On Wednesday, MSG Networks announced new details of its upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service that would allow fans to watch the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and Buffalo Sabres without issue from the comfort of their own home.
The service, MSG+, will launch this summer and will be available to fans who live in regions where MSG’s channels are also available on their cable TV packages. The service will also be free for anyone who is already a paying subscriber to a TV service that has MSG Network.
If a customer does not have cable or does not have a cable service that already has MSG Network, the cost could be an issue, especially since MSG has had problems reaching fans in New York due to complications with Comcast that kept MSG Network off of its cable package since late 2021.
While MSG+ has multiple subscription options, most of them are more expensive than competitors. Fans can choose to pay monthly for $29.99 or annually for $309.99. Fans who want to watch a particular Knicks, Rangers, or Devils game can purchase a single-game stream for $9.99.
An MSG+ subscription will also include MSG Network, MSG SportsNet, and other live events and programming on the channels.
The launch of MSG+ is the continuation of regional sports networks launching direct-to-consumer sports viewing options for fans across the country. NESN 360 in Boston debuted last year at $29.99 a month so fans could stream Bruins, Celtics, and Red Sox games. Bally’s Sports launched its own streaming service in September for $19.99 a month or $189.99 a year — though the network is nearing bankruptcy and could shut down in the very near future.
The rollout of MSG+ comes at a time when MSG Network has experienced another subscription decline last quarter. They hope that the new streaming service will drive revenue and allow more fans to enjoy the games, but the price points for games and season-long packages could be a major issue heading forward given that fans are being asked to pay more for MSG+ than popular streaming services like ESPN+, HBO Max, and Netflix.
How MSG+ does with Knicks and Rangers fans ultimately remains to be seen, but teams across the country are continuing to roll out similar models, including the Clippers who introduced ClipperVision before the start of the NBA season. However, they were offering Clippers games outside of a cable subscription for $199 for the season.
MSG+ will replace MSG GO as the company’s authenticated streaming service, and the company’s press release claimed that the service would offer “new features including live betting odds, personalized offers and wider availability on devices will continue to add value for these bundled consumers.”
Interested fans are being encouraged to visit MSG Networks’ new website – www.msgplus.tv – to register to receive updates and more information.
The launch of MSG+ is in addition to MSG SportsZone, which was “recently launched nationally as a free ad-supported streaming TV channel which features a mix of original programming from MSG Networks’ content library,” said the company. However, MSG SportsZone is currently only available on Vizio and Plex with additional FAST platforms expected to come soon.
“MSG Networks is delighted to be able to offer fans more ways to watch our compelling and award-winning content,” said Andrea Greenberg, MSG Networks President, and CEO. “The introduction of MSG+ this summer will be a significant milestone for our company and will offer a mix of subscription options for fans who do not subscribe to a traditional, bundled pay television subscription. MSG+ will also provide significant value for our participating traditional distribution partners by offering access at no additional cost to their subscribers who receive our networks. In addition, we are pleased to introduce MSG SportsZone, a new platform that expands our reach nationally and provides us additional opportunities to monetize our archive and other non-game content.”
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