MSG’s Post-Strike Revenue Spike

The completion of the first phase of Madison Square Garden’s renovation and the end of the NBA lockout provided a shot in the arm for its parent company as well as higher revenues for its basketball tenant New York Knicks, MSG reported in its fiscal third quarter earnings report.

Income soared 63 percent, helped by arena renovation and Knicks revenue that began pouring in after the NBA strike of 2011 ended.

The company, which also owns other franchises including the NHL’s New York Rangers, television networks and entertainment venues including Radio City Music Hall, earned $31.1 million, or 40 cents per share, for the quarter. That’s up from $191.million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier.

The results easily topped the 19 cents per share expected, on average, by analysts.

For the three months ended March 31, the company said revenue increased 21 percent to $400.5 million from $330.4 million. This was mostly due to better results at its MSG sports and media units, and beat the Street’s revenue forecast of $352.7 million.

The company said MSG’s sports segment performance was mostly helped by the continued renovations at its namesake arena. President/CEO Hank Ratner said that Madison Square Garden is now providing new products and amenities thanks to the completion of the first phase of the project. The second phase of renovations is expected to begin once the basketball and hockey playoffs conclude.

MSG’s sports division also benefited from a higher percentage of Knicks-related revenue being recognized in the quarter, thanks to the delayed start to the NBA season and the shortened Knicks regular season schedule.