SportsNet NY Sets Sales Staff

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SportsNet New York, launching March 16, will partner with Time Warner Cable Media Sales to sell ads on the new sports net, but has also named its own sales team.

The venture, a partnership of Time Warner, Comcast and The Mets, will carry 125 regular season  Mets baseball games this season. It will also carry the team’s pre-season and winter schedule games. Next fall, the network will carry college football and basketball games, including Big East and Big 10 contests.

Brian Erdlen, local sales manager at the New England Sports Network, has been named general manager, ad sales; Beth Albanese, from Madison Square Garden (MSG Networks had formerly carried the Mets games), joins as director of ad sales, and Brett Erlich, director of new business development for the NBA, joins SportsNet New York in the same post.

Comcast and Time Warner will carry SportsNet New York on basic tiers in New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut, parts of Pennsylvania and upstate New York. The channel is negotiating carriage agreements with Cablevision and satellite operators.

Mets games had been carried on Cablevision’s MSG Networks, but the team’s deal expired at the end of last season. (The Mets paid $54 million in 2004 to exercise an option that allowed them to jump ship.) Last fall, Cablevision sued the Mets to prevent them from launching a network with Comcast and Time Warner, but a judge dismissed the suit in August 2005.

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