Time Warner Cable last night did not expect an accord would be reached in the latest standoff with Cablevision’s MSG/Fox Sports Net NY. Some 2.4mln TW subs in NYC and a number of areas Upstate were expected to lose the sports nets’ signals at midnight last night. Such a blackout could cost viewers the final month of Knicks telecasts and the upcoming Mets season. "On Friday, we requested to extend the agreement through basketball season, but they said no," TW Cable’s Keith Cocozza said. "We also proposed mediation, and they turned that down as well." As was the case during last year’s carriage disputes, MSG lawyers began faxing TW advance notice of potential copyright infringement the morning before the deadline, reiterating that should TW continue to carry its programming after the witching hour, it would be liable. For its part, MSG has run on-screen crawls declaring, "Time Warner is preparing to take the Knicks and Mets off the air again." Time Warner has run crawls on The Weather Channel and TV Guide Channel saying it will provide $2 in rebates/month to subs while the networks are offline. TW will slot NBA TV and CSTV into its lineup as a "temporary replacement." — Two Sides to Every Story: Just as CableFAX was going to bed, MSG said it offered to bring "the dispute to an independent arbitrator," a claim directly opposing TW’s earlier take. MSG said it offered to allow TW to "keep games on" while the issue was brought to the unnamed arbitrator, who would issue a "binding" decision. This also flies in the face of TW’s revelation that advance copyright infringement notices were piling up at HQ.

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