Watching the New York Knicks is a form of punishment these days. That may not stop Comcast Corp. or Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. from spending billions for the rights to show you their games.

Madison Square Garden Co. Chairman James Dolan is forging ahead with a plan to split the $6.4 billion company into two pieces: the sports franchises and entertainment venues on one side, and the regional sports television networks on the other. Those networks, MSG Network and MSG+, may become instant acquisition targets, said Brandon Ross, an analyst for BTIG in New York.

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