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Time Warner, MSG at odds over sports network rates

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Warner Cable and Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) failed to reach an agreement over new pricing to show MSG's sports network, leaving Time Warner subscribers without access to the games in the new year.

"We had a deal within reach earlier this year," Mike Angus, senior vice president for content acquisition at Time Warner Cable said in a statement on Sunday, adding that MSG had removed sports channels from Time Warner lineups.

"Despite agreeing to the asked for 6.5 percent price increase on rates that MSG themselves deemed as fair market rates just last year, MSG reneged on the deal and instead, demanded a whopping 53 percent increase and refused to negotiate further," Angus said.

MSG expressed disappointment in a statement late on Saturday and said that "all we have asked is for Time Warner Cable to value our programming in the same way as other TV providers....Unfortunately, they rejected every offer we made to them for almost two years".

The company said that Time Warner had not been interested in serious negotiations but still hoped it would return to the negotiating table.

MSG and MSG Plus shows games of the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils as well as NBA's New York Knicks and the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.

(Reporting By Nicola Leske; editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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