The Washington Times - June 11, 2009, 01:26PM

Many Nationals fans in the D.C. area missed a chunk of the 9th and 10th innings from last night’s game on MASN2 while cable operators were showing C-SPAN or a show about fishing.

It appeared to affect Comcast customers thoughout the region and some Cox customers in Northern Virginia. DirecTV and RCN customers were not affected.


The problem here appears to stem from the fact that cable operators must switch to other programming during a rain delay, and switching back to the game isn’t necessarily a quick and smooth process. UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: Cable operators actually do not have to switch to other programming. Instead, they are encouraged to continue with the MASN2 feed, which is usually ESPNews during a delay. In this case, operators did not stick with the MASN2 feed, but went to whatever is normally shown on that channel when there’s no game.


A MASN spokesman said cable operators are required by contract to carry the game and post-game in its entirety, and that operators never would have had a problem if they had just stuck with the MASN2 feed.

Cox spokeswoman Gwen Sparks said customers missed “two-to-three” minutes of the game immediately after the game was resumed following a rain delay. During the rain delay, Cox showed C-SPAN, but did not get the call to switch back to the game until play had already resumed.

Comcast, meanwhile, issued the following statement:

“We sincerely apologize to any customer who may have missed a portion of the 9th and 10th innings of last night’s Nationals game. The interruption was the result of a unique set of circumstances that included a more than two hour rain delay coupled with extra innings, causing the channel to revert to its usual programming. Once the issue was detected our engineering teams worked to restore service before the end of the game, and we have since put a new fix in place so such a situation does not occur again. We again apologize to any customer who was impacted.”