MSG gets boost but faces hoop hurdles

Madison Square Garden Co. saw bump from media biz

New York’s Madison Square Garden Co. saw a bump from its media biz last quarter that helped offset the closure of its fabled arena for a planned overhaul. But the company could face a real squeeze if a labor dispute continues to scuttle National Basketball League games through the winter.

MSG said profit rose 11% to $21 million for the third quarter. Revenue fell 7% to $178 million.

MSG owns the New York Knicks and Rangers, the WNBA’s New York Liberty and the Connecticut Whale minor league hockey team.

The Garden arena and theater are undergoing an $850 million upgrade to be completed in phases through 2013. The first phase was completed and the Garden reopened last month before the start of the NHL season.

Revenue at the company’s entertainment business, which includes Radio City and the Beacon Theater, fell 28% $28 million; sports revenue dropped 22% to $29 million. Media revenue, the MSG regional sports networks and Fuse networks, rose 4% to $139 million.