Monday it was announced that the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) and the Baltimore Ravens could not close a deal to continue to carry Ravens programming this season. While this isn’t exactly a loss of epic proportions, and has little to no effect on how the Ravens will play this season, it does create a void in the area of Ravens news coverage. The team is left with few options to carry its football related shows, none of them quite the fit that MASN provided.
The big question is where will the weekday programming that fills time during the football season be placed? The local broadcast stations seem to have a problem because of their contractual network obligations. Though WBAL could possibly place the programs on one of its digital channels, it’s reach doesn’t compare to MASN’s. Another option could possibly be Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, though they currently serve as the Washington Redskins station and air their weekday programming; the network would have to shoehorn the Ravens shows into their lineup as well.
Of course, when deals like this don’t get done, blame is often thrown around. Looking around the internet, the easy and most cited target is Peter Angelos, who owns MASN (as well as the Orioles). Some of the reasons range from greed, to jealousy, to plain stupidity. I’m not sure how much blame Angelos must take, but with the network making him money hand over fist, I can’t believe he would go out of his way to see to it that the Ravens not air their programming on his network. In the end though, it looks as though the two sides just parted ways, agreeing to disagree on the terms for another deal. The losers in all of this, of course, are the fans. While the shows themselves weren’t exactly top quality productions, they did provide a service in giving fans more information about their favorite team and more ways to access that information. Living here on the Eastern Shore, MASN was my conduit for exclusive and additional Ravens television coverage that you wouldn’t necessarily get from the NFL Network or ESPN. Now that it is gone, here’s hoping the Ravens can find a solution before the season starts.