Tuesday is MASN Day in North Carolina. Okay, so it’s only MASN Day in one North Carolina home, but that home happens to be mine.
After various fits and starts (as my wife can attest, there have been plenty of fits), I will finally be able to watch the Orioles on MASN this evening when I return home from work. Gone is Time Warner Cable; we’re a satellite family now with all the ugly-dish-in-the-side-yard benefits.
I’ve written a fair amount about MASN’s continuing dispute with Time Warner, which became personally frustrating when I relocated to North Carolina last summer. The News & Observer provided an effective overview of the problem back in April.
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.
Here’s the rundown of previous MASN/Time Warner postings on Roar from 34: