checked though, it was an additional $160 / Yr and I'd like to have everything in one place for one price. However, if it was the only option left I'd definitely spring for it.
 

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NHL's GameCenter Live is not an option - Sabres games will be blacked out for you in Rochester (I am in Rochester and have it). I too kinda wish they just published contract end dates, but can see from a business perspective why they don't (especially cable companies, which don't lock customers in).

Gotta hope for Pegula to find an "out" clause in the Sabres contract with MSG, and that he finds the $$$ to start a "Sabres Network" a la Empire Sports Network. He does have close ties to Rochester and really seemed dedicated to marketing the Sabres as a WNY team, so I'd imagine with DirecTV the only option for Rochestarians, he's likely not happy right now.
 

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"Jason6787" said:
NHL's GameCenter Live is not an option - Sabres games will be blacked out for you in Rochester (I am in Rochester and have it). I too kinda wish they just published contract end dates, but can see from a business perspective why they don't (especially cable companies, which don't lock customers in).

Gotta hope for Pegula to find an "out" clause in the Sabres contract with MSG, and that he finds the $$$ to start a "Sabres Network" a la Empire Sports Network. He does have close ties to Rochester and really seemed dedicated to marketing the Sabres as a WNY team, so I'd imagine with DirecTV the only option for Rochestarians, he's likely not happy right now.
No out clauses for conflicts like this. Wasn't Golisano a Rochester guy as well? I remember the Sabres played a regular-season game there several years ago. There are options, but involves going to copyright-infringing streaming sites and hope you don't get a virus or spyware.
 

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The way Pegula likes to throw his money around he'd get out of the MSG deal if he wanted to. Black is the tv guy of the pair. He ran FSN Pittsburgh for a couple of years.

Having said that, Directv's goal is to be the leader in sports. If there is a deal to be made with MSG, they'll make it (when the time comes). IMO there isnt anyone who wants to be that big of a player in sports (whereas TW didnt have that comittment) who would let their subs not see that many pro teams (Ranger, Devils, Sabres, Knicks, etc).
 

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Xsabresx said:
The way Pegula likes to throw his money around he'd get out of the MSG deal if he wanted to. Black is the tv guy of the pair. He ran FSN Pittsburgh for a couple of years.

Having said that, Directv's goal is to be the leader in sports. If there is a deal to be made with MSG, they'll make it (when the time comes). IMO there isnt anyone who wants to be that big of a player in sports (whereas TW didnt have that comittment) who would let their subs not see that many pro teams (Ranger, Devils, Sabres, Knicks, etc).
I guess you don't see the ridiculous blackouts, in upper New York State, from MSG, in regards to hockey.
 

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We don't get access to contract talks, but I read somewhere a few months ago that MSG/Sports Net NY deals were up in 2014 but like I said I could be wrong. D* does have a good track record when it comes to negotiating sports channel deals, since that is who they cater to the most. I would say make the plunge with confidence tbh.
 

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Xsabresx said:
The way Pegula likes to throw his money around he'd get out of the MSG deal if he wanted to. Black is the tv guy of the pair. He ran FSN Pittsburgh for a couple of years.

Having said that, Directv's goal is to be the leader in sports. If there is a deal to be made with MSG, they'll make it (when the time comes). IMO there isnt anyone who wants to be that big of a player in sports (whereas TW didnt have that comittment) who would let their subs not see that many pro teams (Ranger, Devils, Sabres, Knicks, etc).
I hope Pegula does set up his own RSN and put some heat on MSG. There needs to be some competition, here in New York State, so we can get a better product and less blackouts.
 

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"PrinceLH" said:
I hope Pegula does set up his own RSN and put some heat on MSG. There needs to be some competition, here in New York State, so we can get a better product and less blackouts.
There is plenty of competition in New York with YES and SNY.nothing will happen until the current TV deal is over. Any notion that the Sabres enter would just buy the TV contract out is ludicrous.
 

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I wouldn't say "ludicrous", but probably unlikely there is an "out". He did work his way out of the affiliation contract with Portland of the AHL a year early to re-affiliate with Rochester. And while I don't know much about the contracts, I wouldn't be completely shocked if there was some sort of term that the network must reach X number of homes, although I'm sure there'd be provisions to protect the network in these situations. I do know that the Sabres contract with MSG is a little different, in that the Sabres retained rights/ownership of the broadcasts under their "Sabres Network" company. And you know the saying, "money talks..." :)

As for the blackouts with the own-RSN - that won't change anything - blackout rules are set by the league.

I'm on DirecTV and very happy with them, so luckily, this doesn't affect me (at least yet). As others mentioned, D* has a pretty good record on contract negotiations, especially when it comes to sports networks, but the taste of the Versus dispute a year or two ago that led to that being off D* for something like 8 or 9 months is still a scab that hasn't healed for me...
 

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I just asked a twc rep for any updates and she said theyre still negotiating, but msg's 53% price increase is a world away from a deal. When i stated my interest in direct tv as an alternative she told me that there deal is also up for negotiation in the next three months. That would be terrible to get direct and then watch msg get pulled while i'm locked in for two years with no sabres. Someone said earlier that the hockey packages will block your games. I dont understand why the nhl center ice package would block you from local team games when its offered through twc, as an addition to your already established programming?
 

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They are blacked out on the NHL Gamecenter Live package (Computer/iPad/PS3) cause they want to force you to watch it on TV (Gamecenter Live doesn't usually show the commercials, just a "Game will resume shortly" message).

The NHL Center Ice package sold by Time Warner is different - I'm not certain, but I'm guessing they aren't allowed the MSG feeds in that package either (but I'm not positive) during contract issues like this. Again, due to NHL restrictions, you aren't allowed access to the other team's feed for your market team (i.e. if they are playing Boston, you don't get access to the NESN feed), so you wouldn't get that "consolation prize".

I'd be surprised if the Time Warner rep actually knows the details of the DirecTV deal with MSG, I think that was just a line to feed people to scare them into staying, but not sure any of us truly know. Agreed it would suck to switch, then see it pulled from D* so soon.
 

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Besides "up within the next three months" means that Directv signed a contract of a funky length. The new contract was signed 1/1/10. Seems odd that it would be a 27month deal.


Also Center Ice, Sunday Ticket, Extra Innings, and NBA League pass will always black out the local game because your local RSN carries it. For example, FSSW is my local RSN. When the Stars play on FSSW I dont get the game on CI, I have to watch it on FSSW. Same with the Spurs on League Pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
MattScahum said:
We don't get access to contract talks, but I read somewhere a few months ago that MSG/Sports Net NY deals were up in 2014 but like I said I could be wrong. D* does have a good track record when it comes to negotiating sports channel deals, since that is who they cater to the most. I would say make the plunge with confidence tbh.
2014 would be perfect and a great selling point for DTV to target those TW customers like me that are reluctant to take the leap. All they would have to advertise is that they are contracted for at least the next two years and really wouldn't have to disclose any specific terms. With a little reassurance they could really take a big bite out of TW's customer base and then try to hold on to us all with their amazing product and "outstanding customer service"...:hurah:
 
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