Conversation With A Vampire

So, it is 2012. This means that Time Warner Cable subscribers in Western NY, such as myself, no longer have MSG. No MSG, means no Buffalo Sabres broadcasts.

Unfortunately, for my situation, I cannot switch to DirecTV, as my current residence holds an exclusive contract with Time Warner. Verizon FIOS is not available in my area. Furthermore, my hours at work do not allow me to visit a local watering hole to see the broadcasts. Subscribing to Center Ice will not resolve the issue, as MSG holds the broadcasting rights to Sabres games in my area. This all comes at a time when Time Warner recently raised the cost of my service, AGAIN.

Looks like it is back to the old days of my childhood – listening to the games on radio. Just when I thought our technology had progressed enough for this to not be an issue! Hopefully, I can catch some streams online as well. Tonight, for the first time in 13 years, I will not be viewing a Sabres game.

Below, is an online conversation I had with a TWC employee an hour ago. The employee was polite, and empathetic, but there is no foreseeable resolution in sight.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:33:10 EST 2012)>

Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable. At the end of our chat
you will be given the option of taking a brief survey. My name is *****.
Please give me a moment while I access your account.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:33:28 EST 2012)>

Could you please elaborate on the issue?

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:33:34 EST 2012)>


Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:34:04 EST 2012)>

This morning, before leaving for work, I tried to set my DVR to record
tonights Buffalo Sabres game on MSG.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:34:20 EST 2012)>

But, there appeared to no longer be an MSG channel.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:34:25 EST 2012)>

Why is this?

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:35:14 EST 2012)>

I will be glad to assist you.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:36:01 EST 2012)>

The decision to take MSG away from our customers was MSG’s and MSG’s alone.
We value sports and understand that costs are rising.
We’re willing to pay the increase MSG originally wanted to prevent them
from shutting the channels off while we continue to negotiate. MSG refused.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:37:06 EST 2012)>

Okay. So, you will no longer be carrying MSG?

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:37:20 EST 2012)>


Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:37:55 EST 2012)>

Unfortunately, one of the only things I watch on television is Buffalo
Sabres games.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:38:05 EST 2012)>

I understand your concern.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:38:19 EST 2012)>

MSG is asking for a 53% increase in the price we currently pay.
Our company buys sports rights all across the country, and that’s way
out of line.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:38:27 EST 2012)>

Even without MSG, TWC customers can find 40 percent of Knicks games,
30 percent of Rangers games, 20 percent of Sabres games and some Devils
games elsewhere on our lineup – we’ll help you find them
(ESPN, NBC/Versus, YES, etc.). A list of those games can be found at
our website, .

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:38:37 EST 2012)>

If there is not going to be any Buffalo Sabres programming with you guys,
I will have little reason to maintain my cable service.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:39:08 EST 2012)>

I do not watch 20% of Sabres games. I have watched EVERY Sabres game since
1998, whether it be in person or on television.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:39:26 EST 2012)>

All providers eventually face the same kind of choices.
In fact, according to published reports, Dish Network dropped Fuse in
July 2010 and MSG in September 2010. We understand that you love your
sports programming, but ask you to stand with us on this tough issue.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:39:53 EST 2012)>

I have never had Dish, and never would. I have always had TWC or DTV.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:40:49 EST 2012)>

I am going to take a guess here...Even if I pay you guys extra for
Center Ice, I still wont be able to see Sabres games?

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:42:07 EST 2012)>

I am sorry but we do not carry MSG on our network now.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:42:44 EST 2012)>

I saw that this morning.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:43:08 EST 2012)>

But, if I pay you guys for Center Ice, will I be able to watch Buffalo
Sabres games?

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:45:21 EST 2012)>

Please access he below link of Center Ice.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:45:22 EST 2012)>


TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:45:38 EST 2012)>

Also access the below link to view the schedule of the games.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:45:47 EST 2012)>

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:46:30 EST 2012)>

It says "out of market" games. Which means the answer is no.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:47:44 EST 2012)>

Well, if it means anything, feel free to pass on my frustration to
your superiors, or someone who might care - if I cannot get Sabres on
TWC, I will likely be cancelling my service with you very shortly.
Buffalo Sabres games are basically the only thing that I watch on television.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:49:12 EST 2012)>

I do not care about the logistics behind why it is no longer being provided,
all I care about is watching the games after work. I have watched every game
since 1998, and now suddenly, I am not going to see the game tonight.
This angers me beyond belief.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:50:16 EST 2012)>

I understand your concern and would have felt the same being in your place.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:50:35 EST 2012)>

We aren’t dropping them, it was MSG Networks who pulled the plug on
Time Warner Cable customers and we regret that they have taken away
their sports programming.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:55:10 EST 2012)>

I know, you said that. Unfortunately, I do not pay MSG a monthly service
charge - I pay Time Warner.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:56:14 EST 2012)>

I understand your concern.

Andrew_(Tue Jan 3 10:56:49 EST 2012)>

I assume that if I contact MSG, they will just prompt me to go back to
having DirecTV.

TWC(Tue Jan 3 10:57:20 EST 2012)>

Ask them to negotiate in good faith with reasonable proposals that put
the fans first and enables TWC to carry their programming at a reasonable
cost to customers. Contact them at 212-465-MSG1 (6741) or via e-mail
at [email protected] .


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