- Debate: The Nationals, the Orioles, Peter Angelos, and MASN Part 3 (halfstreetheartattack.com)
- Debate: The Nationals, the Orioles, Peter Angelos, and MASN Part 2 (halfstreetheartattack.com)
- The Debate: The Nationals, the Orioles, Peter Angelos, and MASN Part 1 (halfstreetheartattack.com)
Pardon me for forgetting how hard the Orioles had it in the 90s and 00′s during the Yankees / Red Sox bubble. I was too busy thinking about how MLB gutted the Expos/Nationals farm team, stripped the franchise of all its scouts and spring training facility. MLB also cut the team’s payroll to the point they would not allow September call ups and not drafting players on talent, but on sign-ability. The MASN deal was just another indignity heaped on the franchise. The only problem now is that Mike Rizzo and the team has been able to outrun all those problems, except for maybe Spring Training (that is another post) but this idiotic MASN TV deal. Allow me to explain:
1. The whole concept doesn’t make logistical sense. The network owns the rights to 2 baseball franchises. These teams play virtually every day for 6 months of the year. Their games are always in conflict with each other; this necessitated adding MASN 2 to carry the other game. For the first few years some cable networks didn’t have MASN 2 so games couldn’t be watched. A viewer has no idea which channel the game is going to be on every day, because in the name of “fairness” the teams are on MASN 1 an equal amount of time. The rest of the time MASN 2 sits as a blank channel on my cable system. The Dodgers are on SportsNet LA and the Angels are on FS West; the Cubs are on WGN and White Sox are on CSN Chicago, the Mets are on SNY, the Yankees are YES; the Giants are CSN Bay Area, the A’s are CSN California. You see how that works, MLB and Angelos don’t. More on the huge problem later.
2. The content of the network doesn’t satisfy anyone except those that happen to follow all Baltimore and Washington sports team. Jim Harbaugh keeps begging for Redskins fans to let the Ravens be their AFC team, but most Skins fans are not interested. Same with the O’s, I am willing to bet people from Baltimore are even less interested in Nats news than vice-versa.
The game broadcasts are actually very good. I like the pregame and post game show and the quality of presentation is as good as any in baseball. I really like the talent on the station and their website. The problem with the network is everything else. I can’t watch MASN content because it pretends that I care about anything going on in Baltimore sports. I am from Washington, I watch Washington teams. There is plenty of demand for Baltimore Ravens and Orioles news in Baltimore, I don’t care about either team at all, and watching MASN broadcasts requires half the time being spent on those teams. Don’t even get me started on the shared booth during the battle of the “beltways”. I can honestly say that TV contract colors my feelings about the O’s. If I knew the Nats were a partner in the network I would be more forgiving of the content. MASN really wants to pretend it is the Baltimore/Washington market but these are two distinct cities.