Thursday, April 09, 2009

More Press on the MASN Situation

It appears I'm not the only person who's frustrated about not being able to watch the O's in North Carolina. Thursday's News & Observer includes the story, "Local viewers can't see Nationals, O's," which further highlights the ridiculous nature of the situation.
"Ricky Frankoff, a baseball fan in Apex, still appreciates the chance that he and his sons got to witness history on Sept. 6, 1995, when Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played. ESPN televised the game.

Then Frankoff thinks about watching baseball on TV today and goes cold.

'What if this had been Cal Ripken's record-breaking year? I couldn't have shown my children that,' he said. 'That's not right.'

Frankoff, like other Time Warner Cable subscribers, is stuck in a perpetual on-deck circle, awaiting his turn to tune in the Orioles and the Washington Nationals, the designated home teams for much of North Carolina. Until the cable company's fight against MASN ends, he can't.

Not even the extra $169 he spent to get the MLB Extra Innings package of games from Time Warner this season allowed him to see the Orioles beat the New York Yankees 10-5 on Monday in the season-opening game for both teams. MASN -- the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network -- owns the rights to the Orioles and the Nationals, so ESPN's telecast was blacked out.


Two arbitrators and the Federal Communications Commission media bureau chief already have ruled in favor of MASN, saying the cable company discriminated against the regional sports network by not making its programming available on its basic digital service. TWC has insisted on putting MASN on a more expensive digital sports tier.

Despite its 0-3 record, Time Warner has appealed the most recent ruling to the full FCC, and there's no indication when that five-member body will deal with the issue. The FCC lists it as an 'item on circulation,' and it is not on the agenda for the commission's meeting today."

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