- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2005

DirecTV, one of two multichannel TV distributors carrying the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), failed to show the first half of yesterday’s Washington Nationals game because of what both the company and MASN termed human error and miscommunication.

The game at Cincinnati, won by the Reds 12-3, on MASN did not appear on its typical channel 626 on DirecTV until the bottom of the fifth inning. Viewers instead saw a blank screen until 2:21 p.m., nearly two hours after play began.

“We gave them the schedule of games. For whatever reason, there was a miscommunication, and it just fell through the cracks,” said Bob Whitelaw, MASN executive vice president and general manager. “This unfortunately is the sort of growing pains you go through as you start up and try to build something.”

RCN Cable, the other distributor carrying MASN, was unaffected and showed the entire game.

“It’s very rare that this happens. We certainly apologize and will take every effort to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Bob Marsocci, DirecTV vice president.

MASN is the regional sports network controlled by the Baltimore Orioles that ultimately intends to show both the Orioles and Nationals. As an outgrowth of the previous Orioles Television Network, it remains in a startup mode. Unlike other regional sports networks, MASN does not yet operate a 24-hour programming schedule and instead must be reactivated for every Nationals game.

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