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MSG 3Q income rises on more Time Warner business

NEW YORK (AP) -- Madison Square Garden Co. reported a 24 percent jump in net income during the third quarter compared with last year, when the company was ensnared in a fight with Time Warner Cable, which blacked out Knicks for about six weeks.

Media revenue grew thanks in part to a full quarter of business with Cablevision and more concerts boosted entertainment revenue.

A lockout in the National Hockey League was a drag on sports revenue, however.

Net income rose to $38.4 million, or 49 cents per share, from $31.1 million, or 40 cents per share. Revenue grew 3 percent, to $412.4 million from $400.5 million.

Analysts were forecasting net income of 31 cents per share and $408.6 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Shares of MSG rose $1.92, or 3.2 percent, to $62.41 in morning trading as a stronger-than-expected jobs report lifted the market.

Revenue from the media unit grew 11 percent to $184.7 million because of a full quarter of business with Time Warner Cable and greater advertising revenue for MSG's Fuse network. Entertainment revenue rose 3 percent to $35.5 million on an increase in revenue from the Beacon Theatre and the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Sports revenue fell 4 percent to $208.1 million because of the NHL lockout. The labor dispute delayed the start of the hockey season by about three months and shortened it to 48 games from 82.

MSG owns and operates sports teams including the New York Knicks of the NBA and the New York Rangers of the NHL. Its business also includes the MSG sports and Fuse music television networks, and venues such as Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall in New York City and the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.