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MASN vs. CSN, in HD

"The upcoming spring launch of MASN's second HD channel, MASN2-HD, will allow the regional sports network to televise every Orioles and Nationals game -- that's more than 320 games -- in 'crystal-clear high definition.' "

That's via Press Box Online, and it's a development that will allow MASN to trumpet its complete HDness, especially in regards to regional competitors.

"MASN is proud to be the first sports network in the region to offer every one of its professional games in high definition," MASN spokesman Todd Webster said in the story. Hmm, wonder what other sports network in the region he might be referring to? Regional sports network feud!

Because people are obsessed with this issue, I asked Comcast SportsNet about its overflow CSN+ games for the Wizards and Capitals, which do not currently air in "crystal-clear high definition."

"Our commitment to HD includes investigating how best to begin providing CSN+ programming in HD, and we will announce timing and other specifics when they become available," a CSN spokesman wrote me.

I'd also like to clear up one consistent misconception that has made Caps fans mighty angry. There's a sense that the Caps are getting the short end of the HD stick compared with the Wizards, but that's not exactly right.

CSN has 62 Caps games, with 12 pushed onto CSN+ and one on The Comcast Network. There are a total of 49 HD games. CSN, meantime, has 66 Wizards games, with 14 pushed onto CSN+ and one on The Comcast Network. There are a total of 52 HD games.

Those proportions strike me as nearly identical, which is how you'd hope the network would handle its two biggest sports properties. Some Caps fans have suggested that the Caps' success should merit preferential treatment, but I think that's a recipe for future disaster. The Caps have had 10 CSN+ games already this season, while the Wizards have only had 7, which is probably why Caps fans have been feeling aggrieved, but the equation will even out shortly.

As for ratings, I'm trying to work on a larger piece on this issue, but there's no doubt that games on CSN+ do considerably worse than games on CSN. Data I've seen suggests that Caps games on CSN+ have an audience about half the size of games on CSN, and that the gap between the two numbers has grown since last season. There are no doubt several reasons: CSN+ is harder to find, is unavailable to at least some local viewers, and is occasionally ghastly to look at. Ted Leonsis had a few things to say on these issues in a recent blog post, asking CSN to

* "Get more HD as promised. Why isn't every Capitals game shot and broadcast in HD?"


* " Fix the quality of CSN Plus. The picture shouldn't look like 1970's circa production value."

As always, I'll note that The Post has a business relationship with CSN, and that I love that network dearly, especially when Michael Jenkins is slipping "Pants on the Ground" references into his hosting duties.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 15, 2010; 11:54 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media , Wizards  
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Next: Boudreau discusses Matt Bradley's stolen fight


Get with it Comcast, I don't want to have to watch another D.C. team on Peter Angelo$'s MASN.

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | January 15, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clearing that up Dan. I was also under the impression that CSN was giving the Wizards preferential treatment over the Caps by bumping the Caps to CSN+ any time the two teams played on the same night. Definitely smart of them to distribute the games evenly. I like both teams, but I'm dangerously close to becoming addicted to Caps games, while I've only watched a handful of Wiz games in their entirety this year.

Props to MASN for guaranteeing all of their games in HD. As an O's fan, it's nice to know I'll get a quality picture every time I watch a game. As a Caps and Wiz fan, I hope this starts a fire under CSN to push for better quality on CSN+. Talk about an atrocious picture.

Posted by: MillBurray | January 15, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

If they let Glibert plea out of this, they are wrong. He has shown criminal intend under the law. Glibert's statement says that he feels that the Wizards organization has shown him no support is totaly bogus.

The Whiz has franchised him, carried him through 3 seasons of rehab and TRUST. And, They have paid him $111 million real dollars to lead the show.

The situation is totally reversed. The Whiz has put their trust in him and backed him 100%. He is the one who has let down the NBA, the Whiz, and his fans. He is a disgrace to the name of professional sports, as well as 4-5 of his "clown" buddies performing the "gun" dance on the floor of the Philly game.

We, the public, are getting sick and tired of the "idol" mentallity and recognition wanted and such immature and irresponsible jerks. Where else in the world can they go and get paid for dribbling a B-ball for over $100,000 per game and think that they are immune to responsibility. Very sad.

I would hope that he never sees the hardwood again.

Posted by: pfflyerB777 | January 15, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about HD !!! I just want CSN+ on my Verizon cable...

Posted by: frostanna | January 15, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately this is only half the battle. Now you have to get your cable or satellite company to agree to carry the second MASN HD channel.

I have a feeling the carriers are also at least partially to blame for that "70's" feeling on CSN+. Verizon's FIOS puts that on Channel 1, where everything looks like internet streaming video from 2002.

Posted by: km352 | January 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

thanks stein. anything that ensures we get to see al koken in full HD is ok with me...umm, wait..i mean lisa hillary.

do you know why CSN+ isnt in HD? is it cost or technology. also, why are some caps games in "upconverted standard def" even though they are being shown on the HD channel? someone suggested its due to no agreement with the originating broadcasters (i.e. at the visiting arena) and CSN? can you swing by pegoraro's cube and ask him?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 15, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

What happened to ComcastSportsyNet?

Posted by: kolbkl | January 15, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

How about addressing the fact that even the Caps games Comcast claims are in HD are not actually broadcast in true HD?!!

Posted by: Scott_in_Shaw | January 15, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happens, I really, really hope it puts an end to the nauseating whining from Caps fans about other local teams getting preferential treatment. The Caps are a class organization from top to bottom, and they're converting new fans every day. It's a wonderful thing to watch.

But in the meantime, it's going to take a while for the media and non-sports nut public to catch on. That's life. So can we please just focus on rooting for ALL of the home teams, and concentrate our anger toward those disgusting fatbody Penguins fans and their ugly girlfriends?

Posted by: bryc3 | January 15, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Short end of the stick would be DC United on Comcast.



Posted by: jayrockers | January 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Steinz. I've been waiting for something... anything... since William Hung faded from my life.

Posted by: MichaelJenkins | January 15, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I will tell you one big reason why games on CSN+ get lower ratings: Because the Comcast Sportsnet channel does not advertise upcoming games on CSN+. Example: Let's say a Caps game is on CSN+ on Thursday night and on CSN on Saturday night. From Sunday through Thursday, you will see regular next Caps game ad promos on Comcast Sportsnet, but they will all be about the Saturday night game. It's like the Thursday night game never exists. Also, when Comcast Sportsnet tells you the next's night lineup or that night's lineup, whatever is on CSN+ is never mentioned. I have never understood this approach since CSN must be making money off the ads run on both CSN and CSN+.

Posted by: Monty2 | January 15, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Another big reason...CSN+ is not offered on Verizon (under any package) in Howard County or Anne Arundal County or Harford County in Maryland.

This pisses me off every time. "Oh look the Wizards...."

Posted by: CByrd1 | January 15, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan. Please tell your connections at Comcast to remedy this situation as soon as possible. I love watching the Caps in HD. CSN+ looks absolutely terrible, there really is no excuse for that.

Posted by: hatrik22 | January 15, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Might as well fix the audio on CSN+ too.

Posted by: tha_prophet | January 15, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

How many complaints are there when the Wiz are banished to CSN-? I've yet to hear one. I wish they were put there even when there isn't a Caps game that night...

Posted by: jyjr16 | January 15, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

MASN had CSN trumped last year as well. Even if a live Nats/O's game had to be shown on standard-def MASN2, it was produced and recorded in HD so that all reruns on MASN would be in HD.

CSN isn't even that evolved.

Posted by: redskinsfreak | January 15, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see more HD on COMCCAST but MASN is Angelos channel. They could go high def 24/7 and I wouldn't watch it.

Posted by: poguesmahone | January 15, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Comcast has 2 compeitiors where I live (MC), charge very high rates, has enough cash to attempt to buy the Dsiney Corp. , or now NBC, and they can't offer top notch HD. lol

Posted by: Max231 | January 15, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

GET WITH IT COMCAST! To be losing to Angeloser is unacceptable!

Posted by: mjwies11 | January 15, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Is MASN2-HD going to be a full-time 24/7 channel, or just an overflow channel like MASN2 stndard def has always been? In other words, will MASN be programming the second HD channel full time, or just when there's a game to show? Nothing I have seen or read indicates that it will be. It will definitely be an improvement, but MASN should quit calling it a second channel if it really isn't.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 15, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

If it ain't in HD, I ain't watching. This is 2010 for crisis sakes!

Posted by: AnnandaleAnnie | January 15, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Somewhat related, I think in the midst of the mike wise foot in mouth/plead for ratings episode, it was stated that the Wizards get better TV ratings than the Caps. Is that still the case? I haven't seen ratings info in a while but Wizards vs Caps TV ratings season to date would make for an interesting bog post.................(yes this is a hint)

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 16, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

@SombreroGuy Will do

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | January 16, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The last time I saw anything(mostly sports media watch and tv by the numbers), the Wizards ratings were still better than the Caps.

Posted by: sitruc | January 16, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

If you don't have a special television package like FIOS or DirecTV, but rather, you just have a basic cable package, all CSN broadcasts are of terrible quality since CSN does not have a digital/HD channel like other networks do. Even MASN has a digital channel for basic cable packages.

Posted by: blindskateluke | January 16, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I saw that games on MASN2 will now be in HD but what are the odds that Comcast will even add MASN2HD. Comcast, in Alexandria at least, is way behind other cable operators in the number of HD channels offered-- especially SPORTS channels! CSN+ needs to be HD. Do the ACC basketball games that get bumped due to Wizards and Capitals games on CSN?

Posted by: tidalwave1 | January 18, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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