Jeremy Lin has taken over New York (plus the sports media landscape in general) over the past few weeks in pretty much every way an athlete can be exciting, from a compelling personal story to his individual play to game-winning shots to making the NBA change its All-Star Weekend around a bit. The city loves him, which is more than can be said about objectively "better" athletes like Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees.
Unfortunately, many New York residents haven't even been able to watch Lin from the comfort of their own homes. For the past seven weeks, Time Warner Cable and the MSG Network, which broadcasts most Knicks games, have been in a standoff as they try to work out a new contract to keep the channel on the company's cable packages. For that time, Knicks games not on national networks have been unavailable to anyone in New York without a satellite dish or the willingness to brave a bar. It was a major pain for any Knicks fan with the desire to follow the team's top story in quite some time.
Thankfully, New Yorkers' municipal nightmare is now over. Friday afternoon, MSG and Time Warner reportedly reached a deal. From Richard Sandomir and Howard Beck of The New York Times:
The end of the impasse will be announced Friday afternoon by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and executives of both companies. A settlement had been urged by Eric T. Schneiderman, the state's attorney general. The governor's intervention in the past 24 hours with James L. Dolan, executive chairman of Madison Square Garden, and Glenn Britt, chief executive of Time Warner Cable, accelerated the agreement, which is a long-term deal.
The blackout deprived many Knicks fans around the state of seeing much of the rapid rise to stardom of point guard Jeremy Lin — as well as the continued success of the New York Rangers. Friday night's Knicks game will be available to all Time Warner customers.
Congratulations, New York! Let's celebrate with an Italian ice and a picture with the Times Square Elmo!
This is obviously great news for the Knicks. While Linsanity hasn't slowed because of the MSG/TWC impasse, it was ridiculous that fans had to resort to other apartments with satellite dishes, bars, or even illegal Internet streams to watch Lin. Now families can watch together without messing with kids' schedules, and Lin can be part of New York life without complicating it too much.
It's unclear exactly how much of an effect Lin's fame had on the resolution — a 48-day disagreement in a sports-mad city probably would have instigated government interference regardless. But he certainly didn't hurt, so let's give him some credit. It's just another example of how he's changing lives one day at a time.