MSG Networks (NYSE:MSGN) and Pegula Sports and Entertainment today announced a new, long-term rights agreement for Buffalo Sabres games and comprehensive programming partnership that will include programming relating to other Pegula Sports and Entertainment properties, such as the Buffalo Bills.
Under the arrangement, MSG Networks – home to Buffalo Sabres games since 2005 -- will continue as the exclusive regional telecast partner of the Buffalo Sabres, and will continue to distribute a full schedule of Sabres games, including pre and post-game coverage. The Buffalo Sabres scored the highest local television ratings of any team in the United States last season, an increase of 60% from the prior year. Rick Jeanneret – recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for hockey broadcasting and longest-tenured play-by-play announcer in NHL history – will continue as play-by-play announcer for the 2016-17 season alongside Sabres alumnus and color commentator, Rob Ray.
In addition, MSG Networks will 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.
"MSG Networks is thrilled to renew and expand our long-standing partnership with the Buffalo Sabres and Pegula Sports and Entertainment," said Andrea Greenberg, president and CEO, MSG Networks. "As the NHL team with the highest local television ratings in the United States, Sabres games are the kind of live, valuable programming our viewers and distributors have come to expect from MSG Networks. We are particularly pleased that we were able to expand the relationship to include programming relating to other Pegula Sports and Entertainment properties and create new and compelling programs for our viewers. We would also like to say how proud we are to be partners with Terry and Kim Pegula and their team at Pegula Sports and Entertainment. We admire their dedication and commitment to Western New York and look forward to continuing to build upon our already strong partnership throughout the term of this new, long-term arrangement."
"I would like to thank MSG Networks for their long standing commitment to the Buffalo Sabres and our fans," said Terry Pegula, Owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills. "The opportunity to extend and expand our partnership, including the launch of the MSG Western New York brand will be a great opportunity for our fans to stay connected to the teams they love."
About MSG Networks
MSG Networks Inc. is an industry leader with two award-winning regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network (MSG) and MSG+, as well as the live streaming and video on demand platform, MSG GO. The networks are home to nine professional sports teams, delivering live games of the New York Knicks; New York Rangers; New York Islanders; New Jersey Devils; Buffalo Sabres; New York Liberty; Major League Soccer's Red Bulls and the Westchester Knicks, and exclusive non-game coverage of the New York Giants. Each year, the networks collectively telecast approximately 700 live sporting events - which also include college football and college basketball from top conferences - along with a full schedule of critically-acclaimed original programming. The gold standard for regional broadcasting, MSG Networks has won 145 New York Emmy Awards over the past nine years. More information is available at www.msgnetworks.com.
About Pegula Sports and Entertainment
Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE) is a management company that streamlines key business areas across all Pegula family-owned sports and entertainment properties including the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Americans, HARBORCENTER and Black River Entertainment. PSE aims to be a leader in the sports and entertainment industry by bringing together the individual resources, capabilities and talents of each of its entities to create a cohesive and sustainable brand that together represents the Pegula family's interest. PSE's mission is exemplified by its One Buffalo initiative, which unites Western New York and serves as a representation of teamwork through a deeper connection between Buffalo sports teams, fans and the community.