For some New York Islanders fans looking for games on MSG Plus, they may be out of luck after Comcast dropped MSG Networks from its lineup.
The move came after the two sides failed to come to an agreement on a new deal. The decision by the cable provider impacts Islanders fans primarily in the New Jersey and Connecticut region, with Optimum and Fios as primary cable providers on Long Island.
However, that could impact any gains the Islanders, both NHL and AHL, could be trying to make with the three preseason games at Webster Bank Arena. Comcast’s decision also impacts fans of the New York Knicks, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers.
“Right when fans are looking forward to the start of the NBA and NHL seasons, Comcast dropped MSG Networks to try to force us to accept terms they’d never agree to for their own regional sports networks, including SNY in New York,” MSG Networks said in a statement. “They rejected proposals that are consistent with their current deal and deals we have with other major providers, as well as our offer to keep our programming on air under existing terms so we could continue to work on a longer-term agreement.”
The statement also called Comcast’s decision to not negotiate “deeply disappointing.”
MSG Networks announces its been dropped by Comcast and its Xfinity channel lineup (primarily in New Jersey and Connecticut).
— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) October 1, 2021
At the heart of the issue is the valuation of MSG Networks. Comcast estimated that only 4% of its customers that had MSG Networks watched more than 15 hours of programming a year, according to CT Insider.
All but 12 games are scheduled to be on MSG Plus or MSG Plus2 this season for the New York Islanders. The others will be on TNT, ESPN or ESPN+/Hulu.
Only three of the New York Islanders preseason games will be broadcasted this season, which began last Sunday when they faced the New York Rangers.