As the latest case of Linsanity spreads to the White House, New Yorkers are continuing to celebrate the phenomenon with everything from Shake Shack specials to Lin inspired drink concoctions (Lintini, Lin and Tonic, etc.) Now it appears as though Jeremy Lin's extraordinary rise may have also inspired an end to the ongoing war between Time Warner and Madison Square Garden.
The New York Times notes that as Knicks tickets skyrocket in price and Madison Square Garden's stock sees an all-time high, 2.5 million Time Warner Cable customers have been shut out of the Linsanity. Frustrated fans starving to catch a glimpse of the excitement on their televisions have been locked out and forced to repeatedly hit refresh to stay on top of games.
Chinatown residents wishing to cheer on their Asian-American star, and without very many sports bars in the neighborhood to go to, have been especially disappointed and ultimately let down by the corporate battle. One Time Warner customer Vincent Lau said, "It doesn’t make sense for a New Yorker to not be able to watch their home teams."
But it looks as though the corporate honchos of both sides are actually listening to the cries of the masses. In an unprecedented move by MSG, network representatives with translators in tow, invited the neighborhood to an all-you-can-eat dim sum party in order to explain their dispute with Time Warner.
MSG executive Dan Ronayne attended the viewing party held at Chinatown's iconic Nom Wah restaurant to explain, "the contract dispute will end if Time Warner comes to the table with a deal that is fair and places a value on our content similar to other TV providers.”
And for the first time since December, the two sides met earlier this week for negotiations. Chief of MSG media Mike Blair commented on the talks, "There was a conversation, a face- to-face meeting this week. I think right now, because of the Lin story, because of the performance of the team, and because of what we’ve seen in the ratings, now is the time to do a deal. But we have to have a dialogue to be productive."
Time will tell if a resolution can be delivered to sports deprived fans, but till then, let's hope the linning continues.
Watch a clip of the viewing party below: