MSG Plus

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MSG Plus
Msg plus.png
Launched 1976
(as Cablevision Sports 3)
Owned by The Madison Square Garden Company
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area New York State
New York metropolitan area
Nationwide (via satellite)
Headquarters New York City, New York
Formerly called Cablevision Sports 3 (1976–1979)
SportsChannel New York (1979–1998)
Fox Sports New York (1998–2000)
Fox Sports Net New York (2000–2004)
FSN New York (2004–2008)
Sister channel(s) MSG Network
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 635 (HD/SD)
MSG Plus 2:
637-1 (HD)
637 (SD)
Cable
Available on select cable systems Check local listings for channels
Verizon FiOS 580 (HD)
80 (SD)
MSG Plus 2:
579 (HD)
81 (SD)

MSG Plus (known on air as MSG+) is an American regional sports network serving the New York City metropolitan area, whose reach expands to cover the entire state of New York, Northern New Jersey, Southwestern Connecticut, and Northeastern Pennsylvania. It is operated by Madison Square Garden, Inc. under the banner of MSG Media, and is a sister network to MSG Network. MSG+ holds broadcast rights to the NHL's New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, and MLL's New York Lizards.

MSG+ also serves an overflow feed in the event multiple local teams that would be shown on MSG are playing at the same time, much like MSG does for MSG+. MSG's teams which may also appear as MSG+ telecast are the NHL's New York Rangers and MLS's New York Red Bulls. In most of upstate New York, MSG+ carries a large portion of Buffalo Sabres games.

MSG is also the television home of the NBA's New York Knicks, WNBA's New York Liberty, and the Sabres. Although MSG has nine broadcasting zones, MSG+ has only eight. The one remaining zone is the Northwest Region of Pennsylvania, where MSG+ is not available, and all Buffalo Sabres games play on the main MSG channel (Knicks games and other hockey games not involving the Sabres are blacked out in this region). Until recently, Western New York also did not receive MSG+, and any conflict with the Sabres and Knicks (again, other hockey games are blacked out in this zone) was resolved by placing the Knicks on an overflow channel such as Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

History[edit]

SportsChannel New York[edit]

MSG+ was originally launched as Cablevision Sports 3 in 1976 by Cablevision. (The '3' referred to its position on the dial. SportsChannel was offered on Cablevision channel 3 through the 90's.) It would later be renamed SportsChannel New York in March of 1979,[1] and served as the first SportsChannel network. In addition to the teams currently shown on MSG+, New York Yankees (MLB), New York Mets (MLB), and New Jersey Nets (NBA) games were shown on the network. The Yankees telecasts moved to the MSG Network in the 1989 MLB Season (Cablevision did not own the MSG Network at that time).

In 1998, two years after Fox Sports Net launched in other markets, Cablevision partnered with News Corporation and Liberty Media to rebrand the network as Fox Sports New York, with MSG also becoming a part of FSN. Eventually the companies would rebrand their other SportsChannel networks as well.[2] Aside from MSG and MSG+, Cablevision eventually sold its stake in the FSN networks outside of FSN New York to News Corporation and Comcast.

The last event on SportsChannel New York was the NBA basketball game between the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets from Denver, Colorado on January 27, 1998.

FSN New York[edit]

The first event on Fox Sports New York was the NBA basketball game on the following night between the New Jersey Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers in Inglewood, California on January 28, 1998. The channel was subsequently renamed Fox Sports Net New York in 2000 and then to FSN New York in 2004. Through the 2005 MLB Season, the Mets games were shown on FSN New York. Some games were moved to MSG in 2002 as a result of the Yankees and Nets launching their own network (YES Network). In 2006, the Mets started SportsNet New York to carry their games.

The last event on FSN New York was a college basketball game between the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers and the Robert Morris Colonials from Moon Township, Pennsylvania on March 9, 2008. Veteran graphics coordinator Dave Katz was in the production truck for both the first and last events broadcast under the Fox Sports Net umbrella.[citation needed]

MSG+[edit]

At 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time on March 10, 2008, FSN New York was rebranded as MSG+, restructured as a spin-off of MSG Network. The first event on the rebranded network was the Roger Federer-Pete Sampras exhibition tennis match at Madison Square Garden (the game was also available nationally on The Tennis Channel).[3] In February 2010, Cablevision spun off MSG Network and MSG+ into The Madison Square Garden Company. In late 2012, Fox acquired a share in rival RSN YES Network. In fall 2013, Fox opted to place certain FSN programming on YES instead of MSG+. However, MSG+ still shows a reduced schedule of FSN programming.

MSG2 and MSG+ 2[edit]

Like MSG's MSG2, MSG+ also has MSG+ 2. These networks air only when three or four local games air on MSG and MSG+ simultaneously. The Knicks or the Rangers game airs on MSG2 and the Islanders or the Devils on MSG+ 2. Normally, the Knicks game airs on MSG2 only when the team is playing a road game and start at least one hour later than the Rangers due to the fact that the Knicks is the Madison Square Garden and MSG's highest-rated property. However, several Knicks home games originally scheduled to air on MSG were moved to MSG2 in 2008, in favor of Rangers playoff games.

On cable providers, these networks air mostly on TVGN as the "over-the-air" telecast. On satellite providers, these networks will air on alternate channels assigned by the satellite television provider. When MSG2 and MSG+ 2 both air at the same time, one of them will be carried on the alternate channel, mostly, for cable, on C-SPAN2.

From the 1998-1999 NBA and NHL seasons to the 2004-2005 seasons, instead of these alternate channels, Cablevision placed games on their MSG Metro Channels, which were available in a limited number of homes, causing certain customers to miss the games. In high cases of overflow, partially caused by the New Jersey Nets being broadcast on the then-rebranded FSN New York at the same time, games were also aired on independent station WLNY-TV (channel 55). During this era, when two of the teams that the MSG Networks covered played against each other, only one broadcast would usually be produced using one of the team's announcing staffs. This was either due to MSG's television contracts or a desire to show a different sporting event at the same time. Beginning in the 2005-2006 NBA and NHL seasons, when Metro was discontinued and Nets telecasts moved to YES Network, FSN New York (now MSG+) and MSG resumed airing FSN New York 2 (now MSG+ 2) and MSG2 and produce two broadcasts when two of their teams are playing against each other.

MSG+ HD[edit]

Msg plus hd.png

MSG+ also operates a high-definition feed named MSG+ HD. In addition, MSG+2 is broadcast in HD depending on geographic location and television provider.[4] All of the home games for New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and New York Red Bulls and most road games for these teams airing on MSG+ are available in HD (Lizards games are not currently available in HD). It is carried on Cablevision (except on its Litchfield system), Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey, RCN, DirecTV,[5] and Verizon FiOS. Comcast has carried MSG+ HD full-time since October 15, 2009 for Northern and Central New Jersey systems within the New York City market.[6]

On January 22, 2009, MSG HD and MSG+ HD hockey broadcasts were absent from NHL's GameCenter Live because of a contract dispute between MSG and the NHL,[7] but on March 17, 2010 beginning with the game between the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins, MSG HD and MSG+ HD returned to NHL Center Ice as confirmed by Gary Bettman during the NHL Hour broadcast.[8]

On December 14, 2011, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied MSG Holdings' petition to review the FCC's orders that Cablevision start making the HD feeds of its regional sports networks available to AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS.

Graphics/tickers[edit]

MSG+ uses a similar graphics package to MSG for their telecasts, but has unique animated elements. MSG+ displays a scoreboard ticker which, except during live sports broadcasts and The Final Score, operates full-time, even during commercials.

Programming[edit]

Non-local programs[edit]

Since joining Fox Sports Net, MSG+ carried select FSN programming, such as FSN Final Score, The Best Damn Sports Show Period,[9] and The Dan Patrick Show. Even after being rebranded MSG+ continued to carry these programs until they were discontinued, similar to Comcast SportsNet affiliates in markets where there is no local FSN (although the New York City market does have a CSN affiliate in SportsNet New York).

Arena Football League coverage[edit]

FSN New York (now MSG+) aired some New York Dragons games as part of the AFL on FSN package.

Collegiate programming[edit]

MSG+ also airs college sports games and local weekly college basketball reports for Hofstra University (MSG carries weekly college football or basketball reports for Rutgers University and St. John's University). However, games involving teams in the New York Tri-State area are generally blacked out outside this area. Time Warner Cable, among others, often acquires rights to the local games in order to put them on its own channels in certain markets. MSG+ previously carried most nationally broadcast FSN games, until they were transferred to the YES Network in fall 2013. Nationally broadcast FSN games aired in all MSG+ zones, unless a local team was playing at the same time. In such a case, the college game will be shown as joined-in-progress basis, on MSG if there is no other live game scheduled, or not at all.

New York Rangers and New York Red Bulls on MSG+[edit]

New York Rangers and New York Red Bulls games are mainly aired on MSG, but they air on MSG+ when New York Knicks (for Rangers) or New York Liberty (for Red Bulls) air on MSG and there are no other local teams that air mainly on MSG+ at the same time. The Knicks and Liberty have higher ratings for MSG than the Rangers and Red Bulls, respectively, thus they rarely air on MSG+. The same situation is the case for MSG, that either the New York Islanders or New Jersey Devils, teams that mainly air on MSG+, air on MSG when these teams play at the same time and when no other local teams that mainly air on MSG are playing at that time.

Since the start of 2006-2007 NBA and NHL seasons, there are strategy changes. Some Rangers telecasts air on MSG+ even when there is a conflict with Islanders and/or Devils, resulting these telecasts to be moved to MSG2 and/or MSG+ 2. Also, when the Knicks are out of the playoff contention and the Rangers are in the playoff contention or vice versa, the Rangers telecast usually air on MSG and the Knicks telecast on MSG2, or vice versa.

MSG/MSG+ broadcasting zones[edit]

Zone # Region served Team broadcasts available
1 New York City Tri-State area (including the Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and The Bronx, northern and central New Jersey and Fairfield County, Connecticut) All Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Liberty, and Red Bulls games on MSG and MSG+.
2 Upstate New York (north of Sullivan, Ulster, and Dutchess Counties) All Knicks, Liberty, Red Bulls, and Sabres games on MSG or MSG+, up to 50 games each for Rangers, Islanders, and Devils games on MSG or MSG+.
3 Western New York (within 50 miles (80 km) of Buffalo, including Rochester) All Knicks, Liberty, and Red Bulls games on MSG and MSG+. All Sabres games on MSG.
4 Northeastern Pennsylvania (excluding Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties) All Liberty and Red Bulls games on MSG and MSG+.
5 Central Connecticut (north and east of Fairfield County) and Northeastern Pennsylvania area (Wilkes-Barre and Scranton areas) All Knicks, Liberty, and Red Bulls games, up to 50 games each (sometimes all, depending on NHL's out-of-market rules) for Rangers, Islanders, and Devils games on MSG or MSG+.
6 Eastern Connecticut (New London and Windham Counties) All Red Bulls games, up to 50 games each (sometimes all, depending on NHL's out-of-market rules) for Rangers, Islanders, and Devils games on MSG or MSG+.
7 Southwestern New York (within 100 miles (160 km) of Cleveland) All Red Bulls and Sabres games on MSG or MSG+.
8 Northeastern Pennsylvania (Bradford, Lackawanna (excluding Scranton area), Luzerene (excluding Wilkes-Barre area), Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties) All Knicks, Liberty, and Red Bulls games on MSG or MSG+.
9 Northwestern Pennsylvania (areas in the Buffalo Sabres market) All Sabres games on MSG.[10]

MSG+ in Upstate New York[edit]

Hoosick area[edit]

The Hoosick area was formerly the only market on Time Warner Cable of Albany (within New York) that did not carry MSG+ (which at the time, had been rebranded as FSN New York). The Hoosick area was also formerly provided by Adelphia's system in Bennington, Vermont (now part of Comcast). It formerly carried FSN New England (now CSN New England), but because of FSN's rule, it was replaced by FSN New York.

Central New York[edit]

Time Warner Cable of Central New York formerly carried MSG+ (as FSN New York) only on the digital standard package, but it is now also carried on the standard cable package after the deal with Cablevision/Rainbow Media to place it on the standard cable package in most areas in the region. This was largely to accommodate Buffalo Sabres fans.

Southern Tier New York[edit]

The following markets on Time Warner Cable of Southern Tier New York currently do not carry MSG+:

Rochester area[edit]

The following markets (as well as markets formerly provided by Adelphia) on Time Warner Cable of Rochester are the only markets that carry MSG+:

Western New York[edit]

Time Warner Cable of Western New York currently carries MSG Plus in HD on channel 777 and in SD on channel 70.

Personalities[edit]

  • Kenny Albert - Fill-in Knicks and Rangers play-by-play announcer
  • Mike Breen - Knicks play-by-play announcer
  • Steve Cangialosi - Devils sideline reporter and pre- and post-game show and intermission report host; Red Bulls play by play announcer and pre- and post-game show and halftime report host; fill-in Devils play-by-play announcer
  • Rob Carlin - Islanders sideline reporter and pre- and post-game show and intermission report host, primarily for road games.
  • Mike Crispino - Fill-in Knicks play-by-play announcer
  • Ken Daneyko - Devils pre- and post-game show and intermission report analyst
  • Mike Emrick - Devils play-by-play announcer
  • Stan Fischler - MSG Hockey Night Live studio analyst, occasional Devils or Islanders sideline reporter
  • Walt Frazier - Knicks color analyst
  • John Giannone - Rangers sideline reporter; fill-in Rangers play-by-play announcer
  • Butch Goring - Islanders color analyst
  • Jason Horowitz - Aeropostale College Basketball Weekly host; Liberty play-by-play announcer
  • Rick Jeanneret - Sabres play-by-play announcer
  • Scott Lasky - Inside the Rangers host
  • Sal LoCascio - Lizards color analyst
  • Dave Maloney - Fill-in Rangers color analyst
  • Jiggs McDonald - Fill-in Islanders play-by-play announcer
  • Shep Messing - Red Bulls color analyst
  • Joe Micheletti - Rangers color analyst
  • Harry Neale - Sabres color analyst
  • Deb Placey - Islanders pre- and post-game show and intermission report host; MSG Hockey Night Live fill-in host
  • Rob Ray - Sabres sideline reporter
  • Chico Resch - Devils color analyst
  • Carl Reuter - Lizards play-by-play announcer
  • Mike Robitaille - Fill-in Sabres color analyst
  • Howie Rose - Islanders play-by-play announcer
  • Sam Rosen - Rangers play-by-play announcer
  • Kevin Sylvester - Fill-in Sabres play-by-play announcer
  • Al Trautwig - MSG Hockey Night Live host; Rangers primary sideline reporter and primary pre- and post-game show and intermission report host

Awards[edit]

MSG+ received Promax Awards in 2009 for their branding/imaging launch, high school campaign, and Devils and Islanders tuners.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Rainbow Media- Our Story Timeline 80's". Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  2. ^ "About Rainbow Media- Our Story Timeline 90's". Archived from the original on 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  3. ^ "FSN New York Rebranded as MSG Plus". Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  4. ^ Hornick, Eric (2010-11-16). "MSG+2 HD!". The Skinny. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  5. ^ DirecTV's HD Channel Lineup
  6. ^ Announcement of Comcast-MSG/MSG+ HD carriage
  7. ^ MSG Hockey MIA in HD Sports Couch Potato. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
  8. ^ [1] Status of MSG HD? - DBSTalk.com] DBSTalk. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2010-03-18.
  9. ^ Best, Neil (2008-02-26). "FSNY to be renamed MSG Plus". Newsday. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  10. ^ http -//cma2.msgnetwork.com/faq.jsp