Spies say the cable industry, bidding on the package as a consortium represented by a company called InDemand, has offered to pay $70 million per and is not demanding exclusivity.Raismann offers a possible reason why MLB wants to go it alone with DirecTV:
This means that in addition to the cable operators, MLB could sell "Extra Innings" to DirecTV, Dish Network as well as AT&T and Verizon's TV services.
The combined value of a non-exclusive deal, which would make "Extra Innings" available to the widest possible audience, would likely exceed MLB's proposed exclusive deal with DirecTV by at least $40 million per year, according to industry sources.
[I]n its negotiation with the cable consortium, MLB suits tried linking an "Extra Innings" deal to the cable operators agreeing to eventually put "TBC" [The Baseball Channel, which will not exist until at least 2009] on a "basic" tier. Being placed on a "basic" tier means MLB would be paid per subscriber based on an entire cable system's universe of subscribers.So ... while MLB would pocket more money by offering Extra Innings to both cable and satellite providers, they are ready and willing to accept less money and have The Baseball Channel be available to fewer total customers.
The cable industry balked, saying when "TBC" becomes a reality, it belongs on a "sports tier," which means MLB would be paid based only on how many subscribers purchased that individual tier. Apparently, that's when MLB took its "Extra Innings" deal over to DirecTV, which guaranteed it would make "TBC" available to about 85% of its subscriber base.
If the NFL Network, which actually exists, could not convince companies such as Time Warner and Cablevision to place it on a "basic" tier, what makes MLB suits think the industry would roll over and put "TBC" on "basic?"
Something doesn't add up.