Buoyed by a strong mid-season run of the New York Knicks, the Madison Square Garden Co. reported strong record fiscal third-quarter financial results.
Revenue climbed 21% to $400.5 million, boosted by a 37% revenue gain in its MSG Sports unit to $216 million. The unit includes the New York Knicks tickets sales and other related revenue. Quarterly earnings grew 63% to $31.1 million, up from $19.1 million in the year-ago period.
"MSG Sports delivered its most profitable quarter in our two-year history as a public company," said Hank Ratner, the company’s president and chief executive officer.
MSG Media was up 13% to $166.2 million, with higher affiliate fees --$10.4 million -- for its MSG network. Advertising sales at the network increased $4.3 million.
MSG Entertainment, which includes the MSG building and its event sales, dropped 20% in revenue to $34.3 million. Lower event sales were partly due to uncertainty over what became an NBA shortened regular season.
The company said: "The overall revenue increase included higher professional sports team ticket-related revenue, league distributions, food, beverage and merchandise sales, suite rental fee revenue, event-related revenues from other live sporting events and sponsorship and signage revenues."
In the midst of a lackluster season, The New York Knicks got a shot in the arm when then-unknown Jeremy Lin came out of nowhere to drive the team to a series of mid-season victories, pushing them them to drive for the playoffs.