MSG Western New York (MSG WNY) is an American regional sports network that is a joint venture between MSG Networks and Pegula Sports and Entertainment. The channel (also on occasion credited as Pegula Sports Network or MSG Buffalo) is a sub-feed of MSG Network, with programming oriented towards the Western New York region, including coverage of the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and the National Football League's Buffalo Bills. It replaced MSG Network on television providers in the Sabres' media market in 2016.
MSG Western New York is available on cable providers throughout Western New York. Most programming is available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV, with Sabres games requiring an NHL Center Ice subscription for out of market viewers; select programs are carried in Canada's Niagara Peninsula on a special channel set up for Bell TV subscribers that was founded in 2013.
|MSG Western New York|
|Launched||September 10, 2016|
Sabres Hockey Network
|Owned by||MSG Networks|
Pegula Sports and Entertainment
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Slogan||United We Watch|
|Broadcast area||Western New York|
Niagara Peninsula, Central New York (select programming)
|Headquarters||New York City|
Buffalo, New York
|Formerly called||MSG Zone 3 or MSG Sabres (2006-2016)|
(as a game only channel)
(Western New York only)
Spectrum Sports (New York)
|Sister channel(s)||MSG Network|
MSG Plus 2
|DirecTV||635-1 (HD/SD) Sabres games and select Bills and Sabres programming only|
|Bell TV||442 (as Sabres TV)|
|Spectrum (Buffalo)||City: 49 Suburbs: 28|
|Verizon Fios (Western New York)||77 or 80 (SD)|
|Atlantic Broadband (Salamanca/Bradford)||39 (SD)|
|Frontier Vantage (Rochester)||TBD|
|FuboTV||Internet Protocol television|
After the collapse of Empire Sports Network and its parent Adelphia, MSG bought the rights to the Buffalo Sabres in 2006 under a 10-year deal; where telecasts are controlled by the team via the Sabres Hockey Network, including the sale of advertising, and the simulcast of Rick Jeanneret's commentary on both radio and television (although, during the 2015-16 season, the team experimented with having separate commentary teams on radio and television for selected games, which the Buffalo News speculated was in preparation for Jeanneret's eventual retirement), conditions that the Sabres always make as part of their telecast deals going back to the days of Empire. After acquiring the rights, MSG divided its network into three regional broadcast "zones"; Sabres games were available within "Zone 3", which covered Buffalo and Rochester, and "Zone 2", the remainder of the state excluding Buffalo, Rochester, and New York City—which was shared by the Sabres, Devils, Islanders, and Rangers. The exact channel assignment for Sabres games varied by region (some games were carried by FSN New York in Zone 2), but all games were carried on the main MSG Network service within Zone 3.
The Buffalo Sabres' regional television ratings are among the highest in the league; in the 2015-16 season, despite the team's poor overall performance, fan enthusiasm over star prospect Jack Eichel helped the team achieve the highest average regional viewership of all NHL teams for the first time since 2008-09, with a 6.55 share. National telecasts on NBC and NBCSN have also had notably high ratings in Buffalo.
It was speculated that Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which had recently bought the Sabres, Rochester Americans, Buffalo Bandits and Buffalo Bills, was planning to take advantage of the high viewership by establishing a team-owned regional sports network once the Sabres' existing television contract with MSG expired. The Buffalo News's Alan Pergament also acknowledged the impending end of the Sabres and Bills' radio contracts with WGR as a possibility that the group could, potentially, acquire a radio station to serve as a team-owned radio outlet if it is unable to renew its contract with Entercom (Entercom had purchased the Sabres' previous owned-and-operated station, 107.7 WNSA, in 2004, and merged its remaining programming onto WGR). Pegula eventually secured a contract extension with Entercom keeping the Bills and Sabres on WGR through the spring of 2021. However, in regards to television, he felt that it was more likely for Pegula to partner with MSG to form a full-time, Buffalo-specific feed of MSG Network with additional local programming, rather than actually establishing a new, standalone outlet.
On June 20, 2016, Pegula announced that it had entered into a joint venture with MSG to establish a new service known as MSG Western New York. The channel, a sub-feed of MSG Network took over the former MSG Zone 3/Sabres game only channel, replacing the parent channel within the Sabres existing television market—which was also, notably, expanded to include the entirety of Rochester. The arrangement allows Pegula access to MSG's existing distribution and statewide programming, while allowing opt-outs for an expanded slate of local programming dedicated to the Bills and Sabres, which is produced and controlled by Pegula. MSG as part of the agreement pays $19 to $20 million per-year in rights fees to broadcast Sabres games and programming, as well as Buffalo Bills programming; it is nearly double the value of the previous Sabres deal. As with the previous deal, Pegula controls team programming on the network, including advertising sales and production (which is handled through PSE's production wing PicSix Creative), and receives all advertising revenue, while MSG collects the retransmission consent fee. Besides original programming and broadcasts exclusive to MSG WNY, the network also carries selected programming from the main MSG Network channel.
Pegula's executive vice president of media and content Mark Preisler explained that the deal was an alternative to establishing a new regional sports network from scratch, as the company would be able to expand on its relationship with MSG as a long-standing partner by leveraging its infrastructure and distribution, rather than needing to invest in building a network and negotiating carriage with television providers.
The first promos seen for the channel ran during a Bills preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on August 13, 2016 promoting its Bills programming. The channel debuted on September 10, 2016 at 8:00pm with a Western New York cut in showing the 2016 debut of The Rex Ryan Show and a special behind the scenes feature called Rex and Rob Reunited at 8:30 and 9pm, the daily feed followed on October 3.
The network carries team programming related to the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills; the former including all 70 regional Sabres games and the latter including local Bills shows formerly aired by WKBW-TV; preseason telecasts began to be simulcast with WKBW beginning in 2017. In addition, the channel simulcasts The Instigators (formerly known as Sabres Hockey Hotline) and One Bills Live (formerly known as The John Murphy Show) from WGR radio as part of a five-hour weekday block, originating from studios (dubbed the One Buffalo studios) at New Era Field; Murphy's program was moved from the evening to the afternoon and had a co-host added. As an aspect of the overall deal, PSE agreed in principle to extend its radio rights with WGR.
MSG Western New York added a package of five Rochester Americans contests beginning in December 2016, moving the team's television broadcasts to MSG WNY from the moribund Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. Select away playoff games are aired by the channel if the team is playing in a market where the home team has a television partner to simulcast from such as Leafs Nation Network for the Toronto Marlies. On September 7, 2017, it was announced that the channel would begin airing select Monsignor Martin Athletic Association high school football games produced by Pegula as part of a multi-year deal, including a three-game showcase at New Era FIeld. The high school coverage moved exclusively online for 2018. The remainder of MSG WNY's schedule consists of programming from the main MSG Network schedule, such as New York Knicks basketball. In turn, MSG also has rights to air the Pegula-produced original programming and game converge on its other networks.
In 2018, MSG-produced Bills preseason telecasts moved to the stations of Nexstar Media Group in all media markets outside Buffalo. As the Bills could not break their existing contract with WKBW in Buffalo, the rights in that city will not change until 2020, when Nexstar-owned WIVB-TV will begin carrying the games.
Both of the two primary cable providers in Western New York, Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable, which covers the vast majority of the state) and Atlantic Broadband (which covers a small portion of Cattaraugus County) have carried the network from its inception.
On August 10, 2016, the debut night of MSG Western New York it was revealed that DirecTV would not be running the network's full programming schedule. The Sabres noted that MSG made the programming available to DirecTV but the provider was not willing to carry it. This made MSG WNY a part-time channel on DirecTV with the provider continuing to air the channel as a game only service showing Sabres games only. For the 2017 NFL season, DirecTV began showing Bills All Acesss and irregularly showing the first runs of The Sean McDermott Show and Bills Tonight in addition to the Sabres games that the channel airs. A week later DirecTV began showing The Instigators and The John Murphy Show. DirecTV happens to be the service that Pegula owned properties like 716 Food and Sport, a sports bar and grill in downtown Buffalo use.
MSG Western New York, like MSG and MSG Plus, is unavailable on Dish Network. As part of an ongoing feud with the family of Charles Dolan (owners of MSG), Dish has not carried any MSG network channel since the last agreement expired on October 1, 2010.
Andrew Peters (born May 5, 1980) is a Canadian retired ice hockey left winger.Buffalo Beauts
The Buffalo Beauts are a professional women's ice hockey team based in the city of Buffalo, New York. The team was established in 2015 as one of the four founding franchises of the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL). They play at Harborcenter. The team has advanced to the Isobel Cup Finals in the NWHL's first four seasons, winning in 2016–17.
From 2017 to 2019, the Beauts were owned by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which also owns the Beauts' home arena. Pegula has since severed ties with the NWHL and the team would need a new lease for the Harborcenter if they are to continue operations in the 2019–20 season.Dan Dunleavy
Dan Dunleavy (born September 27, 1965) is a Canadian sportscaster for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League. He was formerly a sportscaster with Sportsnet 590 The Fan, and Rogers Sportsnet.
Dunleavy is currently the part-time play by play voice for the Buffalo Sabres on MSG Western New York and WGR 550 radio in Buffalo, rotating with Hall of Fame announcer Rick Jeanneret, who was to retire after the 2016-17 season. Rick changed his mind about retiring despite the agreement he and the Sabres signed with Dunleavy, leaving Dunleavy to work on a year by year time table with the hope of eventually taking over as was offered by the NHL franchise. To partially compensate, Dunleavy's role has also expanded to include filling in as studio host for Brian Duff when not substituting for Jeanneret.
Dan was about to call his third season of Toronto Maple Leaf radio play by play on The FAN590 and TSN1050 in the 2013-14 NHL season, when Buffalo approached him about taking over for Jeanneret. Dunleavy accepted, mainly because of his concerns about being split between the two Toronto stations, each owned by two of Canada's biggest multimedia conglomerates (Bell Media and Rogers Communications), both of whom also held ownership stakes in the Leafs. The Sabres signed Dunleavy to a five-year contract that expires in 2018; Dunleavy has turned down other offers during his time with Buffalo and remains in negotiations for a contract extension.Dunleavy was the voice of Toronto FC of Major League Soccer on Sportsnet TV until the 2015 season.
From December 2004 through January 2011, Dan called the World Junior Hockey Championships on The FAN Radio Network, alongside Jack Miller. That run included five straight gold medal wins for Canada, two gold medal wins for the United States and one gold medal win for Russia.
In 2008 Dunleavy called the World Hockey Championships on the Fan Radio Network, working alongside former NHL'er Mark Osborne. The tournament was held between Halifax and Quebec City. Russia won gold, while Canada was the runner up.
In 2010, Dunleavy called his first NHL game for the Buffalo Sabres who were playing in Anaheim, substituting for the vacationing Rick Jeanneret; Dunleavy called his first NHL TV game for The Sabres on MSG TV in Ottawa in January 2011 and becoming a permanent rotating announcer in 2013. Eventual plans are for Dunleavy to take over the Sabres announcing duties for all games when Jeanneret eventually retires; this was originally slated for 2016 but has since been postponed indefinitely.
In 2010, Dunleavy called his first Olympic hockey games, including the men's bronze medal game and the women's gold medal game at Canada Hockey Place (GM Place) in Vancouver. Dunleavy was the host for every Team Canada game on the FAN radio Network. Dan has also called Canadian Hockey League, American Hockey League, and National Lacrosse League games on Rogers Sportsnet. Dunleavy was the radio play by play voice for the Toronto Rock from 2000 to 2008. In 2009 Dan also served as their public address announcer during their home games.
Dunleavy also served as the public address announcer at the home games for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
Dunleavy served as the TV play by play voice of the Toronto Lynx of USL Soccer.
Dunleavy was The Fan 590's Summer Olympics reporter since the 2000 Olympics, having traveled to Sydney, Australia and Athens, Greece in 2004. In 2010, Dunleavy worked the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver with The FAN radio network.
Dan has also served as a part-time host for Sportsnet's FIS World Cup Skiing coverage. Dunleavy's work includes being the play by play announcer for Rogers Sportsnet and Rogers TV's coverage of the Men's provincial Curling Championships. TSC Stores Tankard. on The Fan 590.
Dan joined The FAN1430 back in the summer of 1993, working part-time on weekends while working five days a week at DC 103.5 FM in Orangeville Ontario. Dunleavy was part of Bob McCown's morning show, before working alongside John Derringer and Mike Richards in the morning. In 2001 Dunleavy took over the afternoon drive Sportscasters role from Scott Ferguson, who left The FAN to join The TEAM1050 radio in Toronto. Dan would remain in that afternoon drive slot with The FAN590 until he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs to become their play by play voice alongside Joe Bowen in time for the 2011-12 season on TALK640 Radio. His run at The FAN lasted 19 years. To this day he continues to join the station to call TFC MLS soccer from time to time, as is the case with TSN1050 Radio, alongside Gareth Wheeler.
Dunleavy was born in Toronto and grew up in Georgetown, Ontario. His radio career started in Welland, Ontario in 1985 at CHOW country radio. He is an alumnus of Niagara College, where he was classmates with Rick Jeanneret's son, Chris Jeanneret.
Dan is married with 2 rescue dogs and resides in Southern Ontario. He met his wife, Brenda on the Sabres broadcast where she was the graphics coordinator/operator for MSG Network.Donald Jones (wide receiver)
Donald Jones (born December 17, 1987) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played college football at Youngstown State. He has also played for the New England Patriots.High-definition television in the United States
High-definition television (HDTV) in the United States was introduced in 1998 and has since become increasingly popular and dominant in the television market. Hundreds of HD channels are available in millions of homes and businesses both terrestrially and via subscription services such as satellite, cable and IPTV. HDTV has quickly become the standard, with about 85% of all TVs used being HD as of 2018. In the US, the 720p and 1080i formats are used for linear channels, while 1080p is available on a limited basis, mainly for pay-per-view and video on demand content.John Murphy (sportscaster)
John Murphy (born March 14, 1955) is an American sportscaster from Buffalo, New York. He is best known as the voice of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network and host of One Bills Live (formerly The John Murphy Show) on WGR and MSG Western New York. In addition to the Bills, he also served as commentator for the Buffalo Bisons, Canisius College Golden Griffins, Buffalo Bulls and Niagara University Purple Eagles in the 1980s.Kim Pegula
Kim S. Pegula (maiden name Kerr, born June 7, 1969) is a Korean-American businesswoman and, along with her husband, Terry Pegula, one of the principal owners of the Buffalo Bills in the National Football League. She is also the President of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which is the holding company that manages the Bills as well as the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League, Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, HarborCenter and Black River Entertainment, an independent record label based in Nashville, Tennessee. She is by extension president of the various teams under Pegula Sports and Entertainment including the Bills and Sabres. Along with Shahid Khan, Pegula is one of only two people of non-European descent to own a franchise in the NFL.List of Buffalo Sabres broadcasters
The following is a chronological history of all local broadcasters of the Buffalo Sabres. Since 1997, radio and television broadcast production has been largely consolidated into the Sabres Hockey Network unit.MSG Network
The MSG Network (MSG) is an American regional cable and satellite television network, and radio service owned by MSG Networks, Inc.—a spin-off of the main Madison Square Garden Company operation (itself a spin-off of local cable provider Cablevision).
Primarily serving the Mid-Atlantic United States, its programming focuses on events featuring and other programs about New York City sports teams, including live game broadcasts of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and New York Red Bulls. The channel is named after the Madison Square Garden sports and entertainment venue in Midtown Manhattan.MSG Plus
MSG Plus (visually branded on-air as MSG+) is an American regional sports network owned by MSG Networks; it operates as a sister channel to MSG Network. The network serves the New York City metropolitan area, whose reach expands to cover the entire state of New York, Northern New Jersey, Southwestern Connecticut and Northeastern Pennsylvania; MSG Plus carries sports events from several of the New York area's professional sports franchises, as well as college sports events.Martin Biron
Martin Gaston Biron (; born August 15, 1977) is a Canadian American former professional ice hockey goaltender.
Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round (16th overall) of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the first half of his 16-year National Hockey League (NHL) career with the Sabres, later having stints with the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and New York Rangers. He is currently a television analyst with the Sabres on MSG Western New York.Mike Catalana
Mike Catalana is the Sports Director of WHAM-TV, the ABC affiliate in Rochester, New York. His professional career began in 1986 when he became the Sports Director at WMGC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Binghamton, New York. He came to WOKR (now WHAM) in Rochester as the weekend sports anchor and reporter in December 1987. After 16 months, he was named the station's Sports Director in December 1989.
Mike Catalana served as the sideline reporter for the Buffalo Bills Television network on MSG Western New York during the NFL pre-season from 2000 to 2017; he lost that position after MSG signed a syndication deal with Nexstar Media Group (owners of rival station WROC-TV) in 2018. Catalana is the pre-game and between period host of Amerks Hockey games on MSG. Mike also anchors a daily sports report for “The 5 O’clock News Hour” on WHAM radio in Rochester.Catalana attended St. Augustine College Preparatory School in Richland, New Jersey and graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's degree from Ithaca College where he studied media.Pegula Sports and Entertainment
Pegula Sports & Entertainment (PSE) is an American sports and entertainment holding company based in Buffalo, New York. The company was established after Terrence Pegula and his family combined their sports, property and entertainment assets into one parent company. The company's assets most notably include the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League, the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, the Buffalo Bandits and the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League, and the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.
The company is largely operated by Kim Pegula as president and CEO.Ruben Brown
Ruben Parnell Brown (born February 13, 1972) is a former American football guard who played in the National Football League (NFL) for thirteen seasons. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills 14th overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at Pittsburgh.
Brown played nine seasons for the Bills and four more for the Chicago Bears, starting all 181 games in which he played. He was a four-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection, including eight consecutive Pro Bowl selections with the Bills from 1996 to 2003. He is the older brother of former NFL linebacker Cornell Brown.
Brown attended E. C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Virginia.Sabres Hockey Network
The Sabres Hockey Network is the official radio network and production company of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). The network is currently operated jointly by the Sabres (Pegula Sports and Entertainment) and by Entercom Communications.
Rick Jeanneret is the network's primary play-by-play voice and has served in that capacity since 1971, with Rob Ray currently serving as color commentator. In the 2008-2009 season, former Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes broadcaster Curt Keilback covered for Jeanneret during the team's western road trip. In the 2009-2010 season, the Sabres did not send their television broadcast crew on the western road trip and used the local broadcasts of the Phoenix Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks as the "home" broadcast. Jeanneret and then color commentator Harry Neale had reduced duties for 2011–2012, with the duo only handling home games and a third of the road games; Kevin Sylvester and Danny Gare handled the broadcasts of the remaining games that season.
The radio network's postgame show is hosted by WGR personality Brian Koziol. Mike Schopp and Chris "Bulldog" Parker host the pre-game show, which airs only on WGR. On television, a pregame show and postgame show are broadcast, and hosted by Brian Duff and Martin Biron. (Prior to 2005, the television pregame-postgame shows were simulcast on radio. The postgame was known as Hockey Hotline and hosted by Mike Robitaille, first with host Brian Blessing and then Josh Mora.)
The theme song for broadcasts has been the "Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian since the team's debut. From the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs through the 2009–10 season, the team used for its main theme an instrumental cut of "Hurricane 2000," an orchestral arrangement of the song "Rock You Like a Hurricane" recorded by Scorpions and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on the album Moment of Glory. From the 1990s through 2006 the team used a custom-made theme. Beginning shortly after Terry Pegula's acquisition of the team, the song was changed back to "Sabre Dance." For the 2011-12 season, a hard-rock version of "Sabre Dance" rotates with MSG Network's standard hockey theme as the theme for the Sabres Hockey Network broadcasts.Spectrum Sports (New York)
Spectrum Sports was a network of regional sports cable television stations serving much of the upstate New York area. The stations, which were owned and operated by Charter Communications through its acquisition of Time Warner Cable in May 2016, were available in Rochester, Binghamton, Syracuse and Buffalo. The network broadcast a variety of local college and minor league sports games and was the de facto successor to the Buffalo-based Empire Sports Network. Unlike most regional sports networks, Spectrum Sports was never available on satellite television, nor was it available in areas of upstate that are served by companies other than Charter Spectrum/Time Warner Cable (such as Atlantic Broadband in Cattaraugus County or Zito Media in Cayuga County).Steve Tasker
Steven Jay Tasker (born April 10, 1962) is an American sports reporter, nationally for CBS Sports and locally in Western New York on the MSG Western New York cable TV station, and on WGR Radio. He is a former wide receiver and gunner in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted in the ninth round (226th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. He played college football at Northwestern. He began his college career at Dodge City Community College. Tasker played most of his pro career with the Buffalo Bills, and was voted by Bills fans to the team's 50th season All-time Team. In 2008, the NFL Network show NFL Top 10 ranked Tasker the ninth best former player not enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has several times been a nominee for the Hall, and was a finalist as recently as 2011, but has not been elected as of 2019.WGR
WGR ("WGR Sports Radio 550") is an all sports radio station in Buffalo, New York that broadcasts on 550 AM. It is the flagship station of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, carrying a mostly locally originated sports talk and play-by-play lineup. Owned by Entercom, its studios are located on Corporate Parkway in Amherst, while its transmitter is located at a four-tower array in Hamburg, New York.
Although it has a power of 5,000 watts, during the day can be heard across nearly all of Western New York, the Greater Toronto Area, and nearby Erie, Pennsylvania. While a single tower is used during the day, power is fed to all four towers at night in a directional pattern to protect WKRC in Cincinnati, Ohio and WDEV in Waterbury, Vermont, concentrating the signal around Buffalo and Toronto.
|Culture and lore|
|Division championships (10)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (2)|
|Wall of Fame|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold
Founded in 2011
Founded in 2010 and 2015
Television Stations viewable in the Greater Rochester, New York area
Reception may vary by location and some stations may only be viewable with cable television
|ATSC-M/H Mobile DTV|
See also: Ontario TV • Buffalo TV • Rochester TV
|American network broadcasters|
|Canadian network broadcasters|
|American pay TV carriers|
|Canadian pay TV carriers|
|NHL owned and operated|
|News television series|
|Broadcasters by event|