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Arbitrator Removed in Time Warner, MASN Dispute

Posted February 22, 2008

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— An arbitrator who last month ruled that Time Warner Cable was discriminating against a regional sports network that carries Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals baseball games has been removed from the dispute.

Mid-Atlantic Sports Network has waged a high-profile battle with Time Warner for months to get the network onto the cable system's basic tier of service so the programming could be seen by more people.

Time Warner has maintained that it would be unfair to impose the cost of acquiring MASN programming on all customers because interest in the games is low. Instead, the company offered to carry MASN on a digital channel.

In addition to Orioles and Nationals games, the network carries more than 200 football, basketball and lacrosse games involving North Carolina universities, officials have said.

Jerome Sussman, an arbitrator appointed by the Federal Communications Commission, determined last month that Time Warner was discriminating against MASN by limiting the network's audience. He was to review offers made by the two sides to determine the fair market value of moving the network into wider distribution on the cable system.

But the American Arbitration Association removed Sussman from the case Thursday under a rule that arbitrators remain impartial and independent. A new arbitrator hasn't been appointed to handle the case.

MASN spokesman Todd Webster said the arbitration association refused to vacate Sussman's earlier ruling, so the process of expanding the network's presence on Tim Warner's system in North Carolina will continue.

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  • TheAdmiral Feb 25, 2008

    I would watch Orioles games, ECU games, college wrestling and other items of interest.

    You can take the Weather Channel, HGTV, Food Network, and the Golf Channel and stuff them as far as I am concerned.

  • Pineview Style Feb 22, 2008

    "ECU games would be the only reason I would watch MASN. And, I agree the prices being charged for cable services in the area are pathetic, and the quality of service has gone down."

    Same here. You would think there is enough of a Pirate Fanbase that it would be justified having a channel that carried the games.

  • Hip-Shot Feb 22, 2008

    ECU games would be the only reason I would watch MASN. And, I agree the prices being charged for cable services in the area are pathetic, and the quality of service has gone down.

    I have Suddenlink, which should be renamed SporadicLink due to the fact that my internet regularly drops. I would not consider VoIP due to the fact that I have too many internet outages, and the bandwidth varies tremendously from 300kbps to 3 mbps. For basic cable and internet I'm paying about $94 per month.

  • nicklebon Feb 22, 2008

    Notorious THC said:
    If it wasn't for sports and wrestling, I wouldn't even watch cable. I watch the news and weather channel sometimes, but I don't need them.

    A person has to have priorities I suppose ... Maybe more sports channels will keep these people occupied enough on election day so they will forget to vote.

  • foetine Feb 22, 2008

    nothing scares cable channels more than ala carte. I just cancelled IFCTV, Sundance and FMC last week because I realized they rarely offered anything I wanted to see. And if they did something worthwhile, I could rent it from netflix. Much as I'd enjoy having Bravo on the dial, you can watch all their major shows on one weekend when visiting relatives with a Dish. Otherwise they just marathon their own shows and Segal movies. BBCAmerica is a joke when they run our version of Dancing with the Stars.

    I have no desire to watch the Os flounder in the basement with Tampa - knowing my money is going into Peter Angelos ambulence chasing fingers.

  • Space Mountain Feb 22, 2008

    I could care less about MASN. Just give me more HD channels. I have over 200 channels because it's the only way I can get the HD DVR, but I bet I watch only 10 channels. If it wasn't for sports and wrestling, I wouldn't even watch cable. I watch the news and weather channel sometimes, but I don't need them. If there is a big news or weather event, they'll break in on the network stations for it. I would love to just pay for those 10 channels and have them all in HD.

  • x3trig Feb 22, 2008

    I wish we could get other cable services than Time Warner in the area. Their prices are ridiculous. People are getting fiber optics ran to their house in Atlanta for 19.99 a month while we pay 49.99 a month for the so called "high speed" internet service from Time Warner. They need some more competition to lower prices.

  • foetine Feb 22, 2008

    why would a Redsox fan want MASN? So the O's announcers can spread more lies about Curt and Co? We should be able to get NESN or YES since there's 10 times more Sox and Yankees fans in the Triangle. Why should we be force to watch two basement dwelling losing teams in the Gnats and Ohhhs? And as far as local teams on MASN - seems that a majority of them are not run live. This isn't "Our Sports Channel." This is Maryland's channel and seeing how they're 8 hours away from us - we don't care.

  • chfdcpt Feb 22, 2008

    I kissed the cable company adios 8 years ago. I get better service from my satellite, more channels, and lower price than the cable company offers...

  • 1Rx4FN Feb 22, 2008

    No MASN, NFL Network, NESN etc - when will it ever come to a la carte ordering of cable?

    How about I trade you my Lifetime, CMT, and CSPAN2 for MASN? Where is the high demand for those channels?

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