Thursday, December 30, 2010

In case you still care about this, although I suspect you don't

According to an item appearing last week at DCRTV:

Communications Commission has reversed a two-year-old decision and concluded that Time Warner Cable did not discriminate against the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which means the cable operator won't have to deliver the Baltimore-based regional sports network and its Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles games to its subscribers in North Carolina. The vote, 4-1, with commissioner Michael Copps dissenting, comes over two years after Time Warner challenged an FCC Media Bureau decision to uphold an outside arbiter's finding that it had discriminated against MASN by not agreeing to carry it on a widely viewed tier.

Many more exciting details can be found here, as well as some quasi-passionate PR-speak from Todd Webster -- who, as the network's public spokesman for its various carriage disputes over the years, has become the Voice of MASN in some sense.

As most of us no doubt recall, lots of ink (digital and otherwise) was spilled discussing the MASN v. Comcast showdown from several years back, a dispute which, rather inconceivably, found Comcast taking the higher ground at times, even when it was refusing to carry Nationals games at all. The early stages of this dispute were the most entertaining, characterized by goofy stuff like Mel Proctor giving out his cell phone number while doing a game, since no one was watching anyway, but then it got annoying and maybe one of the Comcast executives had a point when he compared MASN's very existence with the Fall of Man. But then the two reached an agreement, and, aside from a few petty spats here and there, we've all been able to move on with some degree of dignity.

Not so in North Carolina, which, at least nominally, is part of MASN's claimed "seven-state region." The big, nasty cable company down there took the outrageous position that MASN should go on a digital tier; Webster and the MASN gang responded by setting up a website and becoming the official network of regional mid-majors like East Carolina and UNC-Wilmington. MASN scored some initial administrative victories over Time-Warner, but I suppose it wasn't until Steven Strasburg's debut occurred that the dispute took on much of a real-world application, since it would basically require a sense of masochism to tune into a 100-loss team that plays several hours away. (Um, except for you, Harper . . .)

Anyway, the dispute down there remains ongoing. It probably does not rate among the epic confrontations of our times, but whatever.


  • I have the mid-Atlantic sports in my programming package as well most companies do not have this channel in their line up. I have been with DISH for about two years now and I haven’t been happier with my service. Being a employee of DISH I know that this station in are America's top 200 and higher for those customers that are in the regional area and for those that are not in the area you have to have the Multisport package and the 200 of higher.

    By Blogger connan, at 1/28/2011 1:18 PM  

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