The New York Daily News is one of NYC’s major newspapers, and they cover the Knicks, of course. Generally, teams benefit from media coverage. The more, the better, usually — provided it’s quality coverage, of course. But this article from the Daily News concerning guard Jeremy Lin’s injury and fan playoff ticket purchases has angered team owners, resulting in the following:
Cablevision Systems Corporation and The Madison Square Garden Company today issued the following statements on the New York Daily News:
Cablevision Systems Corporation statement: “Today’s story in the New York Daily News is just another in a long list of articles and cover stories designed to provoke Cablevision and The Madison Square Garden Company. Mr. Zuckerman has engaged in a campaign of intimidation and extortion to effect a merger between Newsday and the Daily News. He has made repeated overtures to Mr. Dolan and his executives to combine the operations with joint ownership and shared printing and editorial expense. This proposal was rejected multiple times. In fact, at a Four Seasons lunch meeting on March 6, Mr. Zuckerman once again made his proposal, this time adding that “the bad press would end if we became joint owners” (a direct quote). Shortly thereafter, the Daily News ran a full front page with Mr. Dolan’s picture as a centerpiece for a skull and crossbones graphic that included the word “Toxic” in bold print. Today’s back page story is just another in a series of these defamatory extortions.”
The Madison Square Garden Company statement: “Today’s Daily News story is completely inaccurate, and serves only as another example of fabricated reporting by Mr. Zuckerman’s newspaper. The suggestion that the timing of Jeremy Lin’s injury report is in any way connected to a longstanding Knicks playoff ticket deadline is a malicious attack on The Madison Square Garden Company. Jeremy Lin decided on Saturday to have surgery now in hopes that he would be able to return in time for, or at least during, the playoffs. The Knicks have sold out 61 games in a row, including last season’s playoffs, and as standard practice we provided season ticket holders a first opportunity benefit to reserve playoff tickets before going on sale to the general public.”
Cablevision President and CEO and The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman Jim Dolan said, “I understand that there will always be those who are critical of anyone who owns a controlling interest in three New York sports franchises. But, Mr. Zuckerman’s attempts to parlay this into a favorable arrangement for himself could not be more misguided.”
Note: Cablevision Systems Corporation and The Madison Square Garden Company are separate companies, both controlled by the Dolan family.