Cable Operators

The End of an Empire

1/21/2005 2:15 AM Eastern

Adelphia Communications Corp.-owned Empire Sports Network will shut its doors as of March 7, according to company executives.

Adelphia officials said financial losses were too great to continue operations at the 14-year-old regional sports network, which primarily featured Buffalo Sabres National Hockey League games.

Pending bankruptcy-court approval, Adelphia will move Sabres games to Madison Square Garden Network if and when the current NHL labor dispute is resolved.

 The network will lay off 36 people as part of the move, according to Tom Haywood, area vice president of operations for Adelphia. Haywood could not say how many subscribers Empire currently has.

Adelphia’s 400,000-subscriber Buffalo, N.Y.-area system will replace Empire with NFL Network, which offers some National Football League Buffalo Bills-related programming.

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