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MSG's Knicks Ratings Leap 82%, Even without Time Warner Cable Carriage

Despite its absence on Time Warner Cable systems, MSG Network is ringing up strong ratings with its coverage of the New York Knicks.
Through its first eight Knicks' telecasts of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 National Basketball Association season, MSG has averaged a 2.11 household rating in the New York DMA, according to Nielsen data. That's up 82% from the first eight contests of the 2010-11 campaign.
Six of MSG's eight Knicks' telecasts have occurred after Jan. 1, when the RSN, as well as sister service MSG Plus, disconnected from Time Warner Cable in a license fee dispute. The nation's No. 2 MSO counts some 2.3 million subscribers in the New York DMA and upstate New York, including 1.7 million in the Big Apple environs, meaning ratings for the retooled club likely would be substantially higher with a complete distribution roster.
MSG is also netting improvement with its presentations of the National Hockey League's New York Rangers. Over its first 37 Rangers' contests, MSG averaged a 0.87 household rating in the nation's largest DMA, scoring a 10% increase from a 0.79 at the same stage of the 2010-11 season. MSG has aired four Rangers games in the new year.
The parties, entrenched in their positions about the value and cost of the two RSNs, have not negotiated since late in 2011.