Once again, MLB looks only at its own bottom line while knowingly and gladly fucking over hundreds of thousands of fans (most of whom are die-hard/obsessive followers of the sport).
As my Red Sox-watching partner puts it:
And people call the players greedy!My question: Will this take effect for the 2007 season? There is no mention of that in the Times article I linked to below.
Major League Baseball is a business and exists to make money ... I don't have a problem with [that]. But a move like this demonstrates MLB's utter contempt for their fans. Instead of negotiating contracts that bring baseball to the greatest number of people possible, they assign exclusive rights, putting the interests of a television provider ahead of the interests of millions of fans.
In 2005, Extra Innings had an estimated 280,000 subscribers (according to this; the Times puts the number at 750,000), while MLB.tv had about 1.3 million subscribers. Selig et al. must be confident that former EI subscribers who have no access to DirecTV will simply switch to MLB's inferior product because they gotta see the games. Or they don't give a shit. ... I wonder if we'll see a corresponding increase in the price of MLB.tv ($80 last year)?
SoSHer geoduck no quahog:
It's not about service. It's about bait-and-switch. ...gnq also points out that MLB.tv can only be watched live (or the next day after the games are archived). So fans working 9-5 on the west coast will be out of luck -- even with MLB.tv -- since east coast games will begin when they are still at work. They will not be able to TiVo the games and begin watching when they get home.
When a monopoly subsequently decides to limit the availability of its service, that leaves subscribers with redundant services, or forces them to switch providers (how many times...). It's identical to the baseball monopoly arbitrarily deciding to switch to Sirius - making all XM receivers superfluous to the intense baseball fan. It's not free enterprise. There is no competetive option available to the consumer. Baseball broadcasting rights cannot be competed against by others who may try to provide a better service. Baseball has the authority to blackout (blockout) competitors.
So after I make my phone calls tomorrow morning, then what?
A SoSHer mentioned hooking your computer to your TV and getting the MLB.tv feed on the TV. Even if that was possible, I don't know how feasible that would be for us (or other people whose computer may not be anywhere near their TV). And it is still the computer feed on the bigger screen.
Another poster -- in nearby Guelph, Ontario -- said that even though the NFL package is a DirecTV exclusive, it is part of Rogers cable's sports package. I have no idea of the history of that arrangement, but it offers a glimmer of hope.