I initially followed the North Carolina MASN dispute out of an interest in the business side of baseball and an understanding of the importance of regional networks to team success. But now, having recently moved to North Carolina, it's personal.
I was unable to watch Opening Day when I returned home from work on Monday despite the fact that the game was broadcast on ESPN. The game was blacked out in our area, so we got ESPN News instead.
This was after I spent the morning listening to the Orioles pregame on 105.7 The Fan via the Internet, only to have the live streaming end once the game began.
Could it be time to pony up for MLB's Extra Innings package? Even that cost-ineffective option isn't available. O's games on the Extra Innings package also are blacked out in the Triangle region of North Carolina.
In short, my only options for watching the Orioles in North Carolina this season are these:
*To purchase MLB.TV ($79.95 yearly for basis/$109.95 for premium) and watch the games on my computer.
*To switch from cable TV - the obstinant folks at Time Warner are the only cable provider in my area - to satellite television.
I'll be doing the latter. Time to put up that eyesore of a dish and cue the Dave Matthews.
This dispute hurts not only Time Warner - who will lose subscribers, and even a small number seems like it should matter in this economy - but also the Orioles, who have no television presence in some of North Carolina's most populated cities. It's especially confounding when you consider that the Birds are considered to be among the four "home teams" for the region - the Nats, Braves, and Reds are the others.
Good luck if you want to root-root-root for the "home team" in North Carolina.