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The Angelos Channel: All-Baltimore, All the Time

The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), the regional cable channel that Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos created to carry the telecasts of the O's and the Washington Nationals, would have D.C.-area viewers believe that the Nats and the Washington sports scene will get at least equal billing now that games featuring both cities' teams will air on the channel.

A MASN spokesman acknowledges that the cable channel is based in downtown Baltimore, but tells the Baltimore Sun that "it's not about where we're located, it's what's on the air." MASN lets out word that it is seeking the services of Washington sports TV legend George Michael, recently let go by NBC-4.

But just as Angelos owns 90 percent of what is supposed to be a joint venture between his own team and the franchise he tried to keep out of the region, MASN is all about Baltimore. Let's look at what's on the air:

Of the nine shows listed on MASN's own web site, eight are Baltimore-based and Baltimore-centric. The one exception is a TV simulcast of Redskins Radio's John Riggins Show.

Of this week's live sports events shown on the channel, there are hoops games featuring George Mason and Georgetown, but more of the games showcase such stellar basketball schools as Towson, Loyola, and Maryland-Baltimore County.

More important, MASN has zero sports news capacity, in sharp contrast to Comcast Sports Net, from which it took rights to the Orioles games. (Comcast still has the rights to Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and United games, as well as some lesser college hoops contests.)

It's been clear from the start that MASN was part of Angelos' attempt to diminish the ability of the Nationals to establish themselves in the Washington market. But at some point, you'd think he would need to build audience for MASN, which, after all, is more than a weapon against the Nats. Yet the ads on MASN are still almost entirely for Baltimore businesses and the programming is overwhelmingly Baltimorean. The deep antipathy that Angelos has engendered among Washington fans will not go away easily or quickly, but MASN's haughty attitude toward Washington certainly isn't helping to turn this around.

By Marc Fisher |  January 17, 2007; 7:24 AM ET
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Comments

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I truly, deeply and in a most unChristian way, wish that Peter Angelos would die a horrible death and soon. He has a hubris that makes Donald Trump look like Woody Allen, the ethics of a wharf rat and a mean, vindictive streak that makes Sadaam Hussein look like Pee Wee Herman.

Posted by: Stick | January 17, 2007 8:13 AM

I am certainly no fan of Cuban Pete -- and seeing those ads for Baltimore-based businesses, such as the home electronics store near Lexington Market, was pretty ludicrous during Nationals games -- but in MASN's defense, Comcast has the rights to a vast majority of non-baseball related programming in the region. For example, MASN would probably love to run University of Maryland women's basketball games, but Comcast owns rights for ACC action. I'll give MASN the benefit of the doubt for now, but at this time next year its programming had better be more diversified.

Posted by: Vincent | January 17, 2007 9:25 AM

I wonder if the crappy quality of the programming speaks to Angelos' dislike of DC or his inability to successfully put together a TV network. I hate Angelos as much as anybody, but I take MASN as more a product of incompetence than antipathy.

Posted by: Miles | January 17, 2007 9:44 AM

I know there is nothing the Lerners can do, but MASN will be a hinderance to the Nats for decades to come.

Posted by: MLB handcuffs the Nats | January 17, 2007 11:12 AM

Once again freedom of the press comes to mind. Not the freedom to provide us with unbiased information, but freedom for the owners to cover stories and provide shows that THEY want.

If nobody watches what he provides, the advertisers will not provide the money he needs to continue.

Posted by: SoMD | January 17, 2007 11:23 AM

Last year near the end of the baseball season I called the phone number listed on MASN's website to obtain some information on the broadcasting schedule for National games. Tthe first person who answered the line said "Orioles Baseball". I was then transfered to a second person who said "Orioles BAseball". I was starting to see a trend! It wasn't until my 3rd connection that I was able to obtain informatio from an individual who wanted to debate why the Nationals should be ever so grateful to even have a lilmited presence on MASN. Enough said!

Posted by: TKD | January 17, 2007 12:04 PM

Angelos is his own worst enemy. The guy may have more money than anyone posting here, but his behavior reveals him to be a miserable small-minded loser who has an unrivaled ability to alienate good hearted people within his organization and outside of it. His greatest claim in life is ruining the precious and storied Baltimore Orioles. Nice job, jackass.

Posted by: Double 0 Zero | January 17, 2007 12:05 PM

Angelos is his own worst enemy. The guy may have more money than anyone posting here, but his behavior reveals him to be a miserable small-minded loser who has an unrivaled ability to alienate good hearted people within his organization and outside of it. His greatest claim in life is ruining the precious and storied Baltimore Orioles. Nice job, jerk off.

Posted by: Double 0 Zero | January 17, 2007 12:06 PM

Thank Angelos and Bud Selig for draping this horrible waste of bandwidth on us. I remember seeing a football game on MASN one Saturday -- Villanova vs. Delaware.

WTF???

So we get Baltimore-centric MASN, and CSN shows with some characters out of Philly. DC gets hosed over and over again.

Since you can cover Loyola, Towson and UMBC, why don't you extend it to American, Howard, Navy and the aforementioned GU and GM? Sheesh.

Posted by: dirrtysw | January 17, 2007 12:29 PM

Georgetown games are on MASN. MASN has the Big East rights.

Posted by: OD | January 17, 2007 12:33 PM

Wow, Stick and Double 0, you took the words out of my mouth. Not enough bad things can happen to Peter A. Normally I would never wish anyone to get cancer, or be killed in a terrorist attack, but....

Between his MASN/Nationals intrigue to his screwing MD out of the millions they had coming in the tobacco settlement, Angelos could be among the worst people on the planet, especially now that Saddam is dead and Castro is in God's waiting room.

Posted by: JD | January 17, 2007 1:05 PM

Poor, poor Washington, DC. Always in Baltimore's shadow. Never gets any ink or airtime.

If I lived in DC, I guess I'd share Fisher's view. But MASN is a fledgling network. It doesn't benefit Angelos or MASN if nobody watches the Nationals. According to the same Sun story Fisher quotes, MASN will get more and more DC-related programming. Then we can rest easier, knowing that DC finally gets the attention it so craves.

Posted by: kramdenyards | January 17, 2007 1:25 PM

God, please help us if George Michael is hired. He is the biggest waste of air time ever. Blind homer with no sports knowledge ever. They should hire someone who isn't a dinosaur waiting to be palm fed by Dan Snyder.

Posted by: Jon | January 17, 2007 1:40 PM

May Peter Angelos get what is coming to him. I hope people at MASN or one of his other businesses file a class action lawsuit against him. Leave him pennyless like he left others with his lawsuits. He is nothing but an ambulance chaser.

Posted by: Jon | January 17, 2007 1:44 PM

Apparently Peter Angelos has recently been to NYC:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070117/ap_on_re_us/nyc_gas_odor_1

Posted by: Mister Methane | January 17, 2007 2:04 PM

Get a grip and get the facts. Today's programming sched? All the ESPNews you can handle.

6:00 AM ESPNews
9:00 AM Orioles Classic (New HoFer Cal Ripken's Final Game vs. Red Sox, 10/6/01)
12:00 PM College Basketball (UMBC @ Maine)
2:00 PM Thundering Herd [Marshall, as in WV] Hoops
2:30 PM Ricky Stokes Show [ECU basketball]
3:00 PM ESPNews
4:00 PM Anita Marks Show
7:00 PM Ravens Wired
7:30 PM College B-ball Georgetown-Rutgers
9:30 PM College B-ball Dayton-Charlotte
11:30 PM ESPNews

Tomorrow's Sched? Some more of the same.
6:00 AM ESPNews
9:00 AM Nationals Classic (Nats @ Pirates, 6/22/05)
12:00 PM College B-ball Georgetown-Rutgers
2:00 PM Boating Today TV
2:30 PM Future Phenoms
3:00 PM ESPNews
4:00 PM MASN Playmakers
7:00 PM Inside Notre Dame Basketball
7:30 PM Ravens Wired
8:00 PM College B-ball New Orleans @ Troy
10:00 PM ESPNews

I know you really really really really really really hate Angelos, but perhaps this is more an issue of filling a programming scheule for a fledgling network and a struggle to secure broadcast rights with regional teams than it does with a bias towards Baltimore. Not sure how Notre Dame fits into Mid-Atlantic, but MASN's indicated that they'd cover the entire mid-atlantic region. You would seem to have that limited to DC and Baltimore, while dropping Richmond, Philly, Delaware (as in UD) and other parts of Jersey and PA.

I seem to remember that ESPN's programming in those dark, early days consisted of a lot of log-rolling, sumo wrestling, boring tennis and F1 racing. If you'd have learned anything about Angelos in the last several years, it's that he wouldn't give a hoot about what's on his TV network as long as it's enough to draw sponsorship and thusly $$$ without the slightest bit of bias for or against DC or Baltimore. Time to end your self-righteous crusade and allow MASN to work out its kinks.

Posted by: give it a rest | January 17, 2007 2:07 PM

I wonder whats going to happen this season when the Nats and O's play at the same time? Anyone care to guess(or enlighten me if you know)

Posted by: Sue | January 17, 2007 2:21 PM

If Lerner had balls, he'd rip up the MASN contract, and let Angelos take him to court. The deal strips Lerner of his own rights as an owner to sell his teams TV rights as he sees fit. The deal is also monopolistic to such a degree that a court may agree to review the dumb-ass baseball antitrust exemption over it; that would make Selig shudder and he'd force Angelos to take a reasonable settlement. How hard is this to figure out???

Posted by: Larry | January 17, 2007 2:30 PM

Marc, if you don't like MASN, change the channel. Do you think people in Baltimore like the over-emphasis on DC on Comcast Sportsnet? MASN is new, it's going to evolve and grow over time. You need to lower your expectations for awhile. If it doesn't improve over time then blast it. Having two local sports channels is a GOOD THING! The competition will help both channels get better. The world doesn't revolve around Washington DC. P.S. We don't like Angelos either.

Posted by: Rick | January 17, 2007 2:33 PM

You can't have competition between two sports channels when one has a monopoly on baseball, i.e., six months of sports programming each year.

Posted by: RL | January 17, 2007 2:41 PM

Those comments, presumably from people from Baltimore, that we in DC shouldn't be so self-asborbed and let MASN grow are missing the point. We in the DC suburbs would have been perfectly content with MASN being a Baltimore sports channel if they had just let Comcast SportsNet keep the Nationals. It was taking the Nationals broadcast to a Baltimore cable channel, and then trying to claim it is a regional channel, that has most of us upset. How would you like it if the only way to see the Ravens or the Orioles was to turn to a DC channel?

Posted by: Dsmac | January 17, 2007 2:42 PM

In 2005 when Comcrap refused to carry MASN I told them to stick their cable where the sun don't shine and I switched to RCN so I could watch Nats games. The only thing I need MASN for is Nats games. So as long as the Nats games are on MASN and I can get those games then I don't give a rat's patoot what Peter the Greek Idiot puts on during the time when Nats games aren't on. If you want something better than MASN then Ficher my friend it's time to break open your piggy bank and start your own channel.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 3:04 PM

And to all of this, I say "BFD." Are the Nats going to be on TV, and within sight of everyone who has Comcast, Cox, or DirecTV? Yes. Does anyone care what the commercials (!) are going to be between innings? I think not. And myself, I like the fact that George Mason and Georgetown, two VERY local teams, have a TV home. The Terps own this region, rightly or wrongly, and I'm glad some others are getting some love.

For months, the cry was that no one is able to see the Nats...now the outcry is that the commercials will have a Baltimore-edge to them...Sheeesh!

Posted by: Jay in DC | January 17, 2007 3:25 PM

The Marc Fisher Channel? Good luck getting sponsors for the advertisements!

Posted by: Tinky Winkie Doesn't Approve | January 17, 2007 3:27 PM

It is a big deal, for those of us saps still on Comcast (we don't have a choice, don't ask why), who are stuck paying the extra couple bucks solely attributable to Angelos' greed.

If he gets sued and left penniless, it would be the greatest gift this planet was ever given. Or maybe convicted of something really bad and raped in prison. Something.

Posted by: JD | January 17, 2007 3:39 PM

Chill...Angelos is nasty, evil, and one of the worst people around, but:

1. Bet the Lerners will find a way to rework the Nats part of the deal. Their lawyers are way better than Angelos'.

2. MASN will slowly evolve. For models, check some of the regional Fox sports networks, if you get RCN Digital.

3. Watch for some of the MD State HS tourneys over the next couple of years.

4. Watch for Lacrosse. It's growing and you can almost bet on Hopkins v. UMD games.

5. Lord, I hope that they don't screw it up with Geo. Michael.

Posted by: Catcher50 | January 17, 2007 4:00 PM

Why do you think it's called MASN? Stands for Mr. Angelos's Sports Network.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 17, 2007 5:16 PM

Mr. Angelos should read some of these posts - man, you can just feel the love, can' you?

Posted by: SoMD | January 18, 2007 8:41 AM

To the Nats: I'm sorry.

I won't watch MASN. I'll watch the games on other outlets but not on that channel.

At times, MASN is a step below public access.

Posted by: Kim | January 18, 2007 9:14 AM

Angelos is just waiting for the Lerners to buy back the rights to the Nationals. He got them, and he'll sell them for the right price. Why is that hard to understand?

So far, the Lerners are losers, unwilling to spend a nickel to put a good product on the field. They need to start investing in this franchise they bought to win back the fans' goodwill. That starts with paying off Angelos, then putting some upgrades into the new stadium, improving the experience at RFK, building a team fans want to see, and setting ticket prices commensurate with the product they're selling.

Posted by: KK | January 18, 2007 10:20 AM

I'm an O's and Nats fan with no particular love for Angelos, but really, get over it. Like previous posters have stated, it's a fledgling network that is slowly broadening its programming. When it first got started, everyone complained that once the Nats games were over, it aired a blue screen. They've slowly been able to add programming like O's and Nats classics and DC and Baltimore college basketball. It takes time to build a programming schedule, especially when sports teams and leagues are generally locked into previously signed contracts.

FYI when the Nats and O's are on at the same time, there is supposed to be a MASN+ channel so both games will be aired.

Posted by: RL | January 18, 2007 10:49 AM

As a Virginia Comcast subscriber, one of the things I'm currently enjoying about CSN is their HD channel. Wizards and Caps home games look fantastic. It would be nice to have the Nationals games in HD as well. I don't know if MASN has the resources for this yet...I don't get MASN at any definition, as far as I know.

Posted by: Travis | January 18, 2007 11:54 AM

you know, KK's got a point. When the Lerner's demonstrate any sort of a willingness to invest in their product, I might begin to feel sorry for them. But they knew, upfront, this was the deal. And then they go and take their new stadium and refuse to invest in parking. and they refuse to invest in players.

This team will make moeny next year, a profit, for years to go in the future thanks to the sweetheart stadium deal, and can't be bothered to invest in players. understand that the Nats can win 50 games a year for the next decade AND STILL MAKE MONEY. investing in players is a sunk cost, they won't make any more money, so whay bother?

but hey, we have a last place baseball team! Best 600 million ever spent. (

Posted by: northzax | January 18, 2007 12:35 PM

This is simply more evidence that Peter Angelos is the worst owner in sports, which has been the case since at least Jeffrey Maier. Dan Snyder has almost overtaken him, but not quite.

Posted by: dlc | January 18, 2007 1:23 PM

I think it's hilarious all the MASN people who are complaining about MASN's Baltimore-centricity. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Comcast SportsNet started out as HTS - a Baltimore-area local sports station. DC already stole HTS from Baltimore, now they're worried that MASN isn't "DC" enough?

Posted by: NoVa Joe | January 18, 2007 1:29 PM

I guess you guys haven't been watching SportsNite on CSN. The day after exciting NFL playoff games they lead with an in-depth Joe Gibbs interview (Part 1 of ?) on why the Redskins stunk up the joint this year.

Posted by: Ken in Olney | January 18, 2007 1:30 PM

I had the exact same reaction when I got an email from MASN (I did give them my email address for Nats upates) urging me to wear purple and watch all the shows on "your hometown Ravens" drive to the Super Bowl. Boy did that turn out to be a short drive!

I sent an email back to inform them that they should be aware that folks close to DC might root for a different NFL team and not consider the Ravens the home team. I got no response of course.

Posted by: David from Bethesda | January 18, 2007 2:26 PM

"as HTS - a Baltimore-area local sports station."

HTS was nothing of the sort. HTS started as a cable channel picking up the games that weren't picked up by others, be they Orioles (no DC MLB team), Bullets, or Capitols (no Baltimore NBA or NHL teams).

Posted by: dlc | January 18, 2007 4:20 PM

Someone please explain to me what it is about the programming schedule for this weekend that makes MASN "All Baltimore, All the Time"

TODAY
6:00 AM ESPNews
9:00 AM Charlton Soccer vs. Middlesbough
12:00 PM MASN College Classics Big East Championship-Georgetown vs. St. John's, 3/9/85
2:00 PM Inside Rutgers Athletics
2:30 PM Inside the Big East
3:00 PM ESPNews Hot List
4:00 PM "Anita Marks Show" - ESPN 1300 Baltimore LIVE
7:00 PM Inside the Big East
7:30 PM College B-ball Georgetown @ Seton Hall
9:30 PM Mountain Jammin'
10:00 PM ESPNews

TOMORROW
6:00 AM ESPNews
9:00 AM Sled Head
9:30 AM The Mountain Report
10:00 AM Links Illustrated
10:30 AM Eastern Golf
11:00 AM "The Tom Davis Show" ESPN Radio 1300 in Baltimore
12:00 PM College B-ball West Virginia @ Cincinnati
2:00 PM College B-ball-Women's Villanova @ West Virginia
4:00 PM College B-ball Northeastern @ George Mason
6:00 PM College B-ball Colorado @ Nebraska
8:00 PM College B-ball Iowa @ Ohio State
10:00 PM College B-ball Michigan State @ Penn State

SUNDAY
6:00 AM ESPNews
9:00 AM Raceline
9:30 AM Touchdown Baltimore
10:00 AM The Brian Billick Show
10:30 AM Ravens Wired
11:00 AM Future Phenoms
11:30 AM Inside the Big East
12:00 PM College Basketball Oklahoma State @ Texas A&M
2:00 PM College Basketball Syracuse @ St. John's
4:00 PM College Basketball Loyola @ Rider
6:00 PM Holiday Festival on Ice
7:00 PM Orioles Classic Devereaux Fair/Foul vs. Angels, 7/15/89
10:30 PM ESPNews

Must be all of the out of town college basketball games. Perhaps its snore-inducing recycled reruns on Sunday? Yep, looks like "All Baltimore" to me. But I guess a re-run of a game that took place 8 years ago during the Why n"O"t? season is more exciting than any game either the O's or the Nats played last year.

Proof's in the pudding, people. But wait, this is DC; I forgot we're supposed to attack first and ask questions never.

Posted by: Facts Please | January 19, 2007 12:46 PM

I don't necessarily like Peter Angelos. But I find the "Peter the Greek Idiot" comment above quite offensive to Greeks, and violates the rules of this site.

Feel free to criticize Angelos all you want, but leave the fact that he is Greek out of the equation.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2007 6:17 PM

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