MSG Networks Jumps Into Streaming With DTC App, FAST Channel

Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks goes to the basket as Mike Muscala #57 of the Boston Celtics defends during the second half at Madison Square Garden on February 27, 2023 in New York City.
MSG Plus will give fans without pay TV service a chance to see Julius Randle (l.) and the Knicks in game action. (Image credit: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

MSG Networks said it is launching two new streaming products aimed at bringing its content to audiences beyond the pay TV universe.

It will be launching MSG Plus, a direct-to-consumer streaming product, this summer. It is also starting MSG SportsZone, a new free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel.

MSG’s moves come at a time when the regional sports network business is under pressure from cord-cutting, which has cut into their available audience. Bally Sports last year launched a direct-to-consumer app, as has NESN in Boston.

MSG SportsZone

(Image credit: MSG Networks)

“MSG Networks is delighted to be able to offer fans more ways to watch our compelling and award-winning content,” Andrea Greenberg, MSG Networks president and CEO, said.  

MSG Networks said that MSG Plus will enable fans in its region the ability to access its coverage of local National Basketball Association and National Hockey League teams. In greater New York City, its MSG and MSGSN channels carry the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. A separate feed targeted to upstate New York carries Buffalo Sabres games. 

Fans who do not subscribe to a pay-TV service can get MSG Plus for $29.99 a month or $309.99 a year and get access to all games shown on the networks in their area. Fans can also buy single games for $9.99 each through the app.   

MSG Plus will be made available free to pay TV subscribers, replacing the MSG Go TV everywhere app.

MSG SportsZone was recently launched nationally and features a mix of original programming from MSG’s content library. It is currently available on Vizio and Plex. 

“The introduction of MSG Plus this summer will be a significant milestone for our company and will offer a mix of subscription options for fans who do not subscribe to a traditional, bundled pay television subscription,” Greenberg said in a release. “MSG Plus will also provide significant value for our participating traditional distribution partners by offering access at no additional cost to their subscribers who receive our networks. In addition, we are pleased to introduce MSG SportsZone, a new platform that expands our reach nationally and provides us additional opportunities to monetize our archive and other non-game content.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.