Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

MLB Pretends It Cares, A Little, Barely

Illustration for article titled MLB Pretends It Cares, A Little, Barely

So, if you buy what Major League Baseball is spinning, yesterday's announcement that the Direct TV wouldn't necessarily be an exclusive deal is great news, a chance for fans to still watch their favorite out-of-town team without having to buy stupid DirectTV. After all, cable providers have until the beginning of the season to "match" the DirectTV offer and put the games on their carriers. They'll of course match, right? The onus is on them!


Well, not exactly: The key piece of this is that annoying "Baseball Channel," which is currently something that does not exist. MLB rigged the deal so that whoever "matches" the DirectTV offer will have to carry that channel, which is asking quite a bit of a cable industry which lords those channel rights over everyone (it's the main power they have). MLB, essentially, set up a deal that's so heavily DirectTV-weighted that it would be foolish for the cable providers to "match" it, allowing MLB to say, "Listen, we gave them the offer, and they refused it!" And they still get to have what they wanted all along.

In the twisted logic of MLB, though, you almost have to be impressed by them. They've been so out of touch with their fans for so long that you're almost touched that they even noticed the screaming protests against the deal. Even if they (of course) just ignored them, at least they finally admitted they know we exist. Hey, with these guys, it's something.

Baseball Bends On TV Plan, But Doubts Linger [New York Times]
The Real Deal On "Extra Innings" [CNBC]