Squadron and Avella Applaud Twc-Msg Resolution, Warn of Future Blackouts Unless Immediate Action Is Taken to Force Arbitration

Daniel L. Squadron

February 17, 2012

NEW YORK -- Today, Senators Tony Avella and Daniel Squadron cautiously applauded Time Warner Cable and MSG Networks for finally coming to a resolution that would end the months long blackout of MSG programming for Time Warner Cable subscribers, while warning that similar cable channel  versus provider battles will continue to occur in the future unless action is taken to force arbitration to resolve disputes. 

Avella and Squadron called for immediate passage of Avella’s legislation (S.6230), co-sponsored by Squadron, in the State Senate that would require all cable providers to negotiate fairly and, if necessary, submit to binding arbitration through the Public Service Commission to determine the terms and conditions under which independent cable channels will be carried by cable providers.

Senator Daniel Squadron, who co-sponsors S.6230, said, "As Linsanity has taken hold in the City, I'm glad that the insanity between Time Warner and MSG has come to an end.  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 these cable standoffs are too."  

“For the past few months over two million New York sports fans were unable to catch a glimpse of their first place New York Rangers or experience the phenomenon of Linsanity,” stated Senator Tony Avella.  “It is just not fair to the cable subscriber who is threatened year after year with a disruption of service that results from drawn out battles between channels and service providers.  We need to act now on the wings of this agreement to ensure that future negotiations do not carry on to the point that subscribers are faced with a loss of service and either have to deal with the burden of switching providers or move on without the service they originally signed on for.”
Avella continued, “Unfortunately this was not an isolated incident.  It seems that every year subscribers of any one of the major service providers are caught in the crossfire of a drawn-out, and often ugly, negotiation period. By forcing these companies to submit to arbitration New York State will take the lead on this issue of nationwide significance.  We need a better way to resolve these disputes and it is time that we force these companies to submit to arbitration through the Public Service Commission, to eliminate circumstances like this from happening again.”