RCN-MASN Dispute May Leave DC Residents Without MLB Broadcasts
Cable outlet RCN said that it has "reached an impasse in negotiations" with MASN, and if the sides "cannot reach a deal by July 1, thousands of residents in the DC area will lose access" to the Nationals and Orioles telecasts on MASN and its sister station, MASN2, according to Ben Strauss of the WASHINGTON POST. The specific dispute between RCN and MASN is "believed to be over a concept called penetration minimums." RCN offers a "basic package that includes broadcast networks without cable channels and a more robust package that includes channels such as MASN, ESPN and CNN." Deals between networks and providers "often call for a guarantee for a certain percentage of their subscribers to pay for a network." A source said that RCN, because of more customers preferring basic cable, "wanted to reduce the percentage of its homes that it guaranteed would pay for MASN, while MASN wanted to keep the percentage the same." According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, 14,991 homes in the DC area "receive cable through RCN." RCN is in the "fewest homes of the pay TV providers in the Washington designated market area." MASN "does not offer a streaming option for viewers" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/15).