Originally posted by EricRobins
Wasn't this new network supposed to be owned, at least in part, by Comcast?? If so, could we expect that they would pull the same ^&*(^ they do in Philly, where satellite people are shut out? (BTW, isn't that an illegal tying arrangement, forcing people to subscribe to cable when all they want is a specific channel?)
I think it's "supposed" to be set up however makes the people with a say the most $$$ ... in no particular order:
MLB Owners - The better the TV deal, the more they can sell the team for.
New Nats Owners - The better the TV deal, the more they stand to make, the more they're willing to pay for the team. See above.
Angelos / Orioles - Yes, well, for some reason we still have to make him happy. Remind me the next time a house is up for sale in my neighborhood to raise a stink ... maybe I can make some $$$ off the deal.
As far as Comcast, Philly, and legal issues ...
The "legal" loophole is that any channel distributed via satellite (I'm not talking D*, E*, I'm talking the birds the networks use to distribute their channels nationally) must be "made available" to any MVPD at "similar terms". This is supposed to prevent the "exclusively on wherever" channels. If someone else wanted it bad enough, they'd pick it up. However, CSN Philly doesn't use a satellite ... they use local fiber/microwave to distribute the channel since it's only going to Comcast cable plants (and probably a few other local cable plants). So, they can deny D* and E* (or ask for huge $$$).
Of course, there's also the out-of-market packages (NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass) ... not sure why they're allowed 'exclusivity'.
However, there's one HUGE difference between Philly and DC/Baltimore. Two of the the major Philly teams are OWNED by Comcast (76ers, Flyers). Comcast even owns some of the minor / lesser known teams (for example AHL Philadelphia Phantoms), and even sports venues / stadiums in Philly. It's hard to imagine Comcast being able to strike a similar deal with teams they didn't own unless they were willing to put some huge up front $$$ guarauntees. Of course, with enough $$$, anything is possible.
But I think you can look to Chicago (or the existing CSN MidAtlantic) for what's more likely ... both are available (in SD at least) on cable AND dbs.
However, what I'm more interested in is HD coverage. Which raises a whole different set of possibilities ...