Comcast files suit over broadcast rights

April 22, 2005 at 12:39 PM

BALTIMORE, April 22 (UPI) -- Comcast SportNet has filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore Orioles over broadcast rights that could affect the Washington Nationals.

The lawsuit claims Comcast has a contract guaranteeing it exclusive rights to negotiate for Orioles broadcast rights through November 2005, the Baltimore Sun reported Friday.

The complaint would delay efforts to get Nationals games carried on local cable television and potentially limit advertising revenue that could have come with increased exposure, the Sun said.

A deal made this month between Orioles' owner Peter Angelos and Major League Baseball would give the broadcast rights to a regional sports network majority-owned by the Orioles.

Industry sources told the Sun the recently formed Mid-Atlantic Sports Network would, in turn, charge cable providers $2 to $3 per subscriber to receive the Orioles and Nationals. Presumably, the fee would be passed on to cable consumers.

Bob DuPuy, president and chief operating officer of MLB, expressed disappointment over the lawsuit, and hoped ongoing discussions among the parties would lead to a quick resolution of the issues.

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