Comcast sued the Orioles in April, seeking to block the team
from moving their own games to its Mid-Atlantic Sports Network in
2007. The network was part of a deal the Orioles brokered with
Major League Baseball to allow the Nationals to move to Washington
Comcast, which has television rights to Orioles games through
2006 and controls cable distribution for much of the
Baltimore-Washington area, said the Orioles didn't give it a chance
to match other offers. But Montgomery County Circuit Judge Durke G.
Thompson ruled that the matching-offer clause in Comcast's contract
with the Orioles had not been triggered.
Orioles attorneys said the ruling means Comcast should now start
carrying Nationals games.
The judge gave Comcast 30 days to respond.
In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission earlier
this month, Comcast said it wants to broadcast Nationals games, but
won't be "coerced" into carrying the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
Comcast reiterated its claim that it was refusing to carry
Nationals games because MASN is the product of a breach of
The FCC filing states that "Comcast continues to be interested
in carrying Nationals games. Comcast, however, will not be coerced
into signing an agreement that is bad for its customers and its
business and tramples on CSN's contractual rights with respect to