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Links of the Day:

– Time Warner pulled MSG from its lineup, after failing to reach an agreement on how much the cable company should pay to carry the sports network. Sabres and Knicks fans are in the dark. Each side is blaming the other, according to a report in the Buffalo News:

The two sides have been arguing over how much Time Warner should pay to carry the MSG networks. Time Warner has said MSG sought a 53 percent increase; MSG said Time Warner’s offers are outdated and not in the ballpark with what other cable companies pay.

The delivery of niche channels like MSG still relies on the distribution power of cable companies. I bet channels and shows will be individual commodities in the future, perhaps accessible on your iPad or Internet-connected television. That could make these contract disputes a thing of the past and give consumers choice and control.

Fortunately for MSG-watchers, Verizon FiOs picked up the network recently. Rochester, of course, doesn’t have Verizon FiOs, to the lament of many.

– An awesome story in the Democrat and Chronicle details the revival of the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood. This is very real. A photographer and I drove down West Main Street last week and talked about the resurgence.

– Central New York’s Amish communities want their own school buses. The Syracuse Post-Standard reports on a battle between a school district and the Amish, who don’t want their children exposed to modern kids. The Amish also need to start school later because of farm chores.

– What’s more important? Chicago’s shipping economy or keeping the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes? Everyone who cares about the lakes should pay attention to this debate.

– Last week I called Rochester’s New Year’s party lame. Evidence surfaced yesterday that maybe it’s not so lame. Now I’m convinced it is indeed lame. Buffalo’s New Year’s festivities brought 100,000 people to its downtown. Wow. We have work to do, Rochester.

3 Responses to MSG Pulled, Neighborhood Revival

  1. January 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm John Mack responds:

    This year’s downtown Buffalo New Year’s Eve activities were bumped up by two significant events which have been part of a general renaissance movement over the past few years. The saving and restoring of the Statler is nothing short of miraculous as entrepreneur/resturanteur Mark Croce bought and brought the building back from the brink (it was literally falling down) with construction/restoration work all during the 2011 calendar year so as to sufficiently have three floors ready for a 4,000 person $125-$150 buffet/bar/bands and dancing event, the Ice Ball. HUGE factor! In addition, Terry Peguala’s people restored the New Year’s Eve Tux and Pucks Sabres game, bring 18,000 more downtown to First Niagara Center. Buffalo has seen other festival successes in recent years with the Taste of Buffalo (biggest two-day outdoor food festival nationally), the National Garden Festival/Buffalo Garden Walk (the first and now the biggest in the nation as garden tourism takes off), a renewal of the Waterfront with small, grassroots activity after the government-backed Bass Pro plan failed, and the two-day National Chicken Wing festival on Labor Day weekend with restaurants from throughout the country competing and serving wings and things. The National Preservation Trust meeting in October highlighted the architectural treasures, beyond just the Frank Lloyd Wright and Olmsted parks legacies. Although Buffalo’s problems are many, there is a feeling that an explosion of growth is just over the horizon, especially with the development of the University of Buffalo downtown Medical Corridor.

    Perhaps the common thread throughout has been success by businessmen and entrepreneurs where government had spun its wheels in failure for decades. All of last evening’s Buffalo events were privately sponsored, although the government did provide support with police security, public transit, etc. If Rochester wants tens of thousands downtown on New Year’s Eve, get the government out of the sponsoring business. The major sponsors for the only free event, the Ball-Drop and Fireworks were Independent Health, WNY Chevy Dealers and WKBW TV which broadcasts it live. The Buffalo Police Athletic League is the producer and reaps financial benefits from coordinating the event. From what I saw on television there were kids and families at the Ball-Drop/Fireworks even as family-friendly First Night finished by 10 PM (several thousand were there, too). All of the Buffalo ideas have developed a life of their own and have not been imposed from above as the only way to celebrate. The enthusiasm has been from the ground up. If people didn’t feel that downtown Buffalo was the place to be New Year’s Eve (especially suburbanites) everything would have flopped. Enthusiasm is infectious. Good luck! Perhaps this is the time to discuss next New Year’s Eve in downtown Rochester and develop a ground-swell of support. Happy New Year!!!

  2. Of course the ones that really suffer in the TWC/MSG debate is the consumers (and some local advertisers I’m sure).

    As it stands now, I’m paying an extra $8 a month to get MSG in Rochester. Without it, the Sports Pass I buy is worthless to me. I think they’re giving it away free until the contract is resolved, but I’m not positive. Even so, a free product I don’t want is of little value.

    One option of course is to switch to DirecTV. But considering that DISH still hasn’t resolved their contract issue with MSG, and now TWC is out, how long before the battle ensure with DirecTV? Should I sign a two year agrrement, and potentially get hung in 2013?

    I love your idea on streaming programming independantly through the web. Ultimately, it makes sense. Of course, by then, I’ll likely be paying TWC $99 a month for broadband 🙂

    • Cable companies WILL morph into broadband providers. That will be main business and TV will be on the side. So yeah, cheap broadband will remain a dream, I’m afraid.

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