Mets Sweat Dolan Deal


SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 8, 2003
New York

METS fans worried a stand off between Cablevision and the team's new sports network will keep Carlos Beltran and his mates off the cabler's system can rest easy — so long as Cablevision keeps its word.

According to three sources familiar with matter, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer wrangled a handshake deal from Cablevision months ago in which the Dolan's agreed it would not keep the network, called SportsNet New York, off the air — and thus avoid the type of clash the company had with the YES Network in 2002, in which Yankees games were off the air for an entire season.

The handshake agreement was made earlier this year when Spitzer intervened to resolve a dispute that resulted in the Cablevision-owned MSG and Fox Sports New York networks — which aired Mets games this past season — being pulled from Time Warner Cable's systems, sources said.

Charlie Schueler, Cablevision's spokesman, said: "We fully expect to carry Mets games next season and beyond."

While Spitzer assured the Mets and network execs that Cablevision will negotiate in good faith, sources close to the team and its partners Time Warner and Comcast are nervous.

They point to Cablevision's penchant for playing hardball — especially when the company feels it's been screwed.

"Just because they made this agreement doesn't mean they'll keep their word," said one source close to the network.

For 2005, Cablevision carried Mets games on its networks, but Mets owner Fred Wilpon bought his TV rights back to start his new network. Cablevision unsuccessfully sued to stop the network's launch.

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