Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Name Change Can't Stop Wheels Spinning

Because there's nothing more consistent in New York sports TV than change, this probably won't raise an eyebrow.

FSN New York, which was once SportsChannel New York, and is the sister station of MSG Network, will change identity again March 10 when it is renamed "MSG Plus".

According to Newsday's Neil Best,

The channel will continue to carry programming from Fox Sports, including college football and hoops and the likes of "Best Damn Sports Show Period."

But one plan is to make the often haphazard schedule more coherent. For years, FSNY has been an odd mish-mosh, from boating to boxing to a lot of poker and a lot of old Fran Healy interviews.Another goal is to bulk up the local content itself.

That includes younger-skewing events such as high school games and more interactivity via, as well as (next season) more programming directly tied to the Islanders and Devils.

Michael Bair, president of MSG Media, said the station wants to "frankly capitalize more than we have on the Islanders and Devils," properties he conceded "we have undernourished on some level for a number of years."If all goes well, MSG Plus will be treated as an "equal to the core channel, whereas in the past it might not have been treated that way," as Bair said.

The first difference viewers will notice is a new graphics package, including a 24-hour ticker.

That's all well and good for roughly half the year. You can call the channels anything you like but if there's nothing worth watching, nobody will watch. Owning an all-sports network in the NY tri-state area is great except when you own two of them but don't own the rights to televise baseball.

With the Yankees-owned YES Network and the Mets co-owned SNY around for the long haul, the math is very simple:

MSG+ MSG = 0 reasons to tune in from May to October.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kinda like Sports Net NY from October to March ... And the YES Network from about the same time period, as in NY anyway the Nets are even less watched [and much less loved] than even a pitiful Knicks franchise.
Ownership of winter franchises by different corporations will keep New York a three RSN town for many years to come.