MSG Network Can’t Be Serious with Putting Knicks Regular Season Over Rangers Playoffs

Look, I understand the realities of television scheduling around the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I get that with baseball and basketball still going on and with all kinds of crossovers of times, there are going to be some over-laps, and some hockey games may get put on alternate channels. Meanwhile, sometimes hockey will take precedent over other sports. It is a constant give and take that we see every spring.

But lets just call it like I see it and be serious here. MSG is shunting Game 1 of the Rangers/Capitals series to MSG Plus while the final game of the New York Knicks’ regular season (against the Boston Celtics) airs on MSG. This is flat-out ridiculous.

The Knicks have already clinched a post-season spot, so have the Celtics … yet this 82nd game of the basketball regular season gets to air on the network that has the furthest reach, while Game 1 of an actual playoff series moves to MSG Plus. Now, for those unfamiliar, MSG Plus is what became of the FSN affiliate in New York. While it is available in most New York-area homes, it does not reach all, or as many as the regular MSG.

I understand that the Knicks are having their adorable little revival love affair with the city of New York, and that has put them back as flavor of the week in the area. I know that, heartbreakingly, the Knicks regular season game might even draw higher ratings than the Rangers game. As sad and stupid as that is, it is very possible. The Knicks, even in their darkest days, were competitive -if not beating them outright – in the ratings with the Blueshirts. However, that does not make it right.

The very fact that this is even an issue is a joke. A playoff game in any sport trumps a regular season game in another sport. The Boston Bruins will be forcing the freaking Red Sox in New England to an alternate channel for their series against the Canadiens. I even get that Knicks playoff games will likely force the Rangers onto MSG Plus at other times during the first rounds of their respective playoff series. All that said, this decision to air a completely inconsequential basketball game over a playoff hockey game – and Game 1 of a series where the Rangers have a chance – is downright imbecilic.

So, I implore you, Rangers fans – while we may not get along at times – to protest this. Send letters to MSG, make phone calls, use social media. Show the folks at Cablevision and MSG that a Ranger playoff game is more important than a regular season Knicks game. That you even have to is a sign that they don’t get it in the first place. Maybe if enough of an uproar is made, MSG can switch the two games before Wednesday. I certainly hope someone over there is sane enough to make the right call.

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

11 Responses to MSG Network Can’t Be Serious with Putting Knicks Regular Season Over Rangers Playoffs

  1. Stephen says:

    Really. That is just flat out ridiculous. Just put the Rangers on MSG while the Knicks are playing on MSG Plus. Stupid people over at MSG.

    • Arthur says:

      Just another example of a fan who knows nothing about advertising and ratings. Knicks pull in more $$$ than Rangers do no matter what time of the season. That is why they go on big MSG and Rangers get moved to MSG+. It is not a big deal. NYR fans will get Sam and Joe Mich. They will be served. Why get upset over nothing?

      • stevelepore says:

        I think it is a big deal. If it were an important game, I’d understand. If the Knicks making the playoffs hinged on this game, I could understand. It’s that it is a meaningless regular season game that bugs me. I know that the Knicks outdraw the Rangers – even when the Knicks are terrible – but still, there should be some limit to just how much the Knicks dominate a channel that is supposed to be both clubs’ channels.

      • Kevin says:

        The Rangers playoff game will DEFINITELY have more viewers then the Knicks game. But it’s still not that bog of a deal…

  2. Kevin says:

    1) I don’t know a single person in New York that doesn’t get MSG+.

    2) Yeah this is stupid but you’re making a big deal out of nothing. And I’m a Rangers fan. I’m 99% sure that Rangers/Caps will have more viewers then the Knicks game which means they should be on MSG. I mean that’s the reason the Knicks are on MSG over the Rangers so it should go both ways. But the game is on MSG+ which is fine. It’s the same thing as MSG, has HD everywhere so it’s not a problem….

    • Stephen says:

      I’m not making a big deal, I mean, I understand this and yes MSG is going to be real busy covering both Hockey and Basketball playoffs and the city is excited for this, but I think it should have been on MSG besides on MSG Plus

    • Tim says:

      I agree with this. I didn’t know there were people in the NY/NJ metro area who didn’t get MSG+. Heck, I’m up here just north of Albany and I get both on standard cable! And the Rangers game is still on one of the two main channels, it’s not like it’s being shifted to MSG2 or MSG+2. If that was the case, you’d have a legitimate beef.

  3. Bruc says:

    I’m not even a rangers fan matter of fact I hate the rangers but this a complete joke. It’s a freakin playoff game that will be so exciting to watch compared to an NBA game which means absolutely nothing!!!!! Screw MSG!!!

  4. Sean says:

    So you’re saying MSG should air the lower-rated of the two? Why would they do that?

    The Knicks ratings with Carmelo have been through the roof for MSG. It’s not like the Rangers game isn’t being aired.

    And if you’re really mad….tell more people to watch hockey.

  5. Joe M says:

    I think the Rangers playoff game should be on MSG. It is not the end of the world there are not. However, there is a certain level of respect that is missing. NESN in Boston typically puts the Bruins playoff hockey on over a regular season Red Sox game on the same night even though NESN is owned 80% by the Red Sox and 20% by the Bruins.

  6. Spiderpig says:

    Thank you. At least the NHL schedule comes out before NBA, but I suppose that won’t stop MSG from pushing the Rangers off of MSG where they are already scheduled. I wonder if the NHL would have worked with MSG to scatter the hockey games if another local team made it. At least it’s not MSG2.

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