MSG Network Can’t Be Serious with Putting Knicks Regular Season Over Rangers Playoffs
April 11, 2011 11 Comments
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.