MSGN, FSNY Back on Time Warner Systems


The New York Mets will play ball once again on Time Warner Cable systems, as the MSO reached an "interim" deal with Cablevision Systems Corp. that returns Madison Square Garden Network and Fox Sports New York to Time Warner's area systems.

With an assist from New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, a temporary agreement between Time Warner and Cablevision was reached Wednesday, immediately returning MSGN, FSNY, the MetroChannels and the three Fox Sports digital networks to Time Warner Cable customers in the New York City area and upstate New York.

The networks had been off Time Warner systems since Aug. 1 due to a contract dispute. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Time Warner switched on MSGN and FSNY around 6 p.m. (EST) Wednesday -- in time for MSGN's Mets-Houston Astros game, according to sources close to the situation.

In a joint statement, Time Warner and MSG Networks said they "will continue to work toward a new long-term agreement” and they "appreciate the efforts of Elliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney General, for once again putting the citizens of New York first in helping to negotiate a difficult business matter."

It's unclear when Spitzer entered the negotiations or what deal he was able to arbitrate between the two sides. Representatives from Spitzer's office could not be reached for comment at press time.

Time Warner officials said the MSO would offer prorated customer rebates for the time the sports channels were off the air. Time Warner proposed a $2-per-month rebate for the loss of MSGN and FSNY and $1.95 for the removal of three Fox Sports digital networks.

Time Warner also said it would move the MetroChannels from its basic lineup to its digital-cable tier.