MASN-Time Warner war continues

Posted by Andy Durham on September 20, 2007 at 11:16 am under College, Professional | 2 Comments to Read

from the playballnow camp…..
New Poll: 70 Percent of NC Sports Fans Believe Time Warner Should Carry MASN on Basic Cable.
68 percent disagree with company’s position that viewers have
“little interest” in MASN’s North Carolina college programming
75 percent believe Time Warner should carry a sports networking featuring nightly baseball in Central and Eastern NC as well as in Western NC.

(Raleigh, N.C.) — A new statewide survey of North Carolina sports fans finds an overwhelming majority believe that Time Warner Cable should carry MASN on basic cable. More than two-thirds of Time Warner customers disagree with the company’s assertion that Carolinians have “little interest” in MASN’s programming, which includes North Carolina college football basketball and lacrosse.
A large majority also agree that Time Warner should end its practice of “regional discrimination” by carrying a regional sports network with Major League Baseball in Eastern and Central North Carolina. The company currently carries such a network only to viewers in the Western part of the state.

The survey found that North Carolina sports fans in general and Time Warner subscribers in particular believe that Time Warner Cable should carry MASN on basic cable.

The survey demonstrates the significant demand for MASN’s regional sports programming, which not only includes nearly every game of two professional baseball teams, but a full slate of college football, basketball and lacrosse games featuring North Carolina teams.

According to the survey:
70% of North Carolina sports fans believe Time-Warner should carry MASN on basic cable. Just 9% believe the cable company should not carry MASN on basic cable.

Just 16% of Time Warner subscribers agree with the company’s position that viewers have little interest in the programming carried by MASN, including coverage of North Carolina schools. 68% disagree.

After hearing that Time Warner carries a regional sports network with Major League Baseball games in Western North Carolina, 74% of Time Warner subscribers believe they should carry a regional sports network with MLB games in Eastern and Central North Carolina as well. 80% of sports fans in the Raleigh-Durham media market, 81% in the Greensboro market, and 73% in the state’s Eastern media markets believe Time Warner should carry a regional sports network with MLB games on basic cable.
“This survey confirms what fans and an increasing number of elected officials already know — that MASN’s programming is essential to North Carolina and deserves to be carried on the basic tier of the cable companies serving the state,” said Todd Webster, spokesman for MASN.

“We hope and expect that Time Warner will heed to wishes of their customers and join the four other providers in North Carolina by carrying MASN immediately,” Webster continued.

Time Warner currently carries Fox Sports South and Sport South, which carry Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds games, to its customers in the Western part of the state, allowing them to watch nightly Major League Baseball. The cable company does not carry a comparable network with nightly MLB to its customers in Eastern North Carolina.

The survey was conducted by Anzalone-Liszt Research, a respected polling firm with offices in Montgomery, Alabama and Washington, D.C. The firm has conducted extensive survey research in North Carolina for corporations, candidates, and issues. The firm’s website is www.anzaloneresearch.com.

The statewide telephone survey of 600 respondents was conducted September 4-6 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

For a complete survey memo, please call 703-837-1110.


  • J.D. Springer said,

    I’d like to get MASN, too, but isn’t it a little bit misleading for MASN to keep saying Time Warner refuses to carry its programming when the truth is that Time Warner refuses TO PAY the folks at MASN what they want to charge for their programming? The ads and petitions and everything else make it sound like MASN wants to give the programming to Time Warner, but Time Warner won’t take it. It isn’t free.

    I’d like to see some dollar figures on what MASN wants from Time Warner. It may be a very reasonable fee — the cable monopolies don’t mind raising our rates, but don’t like to pay for programming — but I’d like to know how much they want.

    This whole thing smacks of the PR war every few years when Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Moses Cone try to negotiate a new contract, but that’s obviously a much more serious issue than which cable sports networks we get on cable.

  • Bob B. said,

    In Virginia, Comcast ended up paying about $2 a month, and raised their rates accordingly. Really not a bad deal though for 320 baseball games this year. I don’t think the cable companies like the idea either if reserving an extra channel for overflow games. Comcast uses the C-SPAN2 channel for MASN2 when extra games are on and added a full time C-SPAN2 for those who can’t get enough of the Senate.