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MASN-Comcast Negotiations: Big Implications for TV and MLB

Mar 1, 2024

The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network is trying to strike a new carriage agreement with Comcast, but the issue transcends the typical contract battles between sports television networks and cable distributors, and it could greatly impact the presence and economic state of two MLB clubs.

The Orioles-controlled regional sports network’s contract with the largest cable carrier in the Baltimore-Washington region expired at the end of February, and a short-term extension has been reached that will give them until March 7 to strike a new deal. But those discussions are occurring against a backdrop of significant change on both sides of the table.

From Comcast’s perspective, the talks arrive amid continued cord-cutting across the entire pay-TV industry and rising costs for RSNs of all types. Because of that, the carrier has already been shifting such networks to higher-cost premium tiers that target the channels to more avid fans willing to pay for them. Comcast recently made such a move in Pittsburgh and Seattle. If Comcast were to do the same in Baltimore and Washington, fans there would be faced with a choice of paying for a more expensive Xfinity package or switching to another cable or satellite TV provider. Other distributors, too, are paying close attention to how Comcast handles these RSNs.

Source: Front Office Sports

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