It seems that every year we have channels, venues, and cable service providers slugging it out over contract negotiations. This year it was between Madison Square Garden and Time Warner cable and the only ones to suffer were the 2 millionNew Yorksports fans who were unable to watch the Rangers while they were first in the NHL or take part of the Linsanity taking place since Jeremy Lin joined the NY Knicks. The blackout for Time Warner subscribers lasted from Jan. 1st until Feb. 17th until the drawn out negotiations ended. Now subscribers can get back to watching the New York Rangers, Islanders, Knicks, Buffalo Sabres, and the New Jersey Devils.
After missing Jeremy Lin,Chinatownand LES leaders rejoice over the settlement and seek to push new legislation to prevent further disruptions in the future. The bill, sponsored by Senators Tony Avella and Daniel Squadron would require cable providers to negotitate farily, and if necessary, submit to binding arbitration to determine the terms and conditions under which independent cable channels will be carried by providers. While they have urged the Senate Majority to take up the bill when Senate Session resumes on Feb. 28, they’ve planned for the worst. If the Majority doesn’t take up the bill, they can force a vote on the Senate floor 45 days after its introduction on March 2nd by collecting 38 signatures—a process which Squadron and Avella have already begun by circulating a petition amongst their colleagues.
“As Linsanity has taken hold inNew York, I’m glad that the insanity between Time Warner and MSG has come to an end,” said Squadron. “Now, we need to pass this bill and prevent future impasses that benefit companies at the cost of fans. Jeremy Lin is a once in a lifetime story. Let’s ensure that these cable standoffs are too.”
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