It's time for MSG to take the New York Islanders more seriously 1
Feb 12, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Larry Johnson, Latrell Sprewell, New York Knicks executive chairman James L. Dolan and Bernard King look on during the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the New York Islanders are more than familiar with the content of the topic. The “technical issues” that plague the Islanders games on MSG need to stop. 

Historical Failure

What prompted this seemingly random tirade was the game against the Senators on Saturday afternoon.

While watching the Islanders (as usual), I noticed the feed was a little fuzzy. That sort of tint that appears over your screen as if you’re watching a VHS tape you dusted off from your box of 90’s Disney collection. Then, the audio began to cut out and there were interruptions with the video feed.

This was not at all the first time this had happened and there’s a good bet it will be far from the last. I first noticed it this season when the Islanders were set to square off at home against the Dallas Stars, the first game with Doug Weight behind the bench.

It came first as an interruption, but then turned into a nuisance very rapidly. First, the screen switched to the display that was being shown on the scoreboard of the Barclays Center. Interesting.

A snapshot of the MSG broadcast during the first period. The screen displayed the scoreboard’s feed from the Barclays Center.

Then, the problem was seemingly corrected when the picture returned. The only issue being that the commentary did not follow suit, and there was an extended period of silent hockey. The commentary did return, but it was followed by the departure of the score interface.

When I sat down and thought about it, I remembered that a similar situation had occurred about three weeks prior, when the Islanders played the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul. The video and audio feed was laughably poor as if viewers were subjected to turn YouTube down to the lowest buffer setting and wait for it to load for half the first period. The video feed wasn’t just poor, it wasn’t even MSG. Fox Sports had to lend a hand to pick up slack that MSG dropped.

Going back even further brings back countless memories of the Islanders games not even being broadcasted in full HD some nights on MSG+.

Who bears the guilt?

New York Knicks fans have the unpleasant experience of knowing how inept James Dolan is as an owner.  It has been well documented throughout his tenure as Knicks owner and known league-wide. Apparently, that ineptitude has spread out into the realm of broadcasting as well.

Islanders fans know and have experienced the feeling of being treated like second-class citizens. Islanders games are always bumped in favor of the larger-market New York Rangers. It’s always been Rangers as the priority and the spare parts to the Islanders.

There is no excuse in existence that is good enough to cover these inconsistencies. The setup at the Barclays Center being “unique” isn’t good enough. Does the YES Network have the same issues as frequently? What about SNY and the Mets? In the past two years alone I can confidently say the Islanders broadcasts have been more troubled than any other major New York sports team.

It’s time for the inconsistencies to stop, the fanbase deserves better, especially after the tumultuous drama that has surrounded the Islanders historically and most notably this season.

James Dolan and MSG Networks: Enough is enough.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.