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Crosley68
02-22-2007, 07:48 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2775761Just saw this on ESPN. Sen Kerry asked for the investigation and FCC concured.

Matt700wlw
02-22-2007, 07:52 PM
He was against an investigation before he was for it.

:p:

Crosley68
02-22-2007, 07:55 PM
Better to get it right in the end, dont you think?

Anyway, I know a lot of people on here were very upset at the plans. Maybe a letter from a Redszoner had an impact, I know a few said they would write one.

StillFunkyB
02-22-2007, 08:02 PM
I wouldn't mind it so much if I were able to have satellite TV. My landlord would not allow a dish anywhere on the property.

I'm just glad I live back in Cincinnati again. These last two years away I could not watch very many games at all.

GAC
02-22-2007, 08:10 PM
I don't subscribe to the MLB package; but I heard that the only way one can get it, now that this deal went down, is by being a Directv customer. Your local cable company can no longer carry it. Is that right?

Yachtzee
02-22-2007, 08:27 PM
I don't subscribe to the MLB package; but I heard that the only way one can get it, now that this deal went down, is by being a Directv customer. Your local cable company can no longer carry it. Is that right?

Yes. And you would also have to buy the Power Pack. ;)

Wheelhouse
02-22-2007, 08:37 PM
Love it. Would love to see Bud before congress again like the town drunk: "Mr. Selig, I'm getting tired of seeing you here..."

Wheelhouse
02-22-2007, 09:06 PM
Guys this is great--if there's an open FCC investigation, I'm pretty sure MLB won't be able to do the DirecTv deal this year at least.

Reds Fanatic
02-22-2007, 09:06 PM
I don't subscribe to the MLB package; but I heard that the only way one can get it, now that this deal went down, is by being a Directv customer. Your local cable company can no longer carry it. Is that right?That is right if the deal goes through. The deal with Direct TV has never officially been announced. It has been rumored to be close for about a month but for some reason MLB and Directv have not even announced the deal.

KYRedsFan
02-22-2007, 09:54 PM
I am so happy to see this happen. I didn't even really care much personally as I have DirecTV, but listened to Selig a week or so on Mike and Mike, and it was just maddening. Basically his response was, it's not official, but it will happen. Then he went on for quite a while, with the basic theme being, not that many people are affected, this isn't a big deal, and I know what I'm doing and all these people complaining are whining, and tough. Without saying it directly, it almost seemed like he was saying that all these cable customers losing out are technically in markets where they could just switch to DirecTV, and that is why he thinks few are affected. That is what really ticked me off, just so shortsighted and condascending.

Redny
02-22-2007, 10:27 PM
Nothing will come of it because if they mess with this deal then they have to look at the NFL Ticket as well and that won't happen because they haven't got the stones to screw with them.

Yachtzee
02-23-2007, 12:13 AM
Nothing will come of it because if they mess with this deal then they have to look at the NFL Ticket as well and that won't happen because they haven't got the stones to screw with them.

I thought they were already looking into the NFL Ticket.

red-in-la
02-23-2007, 08:28 AM
This is just politicians getting air time. Exclusive distribution rights for a product are sold all the time....

flyer85
02-23-2007, 08:46 AM
I really fail to see what the FCC can do here other than bring public pressure.

GAC
02-23-2007, 08:50 AM
This is another example, IMHO, of MLB hierarchy "disrespecting" their fans when it comes to accessibility of their "product". They could give a hoot when it comes down to the dollar sign.

registerthis
02-23-2007, 09:35 AM
This is another example, IMHO, of MLB hierarchy "disrespecting" their fans when it comes to accessibility of their "product". They could give a hoot when it comes down to the dollar sign.

I guess we'll see how profitable this is for them. I agree, it's sad to see a professional sports league with such apparent disregard for its fans, but honestly it's not the fans they care about--it's the money. And if this deal brings it in, MLB will feel their decision was vindicated.

Wheelhouse
02-23-2007, 10:48 AM
Nothing will come of it because if they mess with this deal then they have to look at the NFL Ticket as well and that won't happen because they haven't got the stones to screw with them.

They ARE looking into NFL Ticket and it will at least effect this year, because the investigation will not have concluded before the start of the season, and any agreement between MLB and DirecTV must be approved by the FCC.

Reds Fanatic
02-23-2007, 11:14 AM
They ARE looking into NFL Ticket and it will at least effect this year, because the investigation will not have concluded before the start of the season, and any agreement between MLB and DirecTV must be approved by the FCC.
Actually there is nothing in any FCC rules that would prevent this deal. The deal will still go through any day now. This deal could lead to a change for the future but for now nothing is likely to prevent the Directv deal. With the speed that the FCC and Congress move on changing things it will take months before any change could be put in to prevent this deal.

Wheelhouse
02-23-2007, 11:35 AM
How could a deal possibly take place during an investigation, whether the rules are currently in place or not? The FCC must approve the deal: how can they give approval for a deal that they formally have declared merits investigation?

registerthis
02-23-2007, 11:37 AM
How could a deal possibly take place during an investigation, whether the rules are currently in place or not? The FCC must approve the deal: how can they give approval for a deal that they formally have declared merits investigation?

Maybe someone else can support this better than I can, but I don't know that the FCC needs to issue it sapproval for the deal to go through. Simply the fact that they are investigating it does not mean that it suddenly requires the FCC's stamp of approval.

Wheelhouse
02-23-2007, 12:05 PM
Maybe someone else can support this better than I can, but I don't know that the FCC needs to issue it sapproval for the deal to go through. Simply the fact that they are investigating it does not mean that it suddenly requires the FCC's stamp of approval.

The FCC is the enforcer of federal communications law as enacted by congress. Any investigation they bring seeks to address the legality of an issue--what I mean by this is that it is not simply a rulemaking body; it carries the weight of congress and the law. I can't imagine a deal could be done while under that kind of legal scrutiny, and that, a legal scrutiny that was requested by a US Senator. Would you be able to put a nuclear power-plant on-line if the EPA was investigating it? I doubt it.

flyer85
02-23-2007, 12:12 PM
How could a deal possibly take place during an investigation, whether the rules are currently in place or not? If it doesn't violate some current regulation I don't see how the FCC is a party to what is happening between D* and MLB.

Wheelhouse
02-23-2007, 12:57 PM
If it doesn't violate some current regulation I don't see how the FCC is a party to what is happening between D* and MLB.

The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether there is a violation. Apparently, the head of the FCC feels there might be.

flyer85
02-23-2007, 01:02 PM
The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether there is a violation. Apparently, the head of the FCC feels there might be.if he doesn't know I would think it is safe to presume that it is nothing more than public posturing. Deals happen all the time where exclusive TV rights are sold. If it fair or in the best interest of the fans? Probably not because the issue is about getting maximum dollars.

The purpose of an threat of an investigation is to bring pressure to call the deal off. This is turning into a PR hit for MLB, I am beginning to wonder if they are considering throwing in the towel on this one.

registerthis
02-23-2007, 01:06 PM
The FCC is the enforcer of federal communications law as enacted by congress. Any investigation they bring seeks to address the legality of an issue--what I mean by this is that it is not simply a rulemaking body; it carries the weight of congress and the law.

I understand that.

But if the FCC were to undertake no investigation, then it wouldn't require FCC approval to go through. Until the investigation is ruled upon, I don't see under what jurisdiction the FCC could put a hold on the deal. Legally, that is. As Flyer put it, this may all be simply PR posturing in an effort to force MLB to back out of the deal. We'll see.

westofyou
02-23-2007, 01:16 PM
The purpose of an threat of an investigation is to bring pressure to call the deal off. This is turning into a PR hit for MLB, I am beginning to wonder if they are considering throwing in the towel on this one.
http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=781&Itemid=52

DirecTV / Extra Innings Deal: "Within 24 Hours"
Written by Maury Brown
Thursday, 22 February 2007

MLB Extra InningsThe deal to place Extra Innings exclusively on DirecTV could be signed as early as today, with an announcement arriving "within 24 hours," according to John Ourand & Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal. MLB executives, however, say no announcement is planned for either today or tomorrow.

A new wrinkle in the deal may be the length of exclusivity on the satcaster. As reported by Ourand and Fisher on today’s Closing Bell of the Sports Business Daily:

[I]ndustry sources said DirecTV's exclusive hold on the package will only last the first three of the seven years of the deal, potentially opening up an opportunity for other carriers to get Extra Innings starting in the 2010 season…. could ease angry fan sentiment surrounding the DirecTV-MLB marriage.

As further mentioned, the move to shorten the window would coincide with MLB’s planned launch of a 24-hour baseball-only channel slated to launch in 2009. “The belief is that MLB would be able to get cable distribution for its channel if it also offers cable operators Extra Innings.”

flyer85
02-23-2007, 01:22 PM
BTW, Maury Brown has written extensively on the subject with a number of articles being published by BP.

For anyone interested I would suggest reading his insights. Maury writes on the "business of baseball".

Reds Fanatic
02-23-2007, 01:28 PM
I love how the idiots in charge of MLB think taking the package off cable for only 3 of the 7 years will "ease fan anger" about the deal. So you are only screwing over the fans for 3 years and we are supposed to feel good we might get the package back in 2010. From what I have read the cable operators basically offered the same amount of money Directv did but would not put the baseball channel on their basic cable platforms and that is what is leading to the Directv deal. So they basically take away the package because cable would not put their future baseball channel where they wanted it but in 3 years they want to give back the package so they have a chance for the cable operators to sign up for the baseball channel. The pure stupidity of this deal boggles the mind.

flyer85
02-23-2007, 01:30 PM
If this goes down it will certainly force a lot of fans to MLBAM to get their fix.

Gainesville Red
02-23-2007, 01:43 PM
At this point I wish they would either just do it, or don't do it. Make it official, or don't.

What is the season, 5 weeks away?

If it goes down, DirecTV is not an option for me, I'll get mlb.tv and be pissed about it, but at least I'll watch baseball.

But for a lot of people it is an option. One they may not be thrilled with, but an option none the less. If they're going to have to get DirecTV it's getting to be time to tell them.

How angry would you be if you went ahead and bit the bullet, got DirecTV, adn the next day MLB decided they're tired of bad publicity and headaches and pulled the deal?

Wheelhouse
02-23-2007, 01:56 PM
I understand that.

But if the FCC were to undertake no investigation, then it wouldn't require FCC approval to go through. Until the investigation is ruled upon, I don't see under what jurisdiction the FCC could put a hold on the deal. Legally, that is. As Flyer put it, this may all be simply PR posturing in an effort to force MLB to back out of the deal. We'll see.

The FCC is investigating the deal. That was the big news yeaterday. Prior to that, it had only been a request by Sen. Kerry. Both parties have been called to provide documents surrounding the deal. This "new wrinkle" looks like a desperation effort by MLB. Why would they do that (only 3-years of exclusivity out of 7) if they could go ahead as planned without any legal block from an FCC investigation?

Reds Fanatic
02-23-2007, 02:07 PM
The FCC is investigating the deal. That was the big news yeaterday. Prior to that, it had only been a request by Sen. Kerry. Both parties have been called to provide documents surrounding the deal. This "new wrinkle" looks like a desperation effort by MLB. Why would they do that (only 3-years of exclusivity out of 7) if they could go ahead as planned without any legal block from an FCC investigation?
The reason they would do the new deal in 3 years is they will then have their new baseball channel running. They still want the cable companies to carry that channel. Cable companies are not going to cooperate with MLB to carry their channel when they can't get Extra Innings. So in 3 years they want to give Extra Innings back to cable companies in an effort to get them to carry the baseball channel. The whole thing is stupid but that is what they are thinking.

flyer85
02-23-2007, 02:18 PM
Why would they do that (only 3-years of exclusivity out of 7) if they could go ahead as planned without any legal block from an FCC investigation?Anything that MLB does that might bring congressional involvement is a potential problem. Congress has the we'll revoke their "anti-trust exemption" and the steroid investigation cards to play. MLB always has their ear to the ground in relation to potential legislative involvement.

Wheelhouse
02-23-2007, 02:45 PM
Anything that MLB does that might bring congressional involvement is a potential problem. Congress has the we'll revoke their "anti-trust exemption" and the steroid investigation cards to play. MLB always has their ear to the ground in relation to potential legislative involvement.

It would take a great deal of initiative to revoke baseballs anti-trust exemption, and seeing how MLB has played fast and dirty in the past, I can only see them doing something like this if they were forced to. But I guess we'll see...gives me a little hope.

flyer85
02-23-2007, 04:14 PM
But I guess we'll see...gives me a little hope.we have been hearing about this being a done deal for a month and yet ... all I hear is crickets chirping.

D* is running out of time if they want to sign up and install a bunch of new subs before the season starts.

GAC
02-23-2007, 08:00 PM
I guess we'll see how profitable this is for them. I agree, it's sad to see a professional sports league with such apparent disregard for its fans, but honestly it's not the fans they care about--it's the money. And if this deal brings it in, MLB will feel their decision was vindicated.

I fully agree reg. The above (highlighted) is exactly my point. ;)

I love baseball. It's really the only sport I "live" for. I'm basically in a funk during the winter months.

But then again, I've come to the point that the only money MLB will ever get from me is that which I expend when I go down to a game(s) several times a year. I live in central Ohio, so I am able to get WLW on the radio, and enjoy listening to the games on the radio.

And it's not that I'm a cheapster, nor feel you shouldn't have to pay for various services - MLB provides a product, and we're the customer/subscriber. I just think anymore they are taking it too extreme, looking at every "avenue", in order to make a profit/squeeze the fans any way they can.

Yachtzee
02-23-2007, 08:11 PM
If you're looking for baseball's next commissioner, look no further.

http://www.unitedspongebob.com/pictures/krabs/krabs.jpg

Reds Fanatic
02-27-2007, 10:02 AM
Could be some good news if this article from CNN is right. At least according to one inside source MLB may still make Extra Innings available to everyone.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/26/commentary/sportsbiz/?postversion=2007022706


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Long-distance relationships may not work for romances. But it's a different story for sports fans.

Professional sports leagues are tapping into the interest that many fans have for their favorite team even after they've moved far from home. It is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing sources of revenue for the leagues...and one of the more controversial.

Sen. John Kerry is among those decrying a proposal that could take away access to out-of-market baseball games from fans with cable rather than DirecTV.

While local and national broadcast sports rights fees are showing only solid gains, if that, the leagues are seeing the rights fees for out-of-market games soar. Some fans pay a couple of hundred dollars a year to watch games not available in their home market.

Such packages seem to be a small price to pay for Boston fans far from Red Sox Nation or Packers fans in warmer climates. So it's not surprising that cable and satellite television providers have been fighting for the packages as a way of attracting customers.

Major League Baseball is close to selling the rights to its "Extra Innings" package of out-of-market games for $100 million a year -- or more. That's more than triple the $30 million or so a year that sources said baseball got in its last Extra Innings deal.

When the NFL renewed its exclusive package for Sunday Ticket with DirecTV (Charts) in late 2002, it got $400 million a year, up from $130 million a year previously, according to trade publication Sports Business Daily. And DirecTV agreed to pay $700 million a year for the Sunday Ticket rights when the contract was renewed again after the 2005 season, according to the publication, according to the publication. More than 2 million fans had that package last year, according to an estimate from Kagan Research.

Meanwhile XM Satellite Radio (Charts) and Sirius Satellite Radio (Charts), which recently announced plans to merge, had been busy competing for the rights to packages from the different sports.

XM landed MLB for a reported $650 million deal that stretches 11 years. It also ponied up for the rights to Nascar, the National Hockey League, golf and tennis. Sirius signed a three-year deal with the NFL for $220 million and also broadcasts Nascar events as well as National Basketball Association games.

The controversy comes because DirecTV is trying to get an exclusive contract to carry the MLB package, as it already has with the NFL. That has raised criticism and threats of legislative action by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., along with a statement by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin that he is also concerned with the expected change.

Both men, as well as an estimated 180,000 baseball fans who subscribed to Extra Innings last year on cable and 50,000 fans who did so with the competing satellite service from EchoStar Communications (Charts), might get their wish without a change in legislation.

One source familiar with negotiations said he now believes that the Extra Innings package will remain available to all three services.

"I'd be surprised if the DirecTV deal goes through," he said.

The key isn't likely to revolve around more money, but an agreement by the cable operators to provide broader carriage for a Baseball Network which MLB intends to start operating in 2009.

DirecTV had been willing to let all 15 million of its subscribers have the new Baseball Network right from the start, as well as helping with some of the start-up costs, according to multiple sources. It isn't willing to be as helpful to MLB's upstart network if it doesn't gain the advantage of an exclusive deal on Extra Innings, though.

But after initially rebuffing the MLB demands for carriage of the Baseball Network, the cable operators are now coming around, according to the industry source.

"There will be a commitment to carry the Baseball Network (on cable)," said the industry official. "Where it will be placed, that still needs to be sorted out."

Another source with the league said he was not aware of any shift away from plans to go with an exclusive deal for DirecTV. But talks have lingered for months without an official announcement even as baseball's opening day draws near.

A non-exclusive deal would not only reduce the risk of any interference from Washington. It will also allow baseball to not anger more than 200,000 of its most loyal customers who would have to shift television services to keep following their teams.

The motivation for the exclusive deal has been reported -- incorrectly -- as baseball's desire to get the top rights fee for the Extra Innings package.

The big cable companies, which collectively own a service called In Demand that airs the Extra Innings games, were reportedly willing to pay $70 million a year for a non-exclusive deal.

And while DirecTV won't offer $100 million for a non-exclusive deal, it seems safe to say that it and the Dish Network, along with the telephone companies that are making their own push to provide television service, would easily pay more than $30 million combined for non-exclusive deals.

Plus, it's not as if DirecTV is likely to take a big financial hit if it doesn't get an exclusive MLB contract. Sources familiar with subscription numbers say that DirecTV already has 270,000 Extra Innings customers...more than the cable companies. Assuming DirecTV can hold onto all these customers, that works out to $50 million in subscriber fees.

There hasn't been as much heat over DirecTV's exclusive contract with NFL's Sunday Ticket, but that's because that has always been an exclusive deal. But that doesn't mean the cable operators have given up hope getting into that deal as well.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. said at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee in December that DirecTV's exclusivity with Sunday Ticket was a reason to strip the NFL of an antitrust exemption it uses to negotiate television deals for all of its teams. Cable company Comcast (Charts) is based in Specter's hometown of Philadelphia.

This topic will definitely be worth watching in Congress. Clearly, the absence of a favorite sports team makes many fans' hearts grow fonder. And the leagues, along with cable and satellite providers, are only too happy to cash on that.

Sea Ray
02-27-2007, 10:25 AM
The longer this goes on, the more I see baseball caving in to public pressure at least for this year and this has gone on pretty long.

http://www.tvpredictions.com/dtvmlb022707.htm

The article above speculates that the Directv deal will not happen this year.


Washington, D.C. (February 27, 2007) -- Major League Baseball may be reconsidering a plan to award DIRECTV the exclusive rights to carry up to 60 games a week, including many in High-Definition.

That's according to an article from CNN/Money, the financial web site.

The New York Times reported last month that the league was close to giving DIRECTV an exclusive contract to offer 'MLB Extra Innings,' a pay package of out of market games.

Gainesville Red
02-27-2007, 10:48 AM
I've got everything I can crossed. Fingers, legs, arms, toes, whatever. Get it done MLB.

Sea Ray
02-27-2007, 11:14 AM
These new developments are enlightening in that they explain the money part of this and it seems that money is not an issue here. MLB will get about the same amount of money in either deal. If that's the case then I doubt they'd risk so much unhappiness among fans and lawmakers to go with an exclusive deal. I bet the MLB channel will work itself out. I'm thinking that they'll do a one year deal for 2007 which includes everyone and work out the MLB channels issue over the next year.

Bud Selig is a consensus guy, not a stick your neck out guy.

Reds Fanatic
03-02-2007, 06:16 PM
Bad news. The person in charge of Directv has responded to the FCC and it basically sounds like a done deal. This is the first time Directv has commented on the deal so I think you can expect the announcement very soon.

http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=11644


DirecTV on Friday defended its plan to acquire exclusive rights to Major League Baseball’s Extra Innings out-of-market games package for $700 million over seven years.

The cable industry has stirred up opposition to the unannounced, still-being-negotiated deal. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., asked the FCC to look into the deal on behalf of Red Sox fans who might not be able to see games when they’re not in Boston.

In a letter Friday to Monica Shah Desai, chief of the FCC’s Media Bureau, DirecTV president-CEO Chase Carey said DirecTV will create a better deal for consumers by investing to make Extra Innings a better product than it was while on cable; he said no governmental action is called for.

Mr. Carey also asserted that no one will be denied access to the great American pastime. Consumers who can switch to DirecTV from cable will be provided free equipment and installation, and the 5,000 people in the country who have the package and cannot receive DirecTV will have access to the games through MLB.com.

Mr. Carey added that policies set by Congress and the FCC allow for some programming to be provided on an exclusive basis.

Sen. Kerry said that while he was glad DirecTV responded promptly to the FCC, “I remain unconvinced that taking a choice away from consumers is good for baseball.”

He added that he hoped DirecTV and MLB do not announce a deal until after the FCC and Congress have looked into the matter.

In his letter, Mr. Carey described what the Extra Innings service would look like if the satellite TV provider completes its deal with MLB. Most games will be provided in high-definition on satellite—something cable operators don’t have the bandwidth for now—and the games will be accompanied by the Strike Zone channel, which will deliver live cut-ins of games throughout the country as well as scores and statistics.

“DirecTV will do for Extra Innings what we have done for other programming: transform a service that had enjoyed limited popularity when offered by multiple [distributors] into a fan’s dream,” Mr. Carey said.

DirecTV also is agreeing to carry MLB’s Baseball Channel, which will be available to other distributors as well.

According to Mr. Carey, only 230,000 non-DirecTV subscribers purchased Extra Innings last year. (About 270,000 DirecTV customers bought the package.)

“The only real barriers to cable customers who want to switch to DirecTV are imposed by cable,” Mr. Carey added. “Cable penalizes such customers by increasing the price of Internet service if a customer drops cable’s video service. Furthermore, if cable did not prohibit a direct connection between the Internet and the set-top box, MLB.com could easily be viewed on television sets.”

In his letter, Mr. Carey said that more than 400 games are televised in most broadcast markets by local stations, regional sports networks, Fox, TBS and ESPN.

“In the end, this transaction will not reduce the access of any baseball fan to his or her home team games or to the many out-of-town games MLB makes available each year outside of Extra Innings,” he said.

Last week Echostar blasted exclusive sports deals as anti-competitive and anti-consumer.

“There is a line that must be drawn between a healthy, competitive market and one that deprives most Americans of the sports they love. In our opinion, that line has been crossed," EchoStar said in a statement.

EchoStar called the potential Extra Innings deal “particularly egregious” because “we will be forced to take away valuable programming from existing subscribers who depend on EchoStar to receive all their television channels.”

Wheelhouse
03-02-2007, 11:39 PM
Sound like he's scared. There will be no deal this year.

Wheelhouse
03-03-2007, 10:15 AM
This ESPN piece says there is no deal yet...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2786448

NEW YORK -- DirectTV acknowledged an agreement with Major League Baseball to become the sole television distributor of the sport's out-of-market package in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, saying the deal will benefit consumers.

While the seven-page letter from DirectTV president Chase Carey to the FCC on Friday referred in the second paragraph to "DirecTV's agreement," company spokesman Robert Mercer said later that the letter was incorrect.

"The letter should have said proposed agreement. There is no agreement as yet," Mercer said.

Carey's letter was released by Edelman, the company's public-relations firm.

"Consumers will receive a better product, with more content and more features," Carey said in the letter.

The package also has been available on cable television in recent seasons through iNDemand but will be available solely on DirecTV and MLB.com under the new agreement. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., released a letter last month disclosing that the FCC was investigating the deal.

"MLB's proposed deal with Direct TV for the Extra Innings package is stunning in its disregard for baseball fans," iNDemand president Robert Jacobsen said in a statement. "The cable industry offered MLB a non-exclusive deal -- with better overall terms than the DirecTV offer -- that would allow baseball fans across the country to watch their favorite teams regardless of whether they were a satellite, cable or telephone customer."

Carey said in his letter that an estimated 5,000 subscribers to the Extra Innings package would not have access to DirecTV, and he said there were 230,000 subscribers to the package last year outside of DirecTV. He also said DirecTV would make The Baseball Channel available when the network launches in 2009.

"Congress did not prohibit all exclusive arrangements," Carey wrote. "It only restricted exclusive arrangements that were the product of market power abuses -- those between dominant cable operators and cable-owned programmers."

Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, declined comment.

Wheelhouse
03-03-2007, 01:20 PM
My latest letter on the subject to the FCC:

Dear Commisioner Martin:

First I'd like to express my thanks for your inquiry into this matter. Just at the moment I felt pushed under the rug as a baseball fan, you "stepped up to the plate" as it were.

I'd just like to add a word about my situation as a baseball fan. I live in New York City and my building does not allow satellite antennas, and mounting one indoors is impossible both aesthetically and because I have child protection guards on my windows which would inhibit the signal. I am not able to get DirecTV. I tried MLB.TV (their internet streaming service) for one day and it is not compatible with my computer's operating system (Macintosh.) MLB has repeatedly said they are remedying the problem and nothing ever happens. The Windows Media Player that the games are streamed through is no longer functional on a Mac. And even if it did work, I discovered I would have to increase my internet bandwidth to receive the games (an extra $20/month.) For me to watch games, I would have to pay an additional $240 for bandwidth (a one-year commitment is required), the $90 cost of the subscription, and buy a Windows computer (I'll put that at $700 for the PC and a monitor to watch on.) For me to watch the 2007 Cincinnati Reds I would have to pay $1030. This is a difference of $850 over my getting Extra Innings on cable. And this, to watch a low resolution stream (the $90 subscription) on a monitor at a desk as opposed to on the couch in front of my TV with family and friends.

And very importantly, during this inquiry, I wouldn't trust MLB's stats on subscriptions. I cancelled my MLB.TV subscription immediately after trying to make it work, and they went ahead and charged me for two months of it on March 2nd anyway. Guessing from their prior behavior before congress and in the press, I'd be willing to bet they use people who sign up and then cancel out of frustration as part of their "subscriber" statistics. They have a long history of gilding the lily, from their reports on income, to steroids, to hustling communities into paying for their stadiums. In other words, watch what's being "pitched."

Major League Baseball and its leadership have lost the trust of this citizen. And I bet government agencies are getting tired having to regularly corral Commissioner Selig before a microphone. It must be like being a judge who has to see the town drunk before the bench every week.

Thanks again, and I feel that some integrity does exist in government due to your inquiry.

Sincerely,

Gainesville Red
03-03-2007, 02:04 PM
Hope they read it.

redsrule2500
03-03-2007, 03:48 PM
This is rediculous, thanks a lot MLB!

Reds Fanatic
03-04-2007, 08:52 AM
This article from the Chicago Tribune shows why the deal will go through. It basically comes down to the fact Selig totally does not get it. He still doesn't understand not everyone can get Directv and he thinks there is too much product out there anyway.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-070303cubsbrite,1,6008896.story?coll=chi-sportstop-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true


PHOENIX -- Commissioner Bud Selig referred to the controversy over Major League Baseball's pending $700 million deal with DirecTV as "ridiculous" Saturday, saying most baseball fans have access to more than enough televised games.

Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) has asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the proposed deal, which would move the Extra Innings package of out-of-market games from digital cable and satellite to DirecTV exclusively for the next seven years.

Thus, unless they have DirecTV, fans will be out of luck.

Speaking to reporters before Saturday's Cubs-A's game, Selig called it "a slight controversy, in some places."

He pointed out the deal is close to being completed but is not done.

"I've heard for years we have too much product out there," Selig said.

"Everywhere I've gone … there's no market that has less than 350 to 400 [televised] games, and some [like Chicago] have quite a bit more than that. We have an enormous amount of product out there.

"As for this deal, what fascinates me is I have spent a lot of time going over it and trying to find out who can't get [DirecTV].

"We're down now to such small numbers, that I'm really wondering [about the fuss].

"… In a year or two, when people understand the significance of this deal … everybody will understand it."

Evidently, that is, if they buy DirecTV.

KYRedsFan
03-04-2007, 03:16 PM
That trib article is essentially what he has been saying for months. He DOES NOT GET IT. He is clueless, and people are telling him this nonsense and honestly, he is just too clueless or doesn't care to think about it further. People have multiple reasons to not want Directv, if they even can. And Selig and MLB don't care one bit about that, it's all about them getting their own channel.

kaldaniels
03-04-2007, 03:19 PM
Maybe this has been answered already...but why all the fuss over this when the NFL is the same way??? I figure NFL Sunday ticket is more popular than Extra Innings so why didn't we hear such a stink when the NFL went exclusive with Directv???

pedro
03-04-2007, 03:41 PM
Maybe this has been answered already...but why all the fuss over this when the NFL is the same way??? I figure NFL Sunday ticket is more popular than Extra Innings so why didn't we hear such a stink when the NFL went exclusive with Directv???


because football was never available on regular cable and b/c football doesn't have an anti-trust exemption.

Unassisted
03-04-2007, 09:27 PM
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for this FCC to stop this deal. The loss of MLB from DISH network won't be the straw that breaks that camel's back, but it certainly doesn't make DISH any more appealing.

DirecTV's larger goal is to weaken its competitor DISH Network to the brink of insolvency so that the FCC will have less to object to in letting the two services merge. The Sirius/XM deal has set a precedent for the merger of satellite broadcasters and I look for the two satellite TV services to get a merger done before the 2008 election.

Wheelhouse
03-06-2007, 08:35 PM
Today, Univision was fined $23 million dollars by the FCC in an unprecedented move by the agency for categorizing a soap opera as "educational programming." Talk on the news is of how the FCC is taking a more proactive role than they ever have before. They may not block a deal, but they certainly can fine with great flexibility. And the word "fine" is more abhorrent to corporate types than anything. Especially when it is large enough to offset the profits of a business plan.

Gainesville Red
03-06-2007, 08:49 PM
Not holding my breath, but I've certainly got my fingers crossed.

Wheelhouse
03-07-2007, 01:37 PM
MORE FCC flexing it's muscle, this time with XM/Sirius, go Martin!:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/07/business/media/07radio.html?ei=5065&en=6f4b29133688863d&ex=1173934800&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print

F.C.C. Chief Questioning Radio Deal

By STEPHEN LABATON
WASHINGTON, March 6 — Kevin J. Martin, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has privately questioned recent Congressional testimony by the architect of a proposed merger of the nation’s two satellite radio companies that subscribers would both pay the same monthly rate and receive significantly more programming.

As he sought to sell the proposed merger of Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio to Congress, and by extension to regulators like Mr. Martin, Mel Karmazin, the chief executive of Sirius, vowed last Wednesday that prices would not be raised and that listeners would benefit enormously by getting the best programming from both companies.

But in separate conversations with two people after Mr. Karmazin’s testimony to a House committee, Mr. Martin said that subscribers may be surprised to learn they may actually have to pay more than the current monthly rate of $12.95 if, for example, they want to receive all the games of Major League Baseball (now available only on XM) as well as all the professional football games (now only on Sirius).

Mr. Karmazin, reached on Tuesday, said his testimony was not misleading and that he meant to say two things: subscribers wanting to keep their existing service would not face a price increase, and listeners who wanted the best of both services would pay less than the combined rate of $25.90.

Mr. Martin, in an interview on Tuesday, suggested that the details had not been clear from the testimony. He emphasized that he was not questioning the motives or candor of Mr. Karmazin but that there was “a need for greater clarity” over what was being proposed for fees and programming.

“The commission will need to determine the benefits to consumers of this deal, and in doing that, we will need to carefully look at what price will be frozen and what consumers will be getting for that price,” Mr. Martin said, adding that the hearing left those issues unclear. “When they talk about freezing rates and lowering rates, are they talking about it in terms of the current rate of $12.95 for each service, or are they referring to the combined rate of $25.90?”

The two people who talked to Mr. Martin — one working to get the deal done and the other a critic — said they understood his comments to reflect his skepticism about both the deal and the way it was being sold in Washington as more beneficial to consumers than it might actually be. The two did not want to be identified because they said these were private conversations.

Mr. Martin said that the proposed deal had “not even been filed with the commission yet,” and that he would carefully consider the arguments of both the supporters and the opponents before reaching a decision.

The $13 billion proposed deal cannot be completed without the permission of antitrust lawyers at the Justice Department and a majority of the five commissioners at the F.C.C.

The commission gave the two companies spectrum licenses for the satellite radio services in the 1990s on the condition that they not merge, and it would have to waive that condition for the deal to go forward.

Mr. Martin has said that the companies have a high hurdle to conquer in persuading the commission that the deal would be in the public interest.

At last week’s hearing before the antitrust task force of the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Karmazin insisted that subscribers could count on a significantly greater offering of programs and no increase in prices. That juxtaposition led some lawmakers to conclude that consumers who pay the same monthly fee for one service would be getting the benefits of the other.

“This merger will give people more choice than they have before and lower prices and, very importantly, less confusion,” Mr. Karmazin testified. “Our vision of the way it works is that if you are an XM subscriber, you have the Major League Baseball, you have whatever number of channels available to you now. But what we contemplate is that we would take some other content, and again we have to work with our content partners. But the hope would be that we would get Nascar to agree to be on XM as well. We’ll get the N.F.L. to agree to be on XM as well.”

At another point in the hearing, he said, “We are saying we are not going to raise our price, and we’re going to offer the consumer something that they have not had before.”

Critics said that the companies had not been candid about their intentions to offer more services for more than $12.95.

“It’s a sleight of hand going on here,” said Gene Kimmelman, vice president for federal affairs at Consumers Union, which opposes the merger. “They highlight the price freeze for the old package. They’re leaving the consumer with the impression of a price freeze. They say you will get the best of both services. But they never tell you what the rate will be for that.

“Regardless of what Mr. Karmazin intended,” Mr. Kimmelman went on, “he has left many consumers with the impression they will receive a combined package of Sirius and XM channels for $12.95, when in reality the price will probably be much higher.”

Mr. Karmazin is scheduled to appear before a second Congressional panel on Wednesday.

In the interview on Tuesday afternoon, he said he thought he had been clear that to get the best of both XM and Sirius, consumers would have to pay more than the monthly rate of $12.95, but less than the combined rate of $25.90. Consumers who just want to stay with their existing lineup would be guaranteed the same price, he said.

“If the merger is approved there will be lower prices and more choice,” Mr. Karmazin said. “If the merger is not approved, there is no discussion on price and there is no discussion about more choices.”

Sea Ray
03-07-2007, 02:22 PM
Interesting but I don't see that it has anything to do with the DirectTV deal. This would go best under its own heading or under the discussion of Satellite radio merger already going on in the non-baseball chatter

Wheelhouse
03-07-2007, 02:45 PM
I posted it only because in this thread, on this subject, several posters have said that the FCC will not intervene in the deal. This last post is meant to support the idea, central to this thread, that the FCC has become more aggressive, and that they very well may intervene in the MLB/DirecTV deal. I'm sure this posting would also be relevant to the thread you mentioned.

Coffeybro
03-07-2007, 02:53 PM
I called Dish network today to ask about Extra Innings for 2007 since I am a subscriber. In addition I'm in an 18 month contract with them after I upgraded my service to HD. The Dish operator told me they had not heard from their supplier of MLB Extra Innings about its availablity for 2007. This is kind of telling as I remember getting almost every televised Spring Training game last season. :thumbdown :bang: :angry:

Moosie52
03-07-2007, 02:56 PM
Today, Univision was fined $23 million dollars by the FCC in an unprecedented move by the agency for categorizing a soap opera as "educational programming."

I think it is eductional. The only reason I would watch a soap opera on Univision is to learn Spanish.

Sea Ray
03-07-2007, 03:07 PM
I posted it only because in this thread, on this subject, several posters have said that the FCC will not intervene in the deal. This last post is meant to support the idea, central to this thread, that the FCC has become more aggressive, and that they very well may intervene in the MLB/DirecTV deal. I'm sure this posting would also be relevant to the thread you mentioned.

I hope you're right. I don't care who intervenes. I just don't want to be limited to Directv. But I think it's a stretch to try to draw parallels between a radio merger and the EI package.

I do hope I'm wrong...

Unassisted
03-07-2007, 06:02 PM
I posted it only because in this thread, on this subject, several posters have said that the FCC will not intervene in the deal. This last post is meant to support the idea, central to this thread, that the FCC has become more aggressive, and that they very well may intervene in the MLB/DirecTV deal. I'm sure this posting would also be relevant to the thread you mentioned.

I agree that it's relevant because of the unbundling of MLB that was de-emphasized in the testimony about Sirius/XM. Karmazin must be fit to be tied, because the timing for his deal to go before Congress is particularly bad in light of the fresh MLB sat-TV controversy.

I think it's worth noting that the most vigorous opposition to both deals in that article is coming from a few members of Congress. Yet I'm sure there are plenty of members on both sides of the aisle who have gotten campaign contributions from the satellite broadcasting industry. That makes me skeptical that it will be possible to round up a majority of votes to oppose anything that either satellite radio or satellite TV wants to do.

Gainesville Red
03-08-2007, 02:10 PM
Uh-oh.

http://www.skyreport.com/

Reds Fanatic
03-08-2007, 02:12 PM
Unfortunately it looks like the deal is done. SI is also reporting it is done deal 7 years for $700 Million exclusively to Directv to be announced at that press conference. The truly ridiculous part is according to an article in the LA Times the cable companies basically offered the same money, offered to carry the baseball channel and not even make it an exclusive deal and MLB still decided to go with Directv.

redsfan30
03-08-2007, 02:27 PM
Unfortunately it looks like the deal is done. SI is also reporting it is done deal 7 years for $700 Million exclusively to Directv to be announced at that press conference. The truly ridiculous part is according to an article in the LA Times the cable companies basically offered the same money, offered to carry the baseball channel and not even make it an exclusive deal and MLB still decided to go with Directv.

:thumbdown

:(

flyer85
03-08-2007, 02:37 PM
Unfortunately it looks like the deal is done. SI is also reporting it is done deal 7 years for $700 Million exclusively to Directv to be announced at that press conference. The truly ridiculous part is according to an article in the LA Times the cable companies basically offered the same money, offered to carry the baseball channel and not even make it an exclusive deal and MLB still decided to go with Directv.which really leads me to believe they want to force a sizable group of people to MLBAM.

Unassisted
03-08-2007, 04:13 PM
which really leads me to believe they want to force a sizable group of people to MLBAM.

I agree. The bright side here is that when you pay for MLBAM products, you know that your money is going straight to MLB instead of to the shareholders and employees of media companies. ;)

flyer85
03-08-2007, 04:14 PM
I agree. The bright side here is that when you pay for MLBAM products, you know that your money is going straight to MLB instead of to the shareholders and employees of media companies. ;)thanks, I feel much better :help:

KronoRed
03-08-2007, 04:44 PM
Isn't all online revenue shared equally?

Trying to think of something positive ;)

Gainesville Red
03-08-2007, 05:07 PM
Here's another reason that this sucks for me.

MLB.com takes the money from me in a lump sum.

With EI, it was taken out in payments of $40 or so through out the season attached to the cable bill.

I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to have $150 or so right when the season starts.

Better get to the store to buy ramen noodles or something to eat for the next month I guess.

westofyou
03-08-2007, 05:13 PM
http://www.baseballmusings.com/


Conference Call

I just called in to the press conference by MLB and DirecTV. With luck, I'll be able to live blog the proceedings.

Update: The call is starting now.

Update: Bob DuPuy is announcing an extension of Extra Innings on DirecTV. DirecTV will provide enhancements to the product. DirecTV will carry the Baseball Channel on its basic tier. No mention of an exclusive so far.

Update: DuPuy addresses exclusivity. He says incumbent cable carriers have until the end of March to sign up with DirecTV to continue to carry the games.

Update: It wasn't too clear to me, but if you currently get MLB Extra Innings on your cable or satellite system, you should encourage them to sign up for Extra Innings. According to DuPuy, they can do this for the same cost they paid last year.

Update: This agreement doesn't seem to be as exclusive as first thought. However, it seems to be up to the cable providers and Dish Network to take the initiative to get the programming.

Update: The Times is asking for clarification on cable getting the programming. What are the incentives for them? The head of DirecTV says the cable companies negotiate with MLB, not DirecTV. If they don't reach a deal, then DirecTV has an exclusive.

Update: It all comes down to Dish and In Demand wanting to pay the money. But they have a short window to make the deal.

Update: The others have to meet the same rate structure as DirecTV.

Update: One person is asking about Phillies games on DirecTV. Baseball is saying that they'd like to get Phillies on DirecTV, but there's not much DTV can do now. Bob DuPuy says the issue also exists in San Diego, and MLB Baseball wants that to change.

Update: Chase Carey of DirecTV says there will be no cost to switch to DirecTV.

Update: The San Diego/Philadelphia situation is due to a loop-hole in federal law, and baseball would like to see that law changed.

Update: In Demand and Dish have to sign up for all seven years by the end of the month.

Update: They'll also have to carry the baseball channel, from what I understand.

Update: The conference call is over (5:00 PM EST). There are some mistakes as I live blogged, as it some time to understand what this deal is about. Let me try to clarify.

MLB and DirecTV reached a seven year agreement for DirecTV to carry MLB Extra Innings. In addition, DirecTV will add enhancements, such as a mosaic channel. DirecTV will also carry the Baseball Channel when it debuts in 2009.

In Demand and Dish Network, the other incumbent carriers of Extra Innings can still buy the package. However, they have until the end of March, and they must pay the same rate as DirecTV, and carry the Baseball Channel as well. If neither of these providers signs on to the deal, DirecTV gets an exclusive and pays more money to MLB. MLB suggests people who get Extra Innings on Dish and In Demand call their providers to encourage them to make a deal for Extra Innings.

So there's still hope fans won't be shut out, but there's not much time left.

Reds Fanatic
03-08-2007, 05:21 PM
So now it comes down to whether the cable companies will put the baseball channel on their basic tier. I think paying the money won't be a problem but I bet they won't put it on the basic tier because it is essentially the same argument they had with the NFL about NFL network. The cable companies will carry the new channel but they won't want to carry it on the basic tier.

KronoRed
03-08-2007, 05:32 PM
Better get to the store to buy ramen noodles or something to eat for the next month I guess.

Publix used to give away free cookies to kids, just crouch and ask nicely ;)

mbgrayson
03-08-2007, 08:19 PM
Smart move by MLB and DirecTV to allow cable and other providers in on the deal if they 'match' the terms. This will almost certainly get them out of any anti-trust problems.

Now, cable has not been excluded, they just won't pay the new 'market value' of the Extra Innings package.

This deal will STILL suck for cable users and those that can't have satellite since cable providers are already saying they can't/won't match the deal. The net effect will still be an exclusive for DirecTV even though there is a loophole.

Mike

Yachtzee
03-08-2007, 08:55 PM
So now it comes down to whether the cable companies will put the baseball channel on their basic tier. I think paying the money won't be a problem but I bet they won't put it on the basic tier because it is essentially the same argument they had with the NFL about NFL network. The cable companies will carry the new channel but they won't want to carry it on the basic tier.

Actually, there is a difference. With the NFL Network, the NFL was never offering to give cable providers access to the Sunday Ticket product. I think if the NFL had said, "we'll let you buy in to Sunday Ticket if you carry NFL Network on basic," they might have had some of the major cable operators pony up. Instead they just took some games out of the regular broadcast package and moved them to NFL Network to try to get cable companies to put the network on the basic tier.

Reds Fanatic
03-08-2007, 10:58 PM
The head of In Demand has pretty much already said there is no way the cable companies will agree to this deal.

http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=print_story&articleid=VR1117960785&categoryid=14



MLB said if the deal turns out to be exclusive, it's the fault of cable TV and Dish, which have rejected baseball's offer for Extra Innings.

But Major League Baseball and DirecTV have designed the offer "to be impossible for cable and Dish to meet," said Robert Jacobson, prexy-CEO of In Demand, which negotiated with MLB on behalf of Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications, the second-, third- and fourth-biggest cable operators in the U.S.

Jacobson is referring to MLB's demand that cable and Dish agree to place a new 24/7 MLB Channel on the widest-circulated analog tier when the network opens for business in 2009.

Cable operators say they're not giving any new nationally distributed cable nets a slot on expanded basic (which reaches more than 95% of subscribers on a cable system) because that analog tier is too valuable. The latest technology can transform one analog dial position into as many as 10 digital ones.

Even the 24/7 NFL Network, which features eight regular-season pro football games each year, has clashed in the courts with Comcast and Time Warner, both of which are ruling out analog clearance.

Comcast, Time Warner and other cable operators like Cablevision want to pitchfork the NFL Network and the MLB Channel to a digital sports tier. That blueprint is unacceptable to the NFL and MLB because sports tiers, which cost subscribers an extra monthly fee, have not succeeded in attracting enough viewers to draw Madison Avenue's interest.

Reds Fanatic
03-09-2007, 11:34 AM
This is a good article from today's New York Times about the deal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/sports/baseball/09sandomir.html?_r=1&ref=sports&oref=slogin



Baseball Bends on TV Plan, but Doubts Linger

By RICHARD SANDOMIR
Published: March 9, 2007

Major League Baseball does not like the terminology, but it appears to have buckled to pressure from devoted fans irate that the Extra Innings package of out-of-market games would be the exclusive property of DirecTV.

M.L.B. yesterday announced the anticipated deal, but with a notable, alternately hopeful and suspicious wrinkle:Iit will give cable operators and Dish Network, DirecTV’s satellite rival, until March 31 to make a final stab at retaining Extra Innings. Limited time, limited time only. Hardball, Roger Clemens-style. If InDemand, a consortium of cable operators, and Dish fail, their customers will be forced to switch to DirecTV or subscribe to mlb.TV to watch those games.

The leader of the InDemand consortium was peeved when he learned what M.L.B. was seeking.

“This decision represents the height of disrespect and disregard” for loyal baseball fans,” Robert D. Jacobson, the president of InDemand, said in a statement. You can almost hear him sputter “Trojan horse!”

Jacobson called the agreement between M.L.B. and DirecTV “a de facto exclusive deal” whose terms cannot be matched by cable operators.

The response stunned Tim Brosnan, the executive vice president for business for M.L.B., who, after months of negotiating, felt yesterday was a time to celebrate and that the offer to InDemand and Dish will be fair.

“I’m not sure how InDemand can comment on an offer that hasn’t been made,” he said, containing his anger. He said offers will be made to InDemand and Dish “in short order,” which he did not define.

So what was making Jacobson angry?

It is not Extra Innings. It is the fledgling MLB Channel, which does not exist, and will not until the 2009 season. The channel is the root of all discontent, the reason why DirecTV holds such a strong hand.

Consider that baseball wants cable operators to commit 80 percent of the customers in their digital universe (the same offer made by DirecTV) to carry the channel, which is in vitro. Cable has an estimated 32 million digital homes, and baseball is demanding that nearly 26 million of them carry the channel. At that level, cable would be committing far more than the 15 million guaranteed by DirecTV, which is getting a 20 percent stake in the new channel that no one has watched.

Jacobson is still smarting from being spurned by M.L.B. in his offer last month to match DirecTV’s ante of 15 million and break its exclusivity. (Bob DuPuy, the president of M.L.B., said that InDemand did not match DirecTV’s terms, but since the offer has not been shown publicly, the truth is quite uncertain.)

This raises a question — why shouldn’t cable’s much larger digital universe give more to the MLB Channel’s start-up than DirecTV’s? This leads to a counterquestion — why can’t M.L.B. be happy to initiate its channel with a combined guaranteed 30 million subscribers? That would be a terrific start, although not as dandy as if it had an additional 11 million cable subscribers.

If InDemand or Dish choose to meet baseball’s terms, their annual rights fees would proportionately reduce the $100 million that DirecTV has agreed to pay annually for seven years, because the exclusivity that DirecTV once pushed for would be gone, turned into the same nonexclusive situation in operation for years, and one that fans preferred.

“From a customer standpoint, we’d have nothing more than what we had before,” said Chase Carey, the president of DirecTV, “but there are business terms that work for us. It has strategic benefits for us.”

Carey, DuPuy and Brosnan insisted the anger of fans who fear losing Extra Innings did not, lickety-split, alter the talks from a purely exclusive deal to one that is now giving the other two incumbents one last chance. Carey said that nonexclusivity always lurked as a possibility (and why not, if it let more fans into the out-of-market tent?), but the chances of making it a reality waxed and waned.

But DuPuy acknowledged that baseball listened to the fans’ anger and adjusted, which makes one question why Commissioner Bud Selig showed such a lousy grasp on the art of customer relations in his recent declaration that the controversy over the potential loss of Extra Innings to DirecTV is “ridiculous.” If it was a silly tempest blown out of proportion by sportswriters, why adjust one’s negotiations for it? If devoted fans around the country willing to pay $179.95 are squawking loudly, why label it ridiculous?

Now InDemand and Dish are entering a 23-day period of negotiations, assuming they get their offers today. Baseball is trying to put them on the defensive, telling them they can choose to be good guys or bad guys depending on their decisions. Baseball wants to shed the image that it was guilty of making Extra Innings less available to its fans, so it is bringing InDemand and Dish back for a final lightning round.

And it wants Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, off its back, and the F.C.C., which is looking into the deal, to go away quickly.

flyer85
03-09-2007, 11:43 AM
“a de facto exclusive deal”I believe that pretty well sums it up.

Wheelhouse
03-09-2007, 04:18 PM
MLB is trying to spin doctor this, which won't work. Too many people are too familiar for too long with the surrounding issues here, including those of the Baseball Channel. They can't prey on public ignorance and create a smokeskreen because we're all wise to what's going on. The FCC and Sen. Kerry don't really care about the terms of the deals--they want fans to have choices and feel they should, given MLB's special status not to mention the millions spent by taxpayers on stadiums in the last fifteen years (question: what other business gets taxpayers to entirely fund their physical plant?). Selig and MLB are really playing risky ball here, as they now may be asked to come forward in public and explain themselves.

membengal
03-09-2007, 06:51 PM
It has already worked. It's done. Actually, for how stupid baseball's overlords generally are, they have appeared to pull a PR sleight-of-hand here, turning the focus back on the cable companies.

Glad I have DirecTV.

Wheelhouse
03-09-2007, 07:05 PM
It has already worked. It's done. Actually, for how stupid baseball's overlords generally are, they have appeared to pull a PR sleight-of-hand here, turning the focus back on the cable companies.

Glad I have DirecTV.

Are you going to get the "Super Fan" package?

Wheelhouse
03-09-2007, 07:18 PM
BTW Cable now has the ability to bury DirecTV IF they make a deal happen before March 31st...DirecTV is making a big investment in their HD broadcasts, mosaic channel, etc. But they're charging ten bucks a month ABOVE the EI subscription cost for it. If they don't get exclusivity and a sweet bump in subscribers, they could take a hit, as no what knows what kind of a market there is for the extra service. And if DirecTV doesn't have a sports monopoly, in the long run, they're finished, because no one wants to deal with the dish, and the phone/internet bundles cable offers will eventually seal its fate.

mbgrayson
03-09-2007, 07:44 PM
I have to side with MLB/DirecTV on this one.

The cable TV/OnDemand consortium claims that the main reason the offer to allow them to match DirecTV's offer is so unreasonable is that they can't spare the "valuable analog space"; ie. the Basic or Expanded Basic channel areas.

First of all, this Baseball Channel will not start for two years, giving eveyone plenty of time to shuffle their lineup.

Secondly, everyone will need to convert to digital TV by 2009 anyway. See THIS ARTICLE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_television) on Wikipedia.

Thirdly, I have Bresnan Cable in Montana. We have such wonderful basic channels as two versions of the Shopping Network. I am sure these networks pay Cable for the privelege, rather than costing millions. But what it really comes down to is simply money.

So, Cable providers have a little over 3 weeks to decide if they are willing to shell out extra money, and possibly move some existing analog channels like the shopping network, to digitial to make room for the Baseball Channel. I am sure they could do it if they want.

I plan on sending my provider a letter encouraging them to sign up. If they don't, I will cancel cable, and switch to DirecTV.

I cannot support the Cable consortium's whining, and trying to get Congressional intervention. All they have to do is match DirecTV's offer, and they are 'in'.

membengal
03-09-2007, 07:53 PM
Are you going to get the "Super Fan" package?

Not a chance.

Plain ol' baseball package plenty. I still remember how to work a remote control.

Yachtzee
03-09-2007, 09:03 PM
BTW Cable now has the ability to bury DirecTV IF they make a deal happen before March 31st...DirecTV is making a big investment in their HD broadcasts, mosaic channel, etc. But they're charging ten bucks a month ABOVE the EI subscription cost for it. If they don't get exclusivity and a sweet bump in subscribers, they could take a hit, as no what knows what kind of a market there is for the extra service. And if DirecTV doesn't have a sports monopoly, in the long run, they're finished, because no one wants to deal with the dish, and the phone/internet bundles cable offers will eventually seal its fate.

I don't think they'd be finished. Satellite TV started as an alternative for those who couldn't get cable. There are many areas in this country where one cable tv provider has been allowed to build a virtual monopoly power, buying up or pushing out other cable companies. They also love taking away channels from basic and moving them to premium tiers. When I had TW, they were constantly moving channels into their digital tier to point where basic was just the local channels, CNN, and a slew of infomercial channels. What really stinks is that if a community wants to grant a concession to another cable provider, they can't. There's no one else around.

I know you're ticked about the deal because you can't get DirectTV, but if they don't have an exclusive deal, they can still offer value added over cable. Plus there are plenty of people fed up with cable that I don't think DirectTV is going to lose many subscribers. They don't need a sports monopoly to survive. Maybe to grow, but not to survive.

Personally, I think this is an ongoing battle between not only cable and satellite, but cable and sports networks. I've heard rumors in the past that cable companies want to move all sports networks into a premium tier so that they can recapture some of the revenues going to the sports networks. ESPN rakes in a lot of money, but because its so popular, it commands a higher portion of subscriber fees from the cable companies. Right now, if they offer a premium sports tier, the best they can do is offer those niche channels like VS., Speed Channel and Fox Soccer Channel. What they'd really like is to put the ESPN Channels, the NFL Network, and a future MLB Channel into that sports tier to make it more attractive for subscribers. Then they can fill up the basic cable slots with cheaper offerings, preferably ones they control so they don't have to give up a cut of the basic cable subscription fees. Of course I can't verify any of this other than to say it's a rumor I heard from a friend who worked for a cable company.

Caveat Emperor
03-09-2007, 09:12 PM
Then they can fill up the basic cable slots with cheaper offerings, preferably ones they control so they don't have to give up a cut of the basic cable subscription fees. Of course I can't verify any of this other than to say it's a rumor I heard from a friend who worked for a cable company.

The cable companies are all running scared of video-over-broadband. As bandwidth issues get further resolved, channels like ESPN and FSN will be able to charge the consumer directly for content and eliminate the middleman of cable.

It really is only a matter of time before all of this stuff just comes in through your computer and you pipe the video content that interests you to your TV. When that happens, the only people that are going to make money are the internet providers and the channels themselves.

KronoRed
03-09-2007, 09:29 PM
May that day come soon :)

Wheelhouse
03-10-2007, 04:52 AM
The thing that is hammering satellite providers is the phone/tv/internet bundles that cable companies are offering that DirecTV can't. The only way for satellite to have a chance against cable is to have superior and exclusive programming. If they don't, I think it will be hard for them to make it.

RedsManRick
03-10-2007, 10:06 AM
The thing that is hammering satellite providers is the phone/tv/internet bundles that cable companies are offering that DirecTV can't. The only way for satellite to have a chance against cable is to have superior and exclusive programming. If they don't, I think it will be hard for them to make it.

I just went to price out a Comcast bundle and quite frankly, it still doesn't compete price wise. By forcing a land phone line in the equation (of which I get no value as a cell only user), I basically would have to pay 100 bucks for standard cable and internet. I can get a better package on Direct TV plus my DSL connection for cheaper.

KronoRed
03-10-2007, 03:01 PM
Even now you are starting to see DirecTV get in with the local phone companies, I get a discount from them for having Cincybell for DSL.

Really I don't see why anyone would be ticked with DTV over this, this is 100% MLB's doing, blame them.

Caveat Emperor
03-10-2007, 03:29 PM
The thing that is hammering satellite providers is the phone/tv/internet bundles that cable companies are offering that DirecTV can't. The only way for satellite to have a chance against cable is to have superior and exclusive programming. If they don't, I think it will be hard for them to make it.

Yeah, but you're forgetting in all of this the one thing that made most people get rid of cable in the first place -- dealing with the cable company makes a trip to the dentist looks like a vacation.

Sea Ray
03-10-2007, 11:09 PM
Even now you are starting to see DirecTV get in with the local phone companies, I get a discount from them for having Cincybell for DSL.

Really I don't see why anyone would be ticked with DTV over this, this is 100% MLB's doing, blame them.


I used to think like that but my opinion has changed now that the facts have rolled in.

First of all I've been (and still am) a cable subscriber for 15 years and I've also often bought the EI package. I am disappointed I won't be buying the EI package from them this year. But baseball has been very fair to them. MLB has said a couple things:

1) You (the cable folks) can have the EI package just like DirecTV. You just have to match what they're doing, namely distribute our baseball channel.

2) To the consumer: if you need a baseball fix, tune into our MLB.TV and try us out. We'll charge less than EI and you can buy whatever months you want. We won't pressure you into buying everything up front.

Their yearly subscription is exactly 6 times their monthly one. And they offer a lot more features like their baseball mosaic or fantasy alerts. They've improved the picture quality 100% from last year and I would think they'd continue to do so as this technology evolves.

I think they'll offer more games than the EI package did.

Personally I'm going to see how the season goes and if I need more than my 145 Reds games and others (ESPN, Fox, etc) then I'll try a month or two of MLB.tv. It won't be the same as EI but I'll keep more of my money too and who knows, I might like some of their features.

I'm no defender of Bud Selig but I really see a lot more effort on his part for me, Joe Fan, than I'm seeing from my cable co.

Yachtzee
03-11-2007, 12:24 AM
The thing that is hammering satellite providers is the phone/tv/internet bundles that cable companies are offering that DirecTV can't. The only way for satellite to have a chance against cable is to have superior and exclusive programming. If they don't, I think it will be hard for them to make it.

My local phone company has a deal offering phone/DSL/Dish that is cheaper than the Time Warner phone/tv/internet bundles. And when I had TW and they tried pushing me to sign up for cable phone service, I kept asking them whether I would lose phone service if my cable or power went out. They usually tried to avoid answering the question. Maybe they've resolved the issue, but I honestly don't know anyone around here who has signed on for the TW phone deal. If they get rid of their landline phone service, they usually do it in favor of a cell phone.

Wheelhouse
03-11-2007, 03:30 AM
John Kerry, Arlen Specter not backing off on DirecTV deal...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2793252

westofyou
03-11-2007, 05:36 PM
Graph of the Day: The DirecTV Deal Explained

by Score Bard

http://humbug.baseballtoaster.com/archives/601077.html

http://static.baseballtoaster.com/blogs/humbug/images/2007/anger.png

Sea Ray
03-11-2007, 06:29 PM
"I will review this deal to ensure it benefits consumers," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. "I'm encouraged that Major League Baseball may be willing to provide broader access to their games than what was initially proposed. I will be watching closely to ensure the league works in good faith so that America's pastime is available to all fans. My concern all along has been that fans continue to have the ability to enjoy baseball on television."

John Kerry's job is that of a law maker. There's no law that says all deals must benefit customers. This is more political grandstanding that we've heard from this guy before. The ball's in the court of the cable companies (and Dish) now. There's nothing Kerry can do other than use it for political gain.

If the cable companies want to put the Baseball Channel on its basic tier they can have EI.

pedro
03-11-2007, 06:36 PM
John Kerry's job is that of a law maker. There's no law that says all deals must benefit customers. This is more political grandstanding that we've heard from this guy before. The ball's in the court of the cable companies (and Dish) now. There's nothing Kerry can do other than use it for political gain.

If the cable companies want to put the Baseball Channel on its basic tier they can have EI.


We could do without the political commentary. thanks.

Benihana
03-11-2007, 07:15 PM
Wait, so if I just have Comcast, (and I live in Chicago,) am I right in saying there is no way to get any Reds games televised this year? Maybe I'll get two or three if they appear on ESPN?? Is that right or is there something I'm missing?

Chip R
03-11-2007, 07:23 PM
Wait, so if I just have Comcast, (and I live in Chicago,) am I right in saying there is no way to get any Reds games televised this year? Maybe I'll get two or three if they appear on ESPN?? Is that right or is there something I'm missing?


Unless your cable company comes through or unless you get DirecTV, you are out of luck.

Gainesville Red
03-11-2007, 07:34 PM
Wait, so if I just have Comcast, (and I live in Chicago,) am I right in saying there is no way to get any Reds games televised this year? Maybe I'll get two or three if they appear on ESPN?? Is that right or is there something I'm missing?

I think it looks like you'll have to get mlb.tv. I think that's the only way other than a slingbox, which to be honest, I'm not sure if I understand how that works.

MWM
03-11-2007, 07:57 PM
John Kerry's job is that of a law maker. There's no law that says all deals must benefit customers. This is more political grandstanding that we've heard from this guy before. The ball's in the court of the cable companies (and Dish) now. There's nothing Kerry can do other than use it for political gain.

If the cable companies want to put the Baseball Channel on its basic tier they can have EI.


But there is this thing called an anti-trust exemption that lawmakers allow to continue. Any day they decided they didn't want MLB to have that any more, they could make it happen. And it's a politician's responsibility to take action when their constituency has raised enough concern about it, which I bet is the case here. There are a lot of Yankee fans living in Boston who probably no longer get to watch the Yankees. There's probably a lot of fans of other teams living there as well. I know pleny to people who have written their congressman or senator over this.

Sea Ray
03-11-2007, 08:33 PM
We could do without the political commentary. thanks.

No political commentary was in my post. It was all facts.

Chip R
03-11-2007, 08:37 PM
But there is this thing called an anti-trust exemption that lawmakers allow to continue. Any day they decided they didn't want MLB to have that any more, they could make it happen. And it's a politician's responsibility to take action when their constituency has raised enough concern about it, which I bet is the case here. There are a lot of Yankee fans living in Boston who probably no longer get to watch the Yankees. There's probably a lot of fans of other teams living there as well. I know pleny to people who have written their congressman or senator over this.


Yeah, but if they ever revoke the exemption it isn't going to be because of a TV deal. Besides, they did "offer" it to Dish and the cable companies. The owners & MLB pay good money to a lot of these representatives to keep that exemption.

Sea Ray
03-11-2007, 08:39 PM
Yeah, but if they ever revoke the exemption it isn't going to be because of a TV deal. Besides, they did "offer" it to Dish and the cable companies. The owners & MLB pay good money to a lot of these representatives to keep that exemption.


I agree totally. The anti-trust exemption is not on the table where this issue is concerned

MWM
03-11-2007, 10:06 PM
My point was that if MLB pisses off enough politicians (or enough voters), they could easily make a case that they shouldn't have the anti-trust exemption any more.

Chip R
03-12-2007, 12:18 AM
My point was that if MLB pisses off enough politicians (or enough voters), they could easily make a case that they shouldn't have the anti-trust exemption any more.


I understand your point but I'm just saying that this isn't going to be the thing that takes away that exemption. It isn't pissing off enough people.

Wheelhouse
03-12-2007, 02:45 AM
I agree totally. The anti-trust exemption is not on the table where this issue is concerned

T'ain't up to you to determine what's on the table. Sen. Specter was quoted today as saying it is. So it's on the table.

Wheelhouse
03-12-2007, 02:53 AM
I understand your point but I'm just saying that this isn't going to be the thing that takes away that exemption. It isn't pissing off enough people.

Of course this single thing won't take away the exemption. This is an arguement that has been building steam for years ever since an owner became commissioner. Add on to that, steroids, absurd ticket prices, teams getting their stadiums financed by taxpayers or they threaten to leave, and the hundreds of other little abuses that Selig's pack commit daily, then you mix in restricting access to games to fans and the mounting seriousness with which the subject is being taken in Washington, and this could darn well signal the end of the exemption.

Sea Ray
03-12-2007, 09:19 AM
Add on to that, steroids, absurd ticket prices, teams getting their stadiums financed by taxpayers or they threaten to leave, and the hundreds of other little abuses that Selig's pack commit daily, then you mix in restricting access to games to fans and the mounting seriousness with which the subject is being taken in Washington, and this could darn well signal the end of the exemption.

I disagree. I don't think the exemption option will get past first base as they say.

Sea Ray
03-12-2007, 09:23 AM
T'ain't up to you to determine what's on the table. Sen. Specter was quoted today as saying it is. So it's on the table.

You're right it's not up to me. It's my opinion that the exemption is being used for grandstanding. Another reason not to pull it. If they really pull it then what will these guys moan about the next time they have a beef with baseball?

Unassisted
03-12-2007, 10:33 AM
DirecTV, Dish Network and most of the major players in the cable industry have their corporate headquarters in Wyoming and Colorado. Senators from those states aren't taking a public stand on this issue. If anything, they're likely helping to orchestrate the lobbying effort behind the scenes. It's this backroom dealing that will ultimately determine whether this issue gains traction, not a couple of news releases and appearances on CNN by senators from the Northeast.

Unassisted
03-18-2007, 12:25 PM
I heard on Fox Moneyball today that MLBAM is providing the technology and the expertise for the streaming feeds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It's apparently a contract worth a few million bucks. There is speculation that MLBAM will eventually go public (sell shares on the stock market). The financial windfall from going public would be a big incentive for MLB to grow MLBAM quickly by driving as many customers as possible to MLB.TV. It also makes MLB's public indifference to the pleas of fans used to watching MLBEI on Dish Net and cable much easier to understand.

Follow the money, folks. ;)

Reds Fanatic
03-21-2007, 12:56 PM
There may be some good news for us cable subscribers to Extra Innnings. It looks like In Demand is offering to match Directv's terms for the package.


NEW YORK -- Baseball's "Extra Innings" package of out-of-market games might wind up staying on cable television.

IN Demand said Wednesday it will offer to match the terms of DirecTV's $700 million, seven-year deal with Major League Baseball on behalf its owners, who are affiliates of the companies that own Time Warner, Comcast and Cox cable systems.

As part of the offer, iN Demand also said it would carry The Baseball Channel when it launches in 2009 to at least the same number of subscribers who will get the channel on DirecTV.

"As the current home for 'Extra Innings' for more than 200,000 cable subscribers, we have extended ourselves to do our best to be able to continue to provide this package to baseball fans and our customers," iN Demand president Robert Jacobson said. "This offer meets all the conditions set forth by MLB last week.

Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said he would have to find out details of iN Demand's offer before commenting.

"Extra Innings" had more than 500,000 television subscribers last year plus about 60 percent more on MLB.com, the sport's Web site.

EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network also has carried the "Extra Innings" package. There was no immediate word whether Dish also would match the offer.

IN Demand is owned by Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership, Comcast iN Demand Holdings Corp and Cox Communications Holdings Inc.

Gainesville Red
03-21-2007, 01:16 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2806948


NEW YORK -- Baseball's "Extra Innings" package of out-of-market games might wind up staying on cable television.

IN Demand said Wednesday it will offer to match the terms of DirecTV's $700 million, seven-year deal with Major League Baseball on behalf its owners, who are affiliates of the companies that own Time Warner, Comcast and Cox cable systems.


Now I don't know what to think.

KronoRed
03-21-2007, 01:17 PM
Sounds like cable caved in.

Wheelhouse
03-21-2007, 01:41 PM
I LOVE this...cable says,"Aww shucks, OK. We'll match DirecTVs deal and make the Baseball Channel available to as many customers as THEY DO." That number is only a fraction of cable subscribers, but it puts the ball back in MLBs court and makes them the villain if they refuse the offer.

membengal
03-21-2007, 01:43 PM
Why would baseball refuse it? If cable systems are going to pony up too, then it sounds like baseball has made out just fine and negotiated this whole deal rather shrewdly. Gets a ton of money from both DirecTV and cable. Win/win for baseball...

Gainesville Red
03-21-2007, 01:49 PM
Why would baseball refuse it? If cable systems are going to pony up too, then it sounds like baseball has made out just fine and negotiated this whole deal rather shrewdly. Gets a ton of money from both DirecTV and cable. Win/win for baseball...

I'm not sure why they would, but I can't help from feeling like they might.

I mean would it shock you?

Sea Ray
03-21-2007, 02:34 PM
I wouldn't get too excited about MLB taking this deal. The issue is the baseball channel. MLB says it has to be given to the same percentage of customers as Directv. This offer says that they'll give it to the same number of customers. Big difference and I'm sure MLB will see it that way as well.

Having said that, selfishly speaking I am rooting for this deal to be accepted.:pray:

Wheelhouse
03-21-2007, 02:41 PM
I wouldn't get too excited about MLB taking this deal. The issue is the baseball channel. MLB says it has to be given to the same percentage of customers as Directv. This offer says that they'll give it to the same number of customers. Big difference and I'm sure MLB will see it that way as well.

Having said that, selfishly speaking I am rooting for this deal to be accepted.:pray:

Why would MLB refuse? The money would be the same and they would have more viewers of the baseball channel.

Gainesville Red
03-21-2007, 02:50 PM
Why would MLB refuse? The money would be the same and they would have more viewers of the baseball channel.

Because so far they've looked like crazed, greedy, untrustworthy liars Who play favorites with different providers. Don't forget that DirecTV's media group or whatever own the Braves now. Who knows what someone like that will do?

I know it's their product, and we're lucky to have programming at all. It's not long ago I used to have to get my Reds knowledge from Sportscenter for God's sake. Before that people used to have to get the scores via smoke-signal.

But doesn't it just seem like, Hey, I've got some money. I want to give it to you, and I want you to let me watch baseball. How's that sound?

Deal? Good doing business with you.

See me venting? How bout that?:beerme:

redsfan30
03-21-2007, 02:56 PM
:)

Johnny Footstool
03-21-2007, 02:58 PM
I wish they'd hurry up and get everything done before the friggin' season starts. I've been pricing DirecTV and was just about ready to jump ship.

Reds Fanatic
03-21-2007, 02:59 PM
I think baseball will have to respond to In Demand's offer soon because they have that congressional hearing about this whole deal scheduled for next Tuesday. I can't imagine how baseball could reject this deal and then go in front of congress and explain it.

Gainesville Red
03-21-2007, 03:25 PM
Not so fast, said Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer.

"The communication sent to our office today by iN Demand is not responsive to that offer," he said. "In spite of their public comments, the response falls short of nearly all of the material conditions (among them requirements for carriage of The Baseball Channel and their share of the rights fees for Extra Innings) set forth in the Major League Baseball offer made to them on March 9."


http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2806948


Again, I have no idea what's going on.

redsfan30
03-21-2007, 03:28 PM
^

Damnit!

Reds Fanatic
03-21-2007, 03:40 PM
Baseball should just admit the deal with Directv has been exclusive all along and no matter what anyone else does they will find some clause it does not meet so Directv gets the exclusive they have been promised behind the scenes. I am totally fed up with Selig, Dupay and all the other idiots in charge of MLB.

membengal
03-21-2007, 04:47 PM
Wheelhouse misled me, I thought he was saying the cable really had matched DirecTV's offer. If not, then no, no dice, and the PR hit doesn't shift...

Wheelhouse
03-21-2007, 06:19 PM
Wheelhouse misled me, I thought he was saying the cable really had matched DirecTV's offer. If not, then no, no dice, and the PR hit doesn't shift...

I was being sarcastic in that Cable said it is matching DirecTVs offer, but not in the way MLB wants to see it matched. It's now going to be a debate over number of viewers vs. percentage of viewers for the Baseball Channel, but at least baseball now has to be the villain again. I'm sorry you misinterpreted the post.

Wheelhouse
03-21-2007, 06:23 PM
Also, I frankly think cable has a point--why should cable be obliged to provide more viewers of the Baseball Channel than DirecTV? Because they're bigger? So what? DirecTV is providing exposure of the Baseball Channel to a certain number of viewers-- Cable is willing to match that number.

Unassisted
03-21-2007, 06:51 PM
I wish they'd hurry up and get everything done before the friggin' season starts. I've been pricing DirecTV and was just about ready to jump ship.

You could always hedge your bet by signing up for MLB.TV and an MSNTV box... unless you've got the urge to spring for a Media Center PC. :)

Yachtzee
03-21-2007, 08:55 PM
Also, I frankly think cable has a point--why should cable be obliged to provide more viewers of the Baseball Channel than DirecTV? Because they're bigger? So what? DirecTV is providing exposure of the Baseball Channel to a certain number of viewers-- Cable is willing to match that number.

The deal is 80% of households. MLB has every right to say no thank you and I don't see how they could be the villain. They said match the deal. They didn't say match the number of subscribers.

Wheelhouse
03-21-2007, 11:10 PM
The deal is 80% of households. MLB has every right to say no thank you and I don't see how they could be the villain. They said match the deal. They didn't say match the number of subscribers.

Actually, it can and will be argued that they don't. Please see below a potion of the opinion of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that gave MLB their anti-trust exemption:

The business is giving exhibitions of base ball, which are purely state affairs. It is true that in order to attain for these exhibitions the great popularity that they have achieved, competitions must be arranged between clubs from different cities and States. But the fact that in order [259 U.S. 200, 209] to give the exhibitions the Leagues must induce free persons to cross state lines and must arrange and pay for their doing so is not enough to change the character of the business. According to the distinction insisted upon in Hooper v. California, 155 U.S. 648, 655 , 15 S. Sup. Ct. 207, the transport is a mere incident, not the essential thing. That to which it is incident, the exhibition, although made for money would not be called trade of commerce in the commonly accepted use of those words. As it is put by defendant, personal effort, not related to production, is not a subject of commerce. That which in its consummation is not commerce does not become commerce among the States because the transportation that we have mentioned takes place. To repeat the illustrations given by the Court below, a firm of lawyers sending out a member to argue a case, or the Chautauqua lecture bureau sending out lecturers, does not engage in such commerce because the lawyer or lecturer goes to another State.

***

From this opinion, baseball is exempt from antitrust law because it was deemed that at that time, a baseball game was not interstate commerce. This is a much more difficult case to make today. The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 established what MLB and the NFL do today with TV deals and blackout restrictions. However, no case regarding this act has ever reached the Supreme Court. If one did, you can see how shaky the baseball antitrust exemption would be, given the extreme degree to which baseball now IS interstate commerce, especially in the instance of broadcasting. These facts, and what you posted form the crux of the main question here: does MLB have "every right" to do what it wants, when its recent behavior has generated the unfair and restrictive effects on the public interest that antitrust legislation seeks to relieve? We shall see...

Yachtzee
03-22-2007, 12:14 AM
Actually, it can and will be argued that they don't. Please see below a potion of the opinion of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that gave MLB their anti-trust exemption:

The business is giving exhibitions of base ball, which are purely state affairs. It is true that in order to attain for these exhibitions the great popularity that they have achieved, competitions must be arranged between clubs from different cities and States. But the fact that in order [259 U.S. 200, 209] to give the exhibitions the Leagues must induce free persons to cross state lines and must arrange and pay for their doing so is not enough to change the character of the business. According to the distinction insisted upon in Hooper v. California, 155 U.S. 648, 655 , 15 S. Sup. Ct. 207, the transport is a mere incident, not the essential thing. That to which it is incident, the exhibition, although made for money would not be called trade of commerce in the commonly accepted use of those words. As it is put by defendant, personal effort, not related to production, is not a subject of commerce. That which in its consummation is not commerce does not become commerce among the States because the transportation that we have mentioned takes place. To repeat the illustrations given by the Court below, a firm of lawyers sending out a member to argue a case, or the Chautauqua lecture bureau sending out lecturers, does not engage in such commerce because the lawyer or lecturer goes to another State.

***

From this opinion, baseball is exempt from antitrust law because it was deemed that at that time, a baseball game was not interstate commerce. This is a much more difficult case to make today. The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 established what MLB and the NFL do today with TV deals and blackout restrictions. However, no case regarding this act has ever reached the Supreme Court. If one did, you can see how shaky the baseball antitrust exemption would be, given the extreme degree to which baseball now IS interstate commerce, especially in the instance of broadcasting. These facts, and what you posted form the crux of the main question here: does MLB have "every right" to do what it wants, when its recent behavior has generated the unfair and restrictive effects on the public interest that antitrust legislation seeks to relieve? We shall see...

I never said that MLB has every right to do "whatever it wants." I just said it has every right to reject InDemand's proposal if it doesn't match DirectTV's proposal to the letter. Unless you can find some way to imply a contract, it's very difficult to force parties into one. So, anti-trust exemption or no anti-trust exemption, MLB can say "no" to InDemand.

Is baseball restricting access? To out-of-market games, yes. But they can also point to the fact that there is way more baseball on TV now than there ever has been in the history of television. In fact, you could also say that by joining together through the InDemand consortium, Time Warner, Cox, Comcast and the other cable tv providers are unfairly restricting MLB's ability to offer its product to cable subscribers. I don't see what the fixation with "good" vs. "evil" is in this matter. Do you believe that your cable provider has "the public interest" in mind? You don't think they could spare an infomercial channel or a home shopping channel for baseball? Why blame MLB? Why not blame cable tv for gouging its customers and not using those profits to pony up to match the DirectTV deal? In fact, as a baseball fan, wouldn't you prefer to have Extra Innings and the Baseball Channel?

Gainesville Red
03-22-2007, 12:18 AM
I think there's plenty of blame to go around.

Wheelhouse
03-22-2007, 10:13 AM
I never said that MLB has every right to do "whatever it wants." I just said it has every right to reject InDemand's proposal if it doesn't match DirectTV's proposal to the letter. Unless you can find some way to imply a contract, it's very difficult to force parties into one. So, anti-trust exemption or no anti-trust exemption, MLB can say "no" to InDemand.

Is baseball restricting access? To out-of-market games, yes. But they can also point to the fact that there is way more baseball on TV now than there ever has been in the history of television. In fact, you could also say that by joining together through the InDemand consortium, Time Warner, Cox, Comcast and the other cable tv providers are unfairly restricting MLB's ability to offer its product to cable subscribers. I don't see what the fixation with "good" vs. "evil" is in this matter. Do you believe that your cable provider has "the public interest" in mind? You don't think they could spare an infomercial channel or a home shopping channel for baseball? Why blame MLB? Why not blame cable tv for gouging its customers and not using those profits to pony up to match the DirectTV deal? In fact, as a baseball fan, wouldn't you prefer to have Extra Innings and the Baseball Channel?

I understand your points, but baseball is restricting access in that what was once available to 80% of households will now be available to 15% of households. You can say, "Well then, those households can just get DirecTV or MLB.TV." Firstly, some won't be able to get DirecTV for reasons previously stated in the thread, and secondly, yes, one could shift to DirecTV or in my case buy a Windows computer and up my bandwidth to get MLB.TV. I could also buy tickets to and fly to every game the Reds play. Where does it end in what I'm expected to do? There is a point where inconvenience and added cost become a restriction. MLB.TV is a far inferior product to Extra Innings, no matter how it's spun or how many windows I can watch games in simultaneously. This is a case where our national pastime has gotten worse for the fans for the sake of 30 billionaires, and I do think they are villains. And no, I don't care about the baseball channel and whatever products they'll be advertising on it. I want to watch the games.

jojo
03-22-2007, 10:29 AM
I understand your points, but baseball is restricting access in that what was once available to 80% of households will now be available to 15% of households. You can say, "Well then, those households can just get DirecTV or MLB.TV." Firstly, some won't be able to get DirecTV for reasons previously stated in the thread, and secondly, yes, one could shift to DirecTV or in my case buy a Windows computer and up my bandwidth to get MLB.TV. I could also buy tickets to and fly to every game the Reds play. Where does it end in what I'm expected to do? There is a point where inconvenience and added cost become a restriction. MLB.TV is a far inferior product to Extra Innings, no matter how it's spun or how many windows I can watch games in simultaneously. This is a case where our national pastime has gotten worse for the fans for the sake of 30 billionaires, and I do think they are villains. And no, I don't care about the baseball channel and whatever products they'll be advertising on it. I want to watch the games.

How about sacrificing your first born and hoping mlb calls it even?

This kind of drives my a little nuts because while mlb is a business, it's also one that is heavily subsidized by taxplayers via stadium deals etc...

I think that should mean *good faith* for them is behavior that is tilted more in the fan's favor even when it means their profit margin is a little smaller..

Yachtzee
03-22-2007, 11:48 AM
I understand your points, but baseball is restricting access in that what was once available to 80% of households will now be available to 15% of households. You can say, "Well then, those households can just get DirecTV or MLB.TV." Firstly, some won't be able to get DirecTV for reasons previously stated in the thread, and secondly, yes, one could shift to DirecTV or in my case buy a Windows computer and up my bandwidth to get MLB.TV. I could also buy tickets to and fly to every game the Reds play. Where does it end in what I'm expected to do? There is a point where inconvenience and added cost become a restriction. MLB.TV is a far inferior product to Extra Innings, no matter how it's spun or how many windows I can watch games in simultaneously. This is a case where our national pastime has gotten worse for the fans for the sake of 30 billionaires, and I do think they are villains. And no, I don't care about the baseball channel and whatever products they'll be advertising on it. I want to watch the games.


Well, baseball's answer to you is that you have plenty of access to baseball, what with all the Yankees and Mets games on TV, and all the national broadcast games. But baseball has no obligation to provide televised games of every team to every corner of the country. Teams aren't even required to televise every game on their schedule in their home market. Just because MLB had a deal with InDemand in the past doesn't mean they can be forced to continue that deal. The whole "restricting access" cuts both ways. You can say that MLB is restricting access, but then MLB can say that they've offered access, but that the cable companies are the ones restricting it. MLB received a very attractive deal from one media outlet and have offered the others the chance to match it. If they don't, they can say that InDemand is restricting your access. You complain about the 30 billionaires who own baseball teams, but seem to give a free pass to the bajillionaires who control the major cable providers. If you think your cable company cares about you, call up customer service some day and tell us about your experience.

GridironGrace
03-23-2007, 12:54 AM
i think baseball on tv sucks lol

wish it was like the NFL..

just makes me mad man.. i get EVERY BENGALS game..... but the only Reds games i get here in So. Kentucky are when we play a Chicago team and its on WGN, or when we play the Braves i get to watch a few on TBS..

need more TV games, and not just the Sox and Yanks lol

ah well im getting MLB.TV this year anyways i think :) so ill get to see all but the blackout games

SirFelixCat
03-23-2007, 04:04 AM
I switched back to DTV for this. FWIW, I MUCH prefer DTV to cable, but ymmv.

Jpup
03-23-2007, 05:45 AM
i think baseball on tv sucks lol

wish it was like the NFL..

just makes me mad man.. i get EVERY BENGALS game..... but the only Reds games i get here in So. Kentucky are when we play a Chicago team and its on WGN, or when we play the Braves i get to watch a few on TBS..

need more TV games, and not just the Sox and Yanks lol

ah well im getting MLB.TV this year anyways i think :) so ill get to see all but the blackout games

all of the live Reds games will be blacked out for you (legally). I watch the archived versions late at night since I work 2nd shift, it works out OK, but I would much rather record them to my DVR and watch them that way. My cable company is terrible when it comes to spending money. I've tried to talk them into getting FSN Ohio/Cincinnati for 5 years without any hint of luck. They won't even discuss it. They blame FSN for the cost of the channel and FSN will not allow them to put it on the digital tier, according to them. I have no way of knowing if that is true.

TeamDunn
03-23-2007, 11:59 AM
Did anyone else in Northern Ky lose their cable (and internet) during the Ohio State game last night?

I gave up after more than an hour and went to bed. I bet the phone reps had a blast! :eek:

KronoRed
03-23-2007, 01:49 PM
Insight has phone reps? I thought they only had recordings ;)

Wheelhouse
03-23-2007, 11:43 PM
Selig on the deal in SI:
The DirecTV people tell me that the number of people who can't get DirecTV is so small that it's unbelievable.

What a horse's a** and a LIAR. Taking what the DirecTV people say as gospel in this is like asking the elephant to pass out the peanuts. 1) apartment landlords don't want the insurance issue of the antenna on the roof 2) many, many people are blocked from southern sky visibility. I want him to be force-fed hot dogs until he chokes. And I hope he has diarrhea for the remainder of his wreched, nasal, money-grubbing life.

Reds Fanatic
03-30-2007, 03:42 PM
I am not real hopeful at this point but cable may still have a chance at the last minute. According to this article it looks like In Demand has agreed to match the 80% of digital households for the MLB channel. Now it comes down to will they get part ownership of the MLB channel. This is probably where the deal will still break because this would be up to Directv as far as I know. I am hoping for a last minute miracle because I don't think I can get a Directv signal with my neighbor's trees in the way.

http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=945&Itemid=52



John Ourand and Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal are reporting via the Sports Business Daily that negotiations at the 11th hour between MLB and iN Demand to keep Extra Innings on cable are ongoing and “both sides are now characterizing the talks as extremely serious.”

Reportedly, MLB gives the odds of the deal occurring at 50-50 while cable representatives seem more pessimistic.

One of the key sticking points prior was matching the same number of households that DirecTV has signed on to do. iN Demand has said it will meet that provision via 80% of their digital households.

The sticking point now is the ownership equity component of The Baseball Channel. Recall that MLB has offered DirecTV a 20% ownership stake, but that is based on exclusivity. If iN Demand becomes a player, DirecTV's equity in ownership would need to be diluted.

Reds Fanatic
04-01-2007, 12:29 AM
The deadline for InDemand and Dish to come to a deal for Extra Innings has been extended through Sunday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/sports/baseball/01directv.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


Major League Baseball continued to negotiate yesterday with cable operators and the Dish Network in an effort to persuade them to carry the Extra Innings package of out-of-market games and the fledgling MLB Channel.

M.L.B. made a seven-year, $700 million deal with DirecTV last month and gave InDemand, a cable consortium that is composed of Comcast, Time Warner and Cox, as well as Dish, DirecTV’s satellite rival, until last night to match DirecTV’s contract.

Tim Brosnan, M.L.B.’s executive vice president for business, said that the deadline would expire at the end of today.

“We continue to talk,” he said, “and we wouldn’t have extended the deadline if we didn’t think we could bring everybody in.”

If a deal cannot be reached, DirecTV will carry Extra Innings exclusively. DirecTV has agreed to make the MLB Channel available to 15 million subscribers in 2009; the league and InDemand have differed over the terms of making the network available to its digital cable subscribers.

InDemand and Dish would like a stake in the channel; for being the first to agree to carry it, DirecTV owns 20 percent.

westofyou
04-03-2007, 11:14 AM
http://www.bizofbaseball.com/


MLB's self-imposed deadline for the incumbents, iN Demand and DISH Network, has been lifted, according to Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal via the Sports Business Daily's "Morning Buzz".

MLB President & COO Bob DuPuy said late yesterday, "We will continue discussions until we reach a deal or it becomes apparent we cannot."

In the interim, DirecTV becomes the exclusive provider of Extra Innings.

westofyou
04-03-2007, 11:16 AM
http://online.wsj.com/google_login.html?url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com% 2Farticle%2FSB117556599011657828.html%3Fmod%3Dgoog lenews_wsj


s the Extra Innings watch drifts into Day 4, the Wall Street Journal provides a "Review and Outlook" editorial entitled Water Boys (subscription required). "Water Boys" being a reference to Senators Kerry and Specter, who the WSJ believe are "carrying the water" for iN Demand and DISH.

In the editorial they write:

Last time we looked, access to every baseball game was not a human right. If it were, and if that were the Senators' true concern, they might have made a fuss about local games in Philadelphia (including the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers) being available only to customers of Comcast, from the Comcast Sports Network. Nor is cable some kind of weak sister in danger of being crushed by relatively small DirecTV. What we have here are the folks who only recently enjoyed a stranglehold -- and still do in many markets -- trying to fight off competition and real choice for consumers.

On the bright side, while baseball officials continued to talk with InDemand and Echostar yesterday, the League has stood firm so far -- asserting its right to do honest business without government interference, and pointing out that it has offered every interested party a fair bite of the pie. Perhaps that's why, for all the spotlights baseball attracts, most of Congress seems uninterested in butting into a private commercial deal.

Reds Fanatic
04-03-2007, 01:35 PM
http://www.bizofbaseball.com/



More details have surfaced on where the negotiations are at on Extra Innings, MLB television package for out-of-market games.

The Sports Business Daily reports that, “One of the holdups for EchoStar is the lack of a firm proposal on equity ownership of the MLB Channel, one Dish Network source said. It’s not clear how much ownership of the channel MLB and DirecTV is willing to give, or whether DirecTV's 20% stake would be diluted.”

Added MLB president and COO Bob DuPuy, “No deal is possible without the agreement of DirecTV. We have a contract with them and they have been fully engaged in the process, including any extensions.”

Jpup
04-03-2007, 02:08 PM
This whole issue has really pissed me off. The Reds broadcast on ESPN2 HD was blacked out for me yesterday. That is the first time that anything has ever been blacked out on my cable system. I was stuck watching the game on WGN on analog cable. It would be understandable if my cable company or any cable available to me carried FSN Ohio, but they don't. It really doesn't make any sense at all.

I will say that the 700k feeds from MLB.tv look entirely better than the 400k feeds and the lower ones in the past.

Reds Fanatic
04-03-2007, 07:45 PM
http://www.bizofbaseball.com/


Face-to-face meetings are still occurring with the parties as of late Tuesday regarding a deal to keep MLB Extra Innings on cable and DISH Networks.

“We were hoping and expecting that there could be a deal done the last couple of days. Both sides are involved, and they’re continuing to talk,” In Demand spokeswoman Ellen Cooper said.

As mentioned on The Biz of Baseball, the time in which it would take to get Extra Innings back up and running on cable, and presumably DISH would be nominal. As further reported:

[I]f an agreement is reached, In Demand said it is prepared to supply the games to cable operators immediately. “We would be ready, technically within an hour,” Cooper said.

Jpup
04-04-2007, 01:44 AM
Does anyone know what In Demand charges cable operators for this service?

ghettochild
04-04-2007, 09:02 PM
Per MLB Alerts:

Major league baseball announced iN DEMAND has entered into a seven-year agreement to carry MLB Extra Innings, effective immediately.

redsfan30
04-04-2007, 09:09 PM
:) :) :)

Yachtzee
04-04-2007, 09:55 PM
That's cool. I think it works out for everyone.

ghettochild
04-04-2007, 09:55 PM
i'm still waiting on DISH

Reds Fanatic
04-04-2007, 10:13 PM
i'm still waiting on DISH
According to an Associated Press story MLB is continuing to negotiate with DISH.

Wheelhouse
04-04-2007, 10:15 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2826280

Yipeee!

Sea Ray
04-04-2007, 10:20 PM
Great news. I'm still curious as to the details of this agreement. I'm not sure I have a dog in a fight between cable companies and MLB owners. So I don't care who threatened who here or whose feet were held to the fire. I'm just glad I can get the EI package now and the MLB channel as well.

Reds Fanatic
04-04-2007, 10:23 PM
Actually cable got a good deal according to that story. Where Directv was getting a 20% share of the new baseball channel Cable and Directv now each get about a 16% share in the new network.

redsfaninbsg
04-05-2007, 12:15 AM
I just called to order on comcast cable and was told that they knew of no such deal???? After a 30 minute wait I was pretty ticked off.

RFS62
04-05-2007, 06:52 AM
I just called to order on comcast cable and was told that they knew of no such deal???? After a 30 minute wait I was pretty ticked off.


Yep, me too. And I was finally told that they don't plan to offer the package in my market.

I swear, they're trying to kill me.

Reds Fanatic
04-05-2007, 09:58 AM
Here are some more details about the new deal.

http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=977&Itemid=52


As announced last night, MLB and iN Demand—a consortium of cable operators including Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership, Comcast iN Demand Holdings Corp and Cox Communications Holdings Inc.—have reached an agreement which allows MLB Extra Innings to be continued to be shown on cable. The agreement was brokered in large part with DirecTV, who had originally inked a deal with MLB for a 7-year, $700 million deal which would have made them the exclusive provider for MLB’s out-of-market television package.

Today, the landscape has changed. Here’s a break down of where things are at the day after the announcement:

When MLB and DirecTV announced their exclusive deal on March 8th, it was announced that 15 million households would receive The Baseball Channel when launched in 2009. With iN Demand on-board, that figure will leap to 40 million total households.

The original exclusive agreement had DirecTV holding a 20% ownership stake. Now, DirecTV and iN Demand will own 16% respectively.

MLB’s total dollar amount for Extra Innings through 2013 will remain at $100 million a year for 7-years from DirecTV and iN Demand. If DISH comes to an agreement, the $50 million each figure will be adjusted.

EchoStar’s DISH Network will have to come to a separate agreement if they wish to retain Extra Innings. As of publication, they were still negotiating and had not reached an agreement.

MLB will reap substantial revenues from The Baseball Channel when it goes on the air in 2009. Reports show that annual subscriber revenues will come in at $120 million annually, thus adding an additional $600 million in total revenues to the Extra Innings component. In total for 7-years, MLB will pull in $1.3 billion.

Many games are already being shown on cable.

iN Demand will make the package available today to other cable operators like Cablevision and Charter, who must make individual deals.

iN Demand will make Extra Innings available at a discount for a short period of time after the Free Preview period is over. iN Demand announced that the package will be available for $159 for that short period

Johnny Footstool
04-05-2007, 11:40 AM
Yep, me too. And I was finally told that they don't plan to offer the package in my market.

I swear, they're trying to kill me.

Give them a couple of days. The announcement probably hasn't even been circulated in their offices yet.

Henry Clay
04-05-2007, 09:58 PM
[QUOTE][Iranian Largesse Inspires Cable Deal with Major League Baseball
April 4, 2007, 8:41 pm EST

As Yogi Berra once said, "I don't worry about what motivates me, because if it's working, I'm too busy being motivated to worry about that." Apparently baseball commissioner, Allan "Bud" Selig isn't so soon to forget. Not wanting to be upstaged by today's surprising actions of the benevolent Iranian regime, Major League Baseball agreed to provide its out of market package to cable providers, including Comcast, through the next 7 years. When asked why MLB softened its stance after its initial hard line and exclusive deal with DirecTV, Selig pointed to an odd source of inspiration: today's sudden end of the brinksmanship surrounding the 15 British sailors and marines held in Iran. "When you look at that situation, which ended despite two centuries of hard feelings, a disputed border, and the potential for World War III, it seemed like the least we could do to accept a few hundred million dollars to make our fans happy." Selig refused to comment on whether Iran's actions influenced his views on the lifetime ban of Pete Rose.

/QUOTE]

I penned the above fake Onion-esque article to a few folks who are familiar with the MLB-DirecTV deal and cable stalemate in an attempt last night to get a few laughs based on a merging of two very unrelated headlines. The surprising thing: Over half of the crowd thought it was real. Speaks volumes about the perception of MLB and Selig -- either that or my inability to craft a good parody piece.