January 20, 2007

EI Package Now DirecTV-Only

This is bullshit:
Major League Baseball is close to announcing a deal that will place its Extra Innings package of out-of-market games exclusively on DirecTV, which will also become the only carrier of a long-planned 24-hour baseball channel.

Extra Innings has been available to 75 million cable households and the two satellite services, DirecTV and the Dish Network. But the new agreement will take it off cable and Dish because DirecTV has agreed to pay $700 million over seven years, according to three executives briefed on the details of the contract but not authorized to speak about them publicly.

InDemand, which has distributed Extra Innings to the cable television industry since 2002, made an estimated $70 million bid to renew its rights, more than triple what it has been paying. Part of its offer included the right to carry the new baseball channel, but not exclusively. ...

The only other way that fans without DirecTV will be able to see Extra Innings will be on MLB.com's mlb.tv service, but they must have high-speed broadband service. About 28 million homes have high-speed service, less than half the number of cable homes in the country. The picture quality of streamed games is not as good as what is available on cable or satellite.
Instead of giving as many people as possible the chance to watch baseball, MLB has decided to make it exclusive to satellite TV. Another smart PR move from Milwaukee's Used Car Salesman.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
Phone: (212) 931-7800


Boston Red Sox
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 226-6791

and your cable company.


Matt said...

Now I have to move back to Boston, because DirecTV sucks...

Jere said...

That is total BS. While writing your complaint, may I suggest throwing in a paragraph about how New England Sports Network has never gone to Fairfield County, CT, which IS part of New England? Thanks.

L-girl said...

Oh. My. God. This is unbelievable.

MLB does it again.

I'll write my letters today. And tomorrow.

L-girl said...

Also, if writing an actual letter seems to onerous, you can easily call. Simply say, "I'm calling because I'm very upset that out of market games will not be available on cable TV. Please do not shut fans out of the game or force us to watch games on our computers." Words to that effect.

It can make a difference. Remember the Spiderman bases? Outrage can occasionally produce results.

dianagramr said...

Spiderman bases pale in comparison to $700 million dollars.

MLB isn't going to back down, because (I believe) its guaranteed money for them, regardless of how successful the venture turns out to be for "DirecTV" ...

But yeah, I'm calling/writing to everyone I know, including congresspersons involved in anti-trust exemption.

Nichole said...

Don't they understand basic marketing? More American households have traditional cable services (with In Demand) than Direct TV. If MLB makes this idiotic move, it will give them more money now, but in the long run will only serve to decrease the overall interest in baseball because people have less access to it.

Andy said...

F**K Me! I was gonna spring for that this year for the first time too. Im not getting Satellite ever.

Eutychus said...

I actually prefer DirecTV, but I'm not allowed to put a dish up by my condo board. Thanks for screwing us again Bud.

Steve said...

Eutychus, the Communications Act of 1996 explicitly states that even homeowners associations are required to allow antennas for satellite reception. Most condo boards and associations still try to keep this a secret from their residents.