Last week, we wondered if Western New York was on the brink of a new regional sports network. Well, the questions have now been answered and yes, the channel will have a WNY angle. It will be operated by the current rightsholders, MSG. Both MSG and Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula have announced an agreement for the Sabres to remain with MSG and the rights also include programming for the Pegulas’ other team, the Bills. Thus, MSG will brand the channel “MSG Western New York” and will have content produced by Pegula Sports and Entertainment.
According to the official announcement, the network will include Sabres games, Bills programming plus live studio shows:
MSG Networks will also serve as the home to other Pegula Sports and Entertainment programming, which will be branded “MSG Western New York” in recognition of the connection of this programming to Western New York viewers. In addition to Buffalo Sabres hockey, MSG Western New York branded programming will include Buffalo Bills programming such as “The Rex Ryan Show,” “Bills All Access” and “Bills Tonight,” and beginning in the fall, a live block of programming dedicated to the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills.
And Brent Axe of newyorkupstate.com writes that the agreement also includes the simulcast of Bills preseason games not aired nationally. Not only that, the live block will include radio simulcasts:
“Hockey Hotline” and “The John Murphy Show,” radio shows focused on the Sabres and Bills that currently air on WGR radio in Buffalo, will be simulcast in a five-hour TV block on MSG WNY.
So the MSG Western New York channel is on a fast track to fruition. It should continue to be seen the same channel positions on Western New York cable providers. The next question will DirecTV elect to carry the RSN full-time or if it will continue to carry just Sabres games on an MSG subchannel.
For now, Western New York sports fans who have been longing for their own RSN since Empire Sports Network went under can now look forward to the new MSG channel in the fall.