NBA stoppage hits MSG profit

Net profit falls to $26 mil from $33 mil

Hit by the NBA work stoppage that delayed the basketball season until late in the year, MSG Networks saw net profit fall to $26 million from $33 million for its fiscal second quarter.

Revenue dipped to $373 million from $432 million.

MSG Networks, which airs the games, and music channel Fuse, saw revenue ease 1.2% to $142 million.

Affiliate fee revenue rose $4 million on higher rates offset by the impact of a contractual adjustment and the previously disclosed expiration of an affiliation agreement.

MSG is in a carriage battle with Time Warner Cable and pulled the networks from the operator’s systems on December 31 after the two sides failed to agree on new rates after their contract had expired.

Networks’ advertising revenue decreased $5.7 million on fewer NBA games telecast on the MSG Nets due to the strike, although lower spending also helped boost operating income about 14%.

MSG sports franchises New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA) and the Connecticut Whale (AHL), saw revenue drop 31% to $87 million as the baseketball strike hit ticket sales, broadcast rights fees, league distributions, food, beverage and merchandise sales, and sponsorship and signage revenue.

MSG Entertainment, which owns storied venues Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater, saw revenue fall 15% to $151 million.