Author Topic: MLB Extra Innings  (Read 808 times)

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Offline bob2274

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MLB Extra Innings
« Topic Start: January 31, 2007, 12:01:46 AM »
I'm sure everybody here has heard this by now, but I had to start a thread since I hadn't seen it mentioned. MLB will likely announce soon that they have come to a big $$$ agreement with DirecTV to give them exclusive rights to the out-of-market package. MLB was apparently not happy with the stand of major U.S. cable companies that a new MLB channel should be on a sports tier, just like the NBA Channel and the forthcoming NHL Network (U.S. version). Comcast is fighting with the NFL Network now because they want to put it on a sports tier, so they would only have to pass along the cost to people who want it.
Anyway, MLB didn't like this stance. DirecTV said that they will put the channel on its basic lineup and courted MLB for exclusivity to the out of market games. Through iNDemand, cable companies (I think collectively) were paying $20 million a year for rights to carry the package. DirecTV will now be paying $70 million a year for exclusive rights to the package and an MLB channel (starting in 2009). This means that the new MLB baseball channel will only be available to DirecTV customers. MLB didn't like the idea of the "MLB channel" only being available to cable customers who wanted it, so now it will be seen by zero cable viewers, but available to all DirecTV subscribers.

What I'm interested in here is how many of the people here will be swayed to go to DirecTV because of this? I know there are people on this board that are in Canada, and this deal will not affect you. Rogers cable will still be able to carry the package. Most of us here live in the Nationals broadcast area and will have 160 games on cable this year (finally), so does this "huge" deal really matter? The NFL Sunday Ticket is big deal, but will this even make a difference? I see a lot of different games at restaurants and bars, but these places already have DirecTV. I guess what I'm asking is- does anyone really even care? Besides the out-of-market games available on FOX, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, WGN, and INHD, is it worth it to switch to DirecTV when you can get all of these games, plus mlb.tv if you're that interested?

With this move, MLB can count on never getting any of my money for out of market TV packages. I'll watch on the channels I get on cable, but nothing else. Does anyone think this is the right way for them to market their product?

Offline Senators2005

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #1: January 31, 2007, 12:22:30 AM »
DirecTV has made inroads into the premium television subscribers but they have a LONG way to go.  The majority of Americans still use cable.  I suspect that MLB is probably using this agreement as leverage on Comcast to get some kind of compromise deal hashed out.  Think of this as the MASN issue gone national.

Offline Dave B

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #2: January 31, 2007, 09:44:39 AM »
I would have switched to DirecTV two years ago had I not already had it and the Nats not been on cable.  I happen to have had it.

Recently I've been thinking of moving and getting an HDTV.  I think cable has better HD offerings, especially Caps games (but there are issues there that might not make them as good as they can be. topinc for another day).  Although I like the NFL package because I need to watch the Jets. I've had the MLB package, but I could do without it.

So to actually answer your question, I have the MLB package, but would not switch to DirecTV just to get it if it were to be taken away from me if I was a cable person.

Why can't somebody just make an awesome TV package. Can't they all just get along.  although if i actually could get all that i want it would cost a lot

Offline tomterp

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #3: January 31, 2007, 01:11:54 PM »
I'm with Dish Network, would not switch to Direct TV for the MLB package, but might for MASN.  The MLB feed for the Nats would be subject to blackout anyway.

Offline DPMOmaha

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #4: January 31, 2007, 07:30:26 PM »
Here I get the Royals every night.  Yippie!  I get tired of the Cubs and Braves every night and every other game on ESPN being Yankees or Red Sox with a bit of the Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers thrown in for good measure.  I thought about getting the package last year for cable but couldn't really afford it and my computer can't handle MLB.tv consistenly.  I had given thought to getting it this year, but now, I guess I'm SOL.  If I move out on my own, I may look into it, but now, I'll live with my Cubs and Braves every other night and hope I get to watch the Nats 4 or 5 times this year.

Offline The Chief

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #5: January 31, 2007, 08:01:30 PM »
I've got DirecTV and I get about 15 channels in HD with the basic (cheapest) package as well as MASN.  With the better packages, I would be getting quite a bit more HD programming.  I know people say cable has better HD options, but I honestly just don't see it.  A buddy of mine has Comcast's HD programming and he only gets 5 channels in HD, and I'm pretty sure all of them are local broadcasts that are being re-transmitted anyway.

As for the out-of-market and MLB.tv stuff, I couldn't care less about that, but if I'm gonna be getting it for free, then I might use it once in a while.

Offline bob2274

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #6: January 31, 2007, 10:24:30 PM »
It won't be for free. Only the MLB channel planned for 2009 will be included. You'll still have to pay (probably even more than last year) for the Extra Innings package. Another thing they want to try to do is give a discount for people who get both MLB EI and mlb.tv. Wow...terrific.

Offline The Chief

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #7: January 31, 2007, 10:58:49 PM »
It won't be for free. Only the MLB channel planned for 2009 will be included. You'll still have to pay (probably even more than last year) for the Extra Innings package. Another thing they want to try to do is give a discount for people who get both MLB EI and mlb.tv. Wow...terrific.

I guess this news doesn't really affect me then.  As long as I've got MASN I'm satisfied.  Extra innings is overpriced if you ask me.

Offline Senators2005

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #8: February 01, 2007, 12:52:02 AM »
Sen. Kerry to challenge MLB TV package on satellite
:arrow: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2750212&campaign=rss&source=MLBHeadlines

WASHINGTON -- A proposal to make Major League Baseball's "Extra Innings" exclusive to DirecTV has drawn the ire of Sen. John Kerry.

The Massachusetts Democrat said he plans to raise the matter with the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission at a hearing Thursday.

"I am opposed to anything that deprives people of reasonable choices," Kerry said in a statement. "In this day and age, consumers should have more choices -- not fewer. I'd like to know how this serves the public -- a deal that will force fans to subscribe to DirecTV in order to tune in to their favorite players. A Red Sox fan ought to be able to watch their team without having to switch to DirecTV."

"Extra Innings" is a service that allows viewers to watch games involving teams not in their local markets. In past years, the service has been available through a range of providers, but a pending deal would make the service only available to DirecTV subscribers.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is a scheduled witness at Thursday's hearing of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Online nats2playoffs

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #9: February 01, 2007, 12:45:05 PM »
John Donovan's Inside Baseball column offers more background and insight at:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/john_donovan/01/23/directv.extrainnings/index.html
MLB's brushback pitch
Deal with DirecTV could leave most fans out in cold
Posted: Tuesday January 23, 2007 2:42PM; Updated: Tuesday January 23, 2007 7:41PM
"
The last place that any baseball fan ever wants to be is between team owners and a dollar bill... Major League Baseball is in the process of negotiating exclusive rights to its Extra Innings package of out-of-market games to satellite giant DirecTV, and that means a lot of fans are about to get absolutely crushed into the dirt. The Extra Innings package, for the hundreds of thousands of fans who have shelled out the $170 or so for it already know, is a seamhead's dream: almost unlimited baseball broadcast by home-team announcers for six months. Up to 60 regular-season games a week...

But now, if this deal between MLB and DirecTV goes through as expected, you won't be able to get Extra Innings through your local cable TV outfit. Or through Dish Network, either. If you want the Extra Innings package, starting with the 2007 season, you'll have to be a DirecTV subscriber. No exceptions. That, as I understand the concept, is the whole "exclusive rights" thing...

If it so happens that you can't get DirecTV, or you don't want to -- say, you live in an apartment complex that makes it impossible or difficult to use a satellite dish, or you're in another place where a dish can't get a clear shot at a satellite, or you just don't like their looks or the fact that the reception can get a little fuzzy in the worst of weather -- well, you're pretty much out of luck...There is another option, of course, which not so coincidentally falls rather nicely into baseball's money-hungry ways. If this deal goes through, and DirecTV isn't an option, you could always go to MLB.TV, Major League Baseball's Internet-based version of Extra Innings. You have to have a broadband hookup, of course, and the computer screen is super wimpy compared to that 42-inch living room screen of yours. The technology isn't flawless, by any means. But it's there, for those who get shut out by the DirecTV deal, at about $100 a season.

It's hard to say exactly how many people this new MLB-DirecTV hookup is going to affect because nobody wants to talk much about something still in the works. According to The Sports Business Journal, Extra Innings pulled in about 750,000 subscribers last year through sales on Dish Network, DirecTV and cable systems throughout the U.S. With two-thirds of that equation potentially gone -- including, we'd have to assume, the largest part, cable TV -- we could have, maybe, as many as a half-million die-hard baseball fans scrambling around....

The reason MLB is forsaking that many fans shouldn't surprise anyone. DirecTV, according to a report in the New York Times, will fork over $700 million for seven years for the exclusive rights to carry Extra Innings. So MLB is faced with this simple decision: $700 million or a few thousand upset seamheads... The deal with DirecTV will make it more difficult for many baseball fans to get what they want, how they want. It's really as simple as that. And that's no way to treat the customer."

My Comment: The concept would be similar to DirecTV offering HBO an enormous amount of money to give them exclusive rights to broadcast it.  Everyone who now gets HBO, through any competing satellite system, or through any cable TV subscription, would have to switch to DirecTV.  By having a monopoly, DirecTV could, in theory, charge subscribers as much as they wanted, since there would be no competition to stop them.  The possibility for intervention by the federal government on the grounds of anti-trust violations encourages the Senate to also force MLB to give the Nationals 100% of their own TV rights.

Offline bob2274

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Re: MLB Extra Innings
« Reply #10: February 01, 2007, 01:02:17 PM »
I don't think the Nationals are interested in changing their rights deal now. While the first couple years were a headache for all of us because of distribution, the Nationals are guaranteed $25 million this year, with an increase every year. MASN has to foot the bill for production and staff, and this year, the games will be widely distributed. Besides all this, the Nationals get an equity stake in the network, which increases every year until they own 33%. This is much more than they would have gotten with a "traditional" deal like with Comcast SportsNet. As profitable as RSN's are these days, teams are actually giving up the deals with the FSN's and starting their own networks with other teams.