Q. Does DIRECTV Now or Sling TV carry MASN which airs the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles? A friend told me that you can get MASN online. If you can, I will cut the cord today! — Maggie, Bowie, Maryland.
Maggie, I am sorry to inform you that DIRECTV Now and Sling TV DO NOT carry MASN. Neither do other live streaming services such as PlayStation Vue, fuboTV, Hulu Live and YouTube TV.
In fact, the regional sports channel is only available in the DC area via streaming on the Layer3 Internet service, and through a streaming plan offered by Comcast to its Internet-only subscribers.
However, take note: The Comcast plan will set you back more than $50 a month for the video streaming package alone. Then you have to add in the cost of Comcast’s Internet service, if you don’t already have it.
And Layer3, which is delivered over a Internet-based set-top, costs $80 a month, not including the set-top rental fee. (You do get 275 channels for that $80, including MASN, but that’s a huge payout every month if you’re only looking for your favorite channel.)
While Layer3 and Comcast’s Internet plan may not be perfect solutions, they actually represent an improvement over past seasons. Until 2018, MASN had only been available in the Baltimore/Washington market with a subscription to a pay TV service such as Cox, Comcast’s Xfinity, Dish or DIRECTV. (Note: Layer3 did add MASN during the 2017 season.)
MASN’s owners, the Peter Angelos family, which also owns the Orioles, has refused to sell the channel to the new live streaming services, such as DIRECTV Now and Sling TV.
(While MASN has not commented on this in public, I’m guessing they made an exception for Layer3 and Comcast’s Internet plan because they do not permit streaming MASN outside their proprietary Net-based systems. That makes it more difficult to pirate their signals using the password and user name of others.)
Not only that, MASN won’t even let its cable and satellite TV subscribers stream the Nats and O’s games while away from home, a feature which is available on most regional channels that carry MLB games.
And before you ask, Maggie, MASN’s Oriole and Nats’ games are on the MLB.TV streaming plan, but their contests are blacked out locally.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann