Cable Technology Feature Article
May 11, 2009
Cablevision: We're Not Selling MSG
By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor
Yesterday – May 10 – marked an important anniversary for the pro basketball team that plays at Madison Square Garden, the Manhattan sports arena that’s been at its current location for more than four decades. (It was, in a past, pre-Robert Moses life, an attractive building on 50th Street, owned by Tex Rickard).
Thirty-six years ago yesterday, the New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers to win the second – and last – of their two NBA titles.
It was Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe (pictured below) versus LA’s Wilt Chamberlain. Willis Reed was still a full season from retirement.
Since then, and especially since Patrick Ewing and the Knicks parted ways, things have gone badly. The team hasn’t had a winning season since 2001, has drafted poorly, has attracted prima donna players and hostile coaches, and now – despite a promising coach and some young talent – pins its hopes on acquiring mega-star Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers once his contract there expires.
The Knicks – no matter what a transplanted Canadian may tell you (the NHL’s New York Rangers call MSG “home”) – are the arena’s primary residents, so it may sound like a good idea for MSG’s owner, the Cablevision Systems Corporation, to look at selling off the asset.
That’s exactly what Cablevision said it was considering last week: spinning off its MSG assets to shareholders.
Today, the Bethpage, New York-based telecom back-pedaled.
“The company feels it should make clear that it is not considering the sale of MSG, any of MSG’s businesses or any other Cablevision business at this time,” a statement from the company says.
To be sure, the company has other priorities right now.
This month, Cablevision unveiled new high-speed Internet and WiFi services that industry insiders immediately called a game-changer. “Optimum (News - Alert) Online Ultra,” the nation’s first 101 megabits per second service, will cost customers $100 per month.
TMC President Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) says the company’s broadband service is “among the best values in broadband access in the country.”
“(I) have nothing but praise for a company that not only provides broadband at $1/Mbps but throws in free WiFi to boot,” Tehrani said.
We’ll see how the service goes. It launches today.
In the meantime, the Knicks are probably hoping – though it’s not looking good – that Lebron and the Cavs stumble in this year’s playoffs. Though he’s a confessed New York Yankees fan, how could “King James,” as he’s known, leave Cleveland if the team wins a championship this season? He probably won’t.
On second thought: Go Rangers.
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan