The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network did a LOT of promotions last year to get people to sign petitions, call, etc. They gave away thousands of mouse pads, sports coolers, and other freebies – AND THAT WAS JUST AT THE GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS GAMES! Their efforts were probably repeated in Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham, Winston-Salem and other towns around the state.
On the surface, I thought that it was just another cable service trying to get on the BASIC TIER and didn’t give it much thought. MASN was already carried on DirecTV and Dish – most hard core sports fans added satellite TV because of the extra sports channels available that local cable just can not carry.
HOWEVER, this was more than just a programming decision. When another cable company went belly up, Time Warner and Comcast picked up where the bankrupt company left off – cherry-picking the goodies. Time Warner opted not to carry MASN in what the Feds stated as a way for Time Warner to force the company out of business and pick-up some of its better assets (program contracts for sports teams).
If your HAIR is hurting from too much information, its almost over.
Apparently, it was Time Warner’s goal to add sports teams like the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, UNCG, Davidson College UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Charlotte to its News14 service after it forced MASN out of business.
It’s a fine line between being a service provider and being a service. News14 is a great service that Time Warner provides; but Time Warner has to ensure that its goals for News14 don’t cross the line to prevent other services. This time they crossed the line and the Feds called them on it.
To Time Warner, keep News14 as a local alternative to broadcast news. The broadcasters are driving viewers your way every day, be patient.