Like the city it calls home, Madison Square Garden (MSG) is the entertainment company that never sleeps. While known for its legendary Madison Square Garden Arena, the company owns or operates additional venues, including Radio City Music Hall (home of the leggy Rockettes), the Chicago Theatre, and the Beacon Theater. MSG also owns sports teams the New York Knicks of the NBA and the NHL's New York Rangers, which operate as part of the company's MSG Sports segment. Its MSG Media unit distributes programming through outlets such as cable music network Fuse, and MSG Entertainment produces or hosts live shows at the company's various venues. MSG was spun off from Rainbow Media Holdings (now AMC Networks) in 2010.
Sports and entertainment venues, content, and distribution assets are complementary components of MSG's diverse portfolio that bring in revenue streams across multiple channels. In non-sports related entertainment, the company produces or hosts big names in music and other live performances. Madison Square Garden plays host to about 400 events every year.
Sales and Marketing
MSG spent about $34 million on advertising and marketing promotions during fiscal 2013.
Revenues increased 4% while net income increased 34% in fiscal 2013 compared with fiscal 2012. Net cash inflow increased by $170 million in fiscal 2013 compared with the prior fiscal year.
The increase in revenues was primarily attributed to a 10% increase in revenues from the MSG Media segment. The increase in revenue in the MSG Media was attributed to increase in affiliation fee and advertising revenues. The increase in affiliation fee revenue was primarily due to higher affiliation rates and, to a lesser extent, the impact of MSG Networks being carried by Time Warner Cable for the entire fiscal year 2013.
Advertising fee revenues increased primarily driven by higher advertising sales at both MSG Networks and Fuse. The increase at MSG Networks reflects higher Knicks per-game advertising revenue and more NBA telecasts as the Knicks returned to a full regular season schedule partially offset by the fewer NHL telecasts as a result of the NHL work stoppage.
Net income increased primarily due to the increase in revenues and decreases in operating expenses. Operating expenses decreased 3% in fiscal 2013 compared to the previous year.
The company's sports franchises (which also include the WNBA's New York Liberty) provide an anchor attraction for its Manhattan venue as well as content for its MSG cable network that broadcasts sports coverage. By focusing on its sports teams, MSG hopes to generate greater revenue through ticket sales and concessions at Madison Square Garden while boosting viewership (and advertising sales) on its MSG Networks (including the MSG Network, MSG Plus, MSG HD, and MSG Plus HD). The strategy appears to be working, as the company experienced an increase in revenues and net income in 2009 and 2010, primarily the result of strength in its media business.
MSG's plans for improving its sports and entertainment assets include a renovation project (started in 2011) for Madison Square Garden that is expected to cost between $775 million and $850 million. MSG hopes renovations to the iconic building will be completed by 2013. The overhaul of the more than 40-year-old arena reflects the company's commitment to invest in its core assets.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2012 MSG acquired Inglewood, California venue, The Forum for $23.5 million from The Faithful Central Baptist Church. MSG intends to revive the venue as it has previously done with The Beacon Theatre in New York City and the Chicago Theatre in Illinois.