Finally, MLB Will Allow You To Pay Them

We've been burned a couple of times on this, so we're still in cautious, believe-it-when-we-see-it mode (it's still not up on our Time Warner system, for example), but it appears Major League Baseball finally came to its senses extorted itself the best possible deal: Extra Innings will be available on cable systems, effective immediately.

M.L.B. and InDemand — a consortium that is owned by the cable operators Comcast, Time Warner and Cox — agreed last night to restore Extra Innings swiftly to their systems as a free preview through sometime next week, after which it will cost a discounted $159 for a short period. ... The crucial part of the negotiations for baseball was InDemand's agreement to carry the MLB Channel, which is to make its debut in 2009.

We still think it's crazy this whole thing came down to a channel that won't launch for two years (minimum) and will likely have half its programming hosted by Tommy Lasorda ... but whatever! Out of town games are available again for those outside DirectTV's clutches, and this is a good thing. We all remain indebted to Major League Baseball for, at last, allowing us to give them a bunch of our money. Thanks!

And just in time to see the Cardinals at 0-3! Fantastic!

Extra Innings Is No Longer Exclusive [New York Times]