This week Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run against a team in our local television market, the Washington Nationals.
Tonight another team that has been in our television market for 25 years, the Baltimore Orioles, rallied from down 5-1 in the eighth to defeat the Boston Red Sox 6-5.
Local viewers were shutout because MASN and Time Warner Cable have been unable to come to a carriage agreement. MASN has managed to come to an agreement with 21 other cable operators, including other carriers in North Carolina, to bring us teams that are within our local area.
The commercials that MASN has plastered all over local television gloss over the real issues. The bottom line is that MASN wants to be included on the standard tier (channels 2-77), which gives them access to the largest possible audience. Time Warner wants to put them in a digital sports pack that viewers have to pay extra for, which would give MASN very limited exposure into this market.
Another problem is that MASN needs two channels most nights since they run all the Nationals and Orioles games and there is a tremendous amount of overlap. Time Warner would need to move two channels off the standard tier to make room for MASN and MASN2. MASN2 doesn’t provide any programming when not showing a baseball game and this channel would be dark when there were no games on it. Other systems have worked around this by using the CSPAN-2 channel for overflow games.
MASN, which is owned by the Baltimore Orioles, has shown they are interested in the North Carolina market and it not just looking for a place to show baseball games. They have secured rights to ECU football, UNCW sports and they are rumored to be a player for the Carolina Hurricanes rights when they become available next season.
As I have recommended on this page before, DirecTV is the clear answer. The quality of their service is superior to Time Warner and you don’t have to worry about not getting a channel. When was the last time Time Warner was proactive in getting a new channel? Time Warner still doesn’t have ESPNU or the NFL Network, for crying out loud. Just wait for that Panthers-Cowboys game this fall that will only be available to those with DirecTV.
This will get worked out someday. It always does. If you are a sports fan who is tired of constantly getting shut out of sports (ESPNU, NFL Network and now MASN), just get DirecTV and tell Time Warner to take a generation of poor customer service and shove it.