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Comcast Xfinity Drops MSG Network Amid Dispute Over Fees

Madison Square Garden Entertainment said Comcast’s Xfinity cable service opted to drop MSG Network from its channel lineup.
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Madison Square Garden Entertainment  (MSGE)  said that Comcast’s  (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report Xfinity cable TV service opted to drop MSGE’s MSG Network from its channel lineup.

MSG Network shows sports, including games of the National Basketball Association's New York Knicks and the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and New York Islanders. 

Comcast’s move applies primarily to New Jersey and Connecticut, MSGE said.

“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,” MSGE said.

“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.”

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A Comcast spokesman told MarketWatch that most of its customers seldom watch MSG Network.

"We don't believe that our customers should have to pay the millions of dollars in fees that MSG is demanding for some of the most expensive sports content in the country with extremely low viewership in our markets," he said.

Comcast is "disappointed that MSG decided to pull their content rather than reach a fair agreement."

MSGE stock recently traded at $71.01, down 2.3%, while Comcast traded at $57.42, up 2.7%.

Morningstar analyst Michael Hodel puts fair value at $60 for Comcast.

“Comcast continued to put up stellar cable metrics and resumed share repurchases during the second quarter,” he wrote after the company’s earnings report in July.