Earlier today, multiple media outlets reported that Ravens President, Dick Cass, announced the team was unable to come to an agreement with MASN to extend their relationship. The two had previously had a partnership, which developed in 2006, for coverage of the team on the regional network.
To most Baltimoreans, this news is great. Greedy Petey probably asked for a little too much money and the Ravens decided to not pay him. I’m all about Peter Angelos losing money wherever possible but this announcement is bad news for several reasons.
The Ravens have been one of the most successful franchises in all of professional sports since their expansion year in 1996. A few weeks ago, Forbes announced the team was the 15th most valuable franchise in all professional sports ($1.08B). The biggest obstacle the Ravens face in growing their brand is the lack of attention outside of Charm City.
Some of the other NFL teams ranked in front of the Ravens include the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots New York Giants/Jets and Philadelphia Eagles; all of which draw fans in bars each Sunday no matter where you are in the country. Besides the Patriots, the Ravens have had at least as much, and sometimes far more success than these teams within the past ten years.
I currently live in North Carolina. I don’t let the five hour drive keep me from home games but I can’t do anything about watching local Baltimore stations in the Tar Heel State. I was so happy last Thanksgiving when I discovered that MASN was found on DirecTV. Even though I couldn’t watch the games locally, I could get all the rest of the weekly coverage with shows such as 1 Winning Drive, Ravens Report, Game Plan, Purple Passion and the John Harbaugh Show, all of which were set on my DVR. Immediately, I signed up for DirecTV and didn’t care how much it would cost to cancel my current cable subscription.
I am not the only Ravens fan living outside of the region and I know there are thousands of fans that share the same passion as I do. Having MASN on DirecTV was probably the only successful thing Peter Angelos has done within the past 13 years.
(Note: Contrary to popular belief because of the topic of most of my posts, I don’t really give a rats ass about the Orioles and only got MASN for Ravens coverage. Although it was nice to watch with my Yankees-fan neighbor every now and then, so I could show him first hand what passes for a Major League Baseball team in Charm City these days. Nineteen games a year wasn’t really enough for him to grasp the reality of the situation – now he just feels sorry for me.)
According to Cass, the Ravens will be exploring an alternative and should have a deal done within the next week. More than likely, the shows will air on a local network, ultimately doing nothing to add to the national exposure this team could very much use.
One of the only other alternatives in the region would be coverage with Comcast Sports Net. CSN is largely one sided with their coverage towards DC teams and the Ravens will always take a back seat to the Burgundy and Yellow, no matter how many times Albert Haynesworth has to poop to pass his conditioning test.
Today is quite simply a sad day for Ravens fans whom just might not have an address in the Baltimore/DC region; it is also a sad day for the progress of this great football franchise we have grown to love.
I used to make fun of the “college TV” like production of the shows after seeing what the rest of the NFL teams get on their local stations while attending away games. Now I’d settle for even “high school TV” quality production of the Ravens (as long as Anita Marks isn’t a part of it.)
Peter Angelos has now managed to ruin something about both of Baltimore’s major sports franchises. Even not knowing the specifics, I will let his history dictate why I’m taking the side of the Ravens. Hopefully one day soon our teams will be popular throughout the rest of the nation. Unfortunately, day may not come to pass until Greedy Petey…well…I’ll let you finish that sentence.