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View Full Version : Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal



TC81190
03-27-2007, 05:21 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6594760


Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal
Associated Press
Posted: 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. John Kerry urged baseball to hold off on a deal to put the sport's "Extra Innings" package of out-of-market games exclusively on DirecTV, but the sport's No. 2 official wouldn't make a commitment.
The Massachusetts Democrat made the push at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing he chaired Tuesday in an effort to keep the games on cable TV and EchoStar's Dish Network.

The dispute revolves largely over how many homes will receive baseball's new television network in 2009, with DirecTV agreeing to carry it on a basic tier available to about 15 million homes. The company also would own 20 percent of the channel.

In Demand president Rob Jacobson, whose company is owned by affiliates of the companies that own Time Warner, Comcast and Cox cable systems, offered to carry the package on the same terms that DirecTV is for the next two seasons while putting off the issue of The Baseball Channel until it launches.

"This would ensure that for the next two years at least, all baseball fans would have access to the 'Extra Innings' package," he said. "If we're unable to reach an agreement when the channel launches, we'd give baseball the right to cancel the 'Extra Innings' deal. We think this is a fair compromise."

Kerry, trying to play the role of mediator, got behind the effort.

"What's the matter with that?" he asked Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer.

"We believe that DirecTV has the right to begin to help us build the channel," DuPuy answered, adding that the cable industry had nine months to negotiate a deal.

Kerry pressed the issue, suggesting that the status quo be kept in place while the sides tried to work out a deal. DuPuy wouldn't agree to that, although he said "our door remains open" for a resolution.

Baseball gave other incumbent carriers until the end of the month to match the $700 million, seven-year deal it announced with DirecTV on March 8. IN Demand last week made an offer it said matched the deal, but baseball rejected the proposal, saying it wanted iN Demand to match the percentage of basic tier subscribers projected to receive the package on DirecTV, a far greater number than the DirecTV total.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who has been critical of the NFL's "Sunday Ticket" deal with DirecTV, issued a warning to baseball.

"When fans react, Congress reacts," Specter said. "You may be well advised to act before we do."

DirecTV president Chase Carey said that the issue was best left to the market.

"I don't run down to Washington every time we have a contract issue or a programming issue or a cost issue," he said.

DuPuy said that fans who received the out-of-town games on iN Demand or Dish have the option of switching to DirecTV or subscribing to the package on MLB.com.

"This is not a matter of fans being unable to view Major League Baseball's out-of-market games," he said. "It is a matter of not being able to watch those games on a particular system."

"Extra Innings" had more than a half-million TV subscribers last year.

EchoStar president Carl Vogel said exclusive content deals are bad for fans.

"They harm existing consumers while limiting choices in the future," he said.

rotnoid
03-27-2007, 05:47 PM
He was for Direct TV before he was against it.

pedro
03-27-2007, 06:00 PM
He was for Direct TV before he was against it.


I am going to start negging every backhanded political joke I see on this site and then report the person to the mods.

Consider this a warning. Please park it at the curb or take it to the peanut gallery where I can tell you what I really think.

membengal
03-27-2007, 06:02 PM
+1 Pedro. Right there with you.

Unassisted
03-27-2007, 06:11 PM
I'd like to see some quotes from the rest of the Commerce committee on this issue. I've gotten the distinct impression from this article and others that Kerry is out on this limb all by himself.

IMHO, the direction that MLB is heading on this issue is the direction that's best for MLB in the long-term. I'd prefer that Congress not mess with it.

rotnoid
03-27-2007, 08:39 PM
I am going to start negging every backhanded political joke I see on this site and then report the person to the mods.

Consider this a warning. Please park it at the curb or take it to the peanut gallery where I can tell you what I really think.

All right, all right. I get it. Just a joke, I missed the harm. Insert apology here.

Reds Fanatic
03-27-2007, 10:22 PM
This quote from Bob Dupay of MLB is what I totally don't get about this whole mess.


“This was not about maximizing profits for us,” DuPuy countered, insisting that what drove the league to cut the DirecTV deal was a guarantee that it would launch Baseball Channel to its entire subscriber base of more than 15 million customers.

“What this was about was serving the maximum number of fans with the maximum amount of programming,” DuPuy added.


How does it make any sense that taking Extra Innings away from cable and Dish is serving the maximum number of fans. The whole deal comes down to getting that MLB channel carried but you know cable will never carry that channel if MLB takes Extra Innings away from them. The deal InDemand offered last week would have put the new MLB channel on at least 30 million homes but baseball sees it as a better deal keeping it in just 15 million Directv homes.

Dracodave
03-27-2007, 10:28 PM
This is business. This is how you make money. Right or wrong bottom line is, why in the world wouldn't DirecTV make this deal, it puts money in their pockets for people who would switch over just to get this package. As well as cheaper rates on satelite tv. Thats the point ain't it? It's monkey making. I purchased extra-innings for more than just the Reds games. I want to see the other teams. Teams we normally don't see. Thats well worth the money.


Want to bring up how one company can market things others can't? Why not get both 2k Sports and EA? Both have cornered the market on football and baseball games. Exclusive rights are a bite in the butt arent they?


Oh well. Either way someone's going to be the a$$****.

Johnny Footstool
03-28-2007, 12:16 AM
This is business. This is how you make money. Right or wrong bottom line is, why in the world wouldn't DirecTV make this deal, it puts money in their pockets for people who would switch over just to get this package. As well as cheaper rates on satelite tv. Thats the point ain't it? It's monkey making. I purchased extra-innings for more than just the Reds games. I want to see the other teams. Teams we normally don't see. Thats well worth the money.


Want to bring up how one company can market things others can't? Why not get both 2k Sports and EA? Both have cornered the market on football and baseball games. Exclusive rights are a bite in the butt arent they?


Oh well. Either way someone's going to be the a$$****.

The biggest issue is MLB's anti-trust exemption, though. The NFL doesn't have one, so they have to engage in fair bidding practices. Regular businesses don't have an exemption either, so monopolistic practices get them in big trouble (i.e. Microsoft).

Baseball's anti-trust exemption is kind of a gentlemen's agreement with the government -- baseball agrees not to go overboard with monopolistic practices, and congress agrees to give them more leeway than other businesses. But this deal reeks of unfair practices, and it looks like baseball may be violating that gentlemen's agreement.

hebroncougar
03-28-2007, 09:14 AM
How about Kerry complaining about the teams that can't be on EI either way due to their "exclusive deals" with their local stations like Philly and SD?

EddieMilner
03-28-2007, 09:41 AM
Why the heck doesn't some politician get on MLB blackout zones? Thats the real pain. I would definitely get an extra inning package if I wasn't blacked out by the Reds, even though I live in Northern Indiana and it would take me 4.5 hours to get to Cincinnati. I am thinking about moving across the state border (5 miles) to Michigan (i know, michigan) just to be able to watch the Reds at home or away.

Yachtzee
03-28-2007, 01:23 PM
The biggest issue is MLB's anti-trust exemption, though. The NFL doesn't have one, so they have to engage in fair bidding practices. Regular businesses don't have an exemption either, so monopolistic practices get them in big trouble (i.e. Microsoft).

Baseball's anti-trust exemption is kind of a gentlemen's agreement with the government -- baseball agrees not to go overboard with monopolistic practices, and congress agrees to give them more leeway than other businesses. But this deal reeks of unfair practices, and it looks like baseball may be violating that gentlemen's agreement.

Actually, I think the NFL has an anti-trust exemption when it comes to broadcasting, which allows them to negotiate TV deals with the networks as a single unit. MLB's anti-trust exemption is a bit more broad and covers the labor market as well. If they push MLB to give up an exclusive deal with DirectTV, because they'd likely have to push the NFL to make Sunday Ticket available to cable too. Of course then you run into the issue of Congress giving the cable companies, who also wield monopoly power in many regions of the country, an unfair bargaining advantage because you've told the NFL and MLB that they have to make deals with the cable companies or risk losing anti-trust exemption.

As much as the anti-trust exemption doesn't make sense, my big concern with losing it is that a) the Yankees and Red Sox could decide sign their own deal with major networks, and b) it would pretty much blow up the minor league player development system currently in place. Maybe those are unfounded, but I'm concerned about them.

Honestly, I think that EI and Sunday Ticket should be made available on as many outlets as possible. However, I don't think Congress should give one side of the negotiations a free lift by coming down hard on the other side. MLB offered the cable companies the opportunity to match the deal. Why no public pressure to get them to match? It's not like they don't have the money or resources.

fearofpopvol1
04-02-2007, 02:12 PM
I know the original deadline was extended until Sunday, but was there any development with the deal? Anyone know?

Crumbley
04-02-2007, 02:16 PM
Why the heck doesn't some politician get on MLB blackout zones? Thats the real pain. I would definitely get an extra inning package if I wasn't blacked out by the Reds, even though I live in Northern Indiana and it would take me 4.5 hours to get to Cincinnati. I am thinking about moving across the state border (5 miles) to Michigan (i know, michigan) just to be able to watch the Reds at home or away.
Exactly. My cable company opts not to carry Fox Sports Ohio yet I'm still blacked out so MLB.tv is out of the question. I've never been so depressed as just now seeing Yankees and the freaking Devil Rays on ESPN. No opening day for me. Gotta see those Yankee STARS shine bright!

Reds Fanatic
04-02-2007, 02:34 PM
I know the original deadline was extended until Sunday, but was there any development with the deal? Anyone know?

Still no news. This page is the best for Updates on the Extra Innings situation.

http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=960&Itemid=52

fearofpopvol1
04-02-2007, 05:43 PM
Awesome, thanks for that.

Hey Meat
04-03-2007, 01:22 PM
So what do you think will happen even if InDemand can carry EI? Will it be the same package as Direct TV is getting, or will there be limited availability of games?

Reds Fanatic
04-03-2007, 01:42 PM
So what do you think will happen even if InDemand can carry EI? Will it be the same package as Direct TV is getting, or will there be limited availability of games?
If they come to a deal it will be the same package. The one difference is Directv will probably carry more HD games because they have more capacity for HD at this point than most cable systems. But other than that if InDemand and Dish come to a deal it will be for the all the same games Directv has access to. From what I have read this whole deal still comes down to will InDemand and Dish get part ownership of the baseball channel. InDemand has now agreed to carry the baseball channel to 80% of their digital customers. You would think baseball would get a deal done since that channel would launch in a huge number of households for a new channel. The problem is MLB agreed to give Directv 20% ownership of the channel and now why would Directv give that up when without a deal they have an Extra Innings exclusive. I also think MLB is in no hurry to make a deal because the longer they wait the more people sign up for MLB.TV.

Hey Meat
04-03-2007, 03:23 PM
If they come to a deal it will be the same package. The one difference is Directv will probably carry more HD games because they have more capacity for HD at this point than most cable systems. But other than that if InDemand and Dish come to a deal it will be for the all the same games Directv has access to. From what I have read this whole deal still comes down to will InDemand and Dish get part ownership of the baseball channel. InDemand has now agreed to carry the baseball channel to 80% of their digital customers. You would think baseball would get a deal done since that channel would launch in a huge number of households for a new channel. The problem is MLB agreed to give Directv 20% ownership of the channel and now why would Directv give that up when without a deal they have an Extra Innings exclusive. I also think MLB is in no hurry to make a deal because the longer they wait the more people sign up for MLB.TV.
I wish they would hurry. I bought MLB.TV, its OK, but I like watching in front of the big screen and don't want to pay $300 for that ITV device that Apple makes that projects streaming from a PC to an HD TV

TC81190
04-03-2007, 03:55 PM
I wish they would hurry. I bought MLB.TV, its OK, but I like watching in front of the big screen and don't want to pay $300 for that ITV device that Apple makes that projects streaming from a PC to an HD TV

That wouldn't work, anyway.

fearofpopvol1
04-03-2007, 07:21 PM
yeah seriously. i wish this would come to fruition either way.

Mutaman
04-03-2007, 09:40 PM
IMHO, the direction that MLB is heading on this issue is the direction that's best for MLB in the long-term. I'd prefer that Congress not mess with it.

I guess i'm a little wierd, but i prefer what's best for me, not whats best for major league baseball. All I know is last year i could watch all of the Red's games on TV for a small fee. This year i can't.

Hey Meat
04-03-2007, 10:48 PM
I guess i'm a little wierd, but i prefer what's best for me, not whats best for major league baseball. All I know is last year i could watch all of the Red's games on TV for a small fee. This year i can't.
Thank You, its not like the MLB doesn't make enough money off of us anyway. This is not right. I love baseball and will continue to watch in whatever mode I can find, but I have a bad taste in my mouth over this.

fearofpopvol1
04-04-2007, 01:41 AM
It's not official yet, even though the decision is looking less promising for us non direcTV customers

Unassisted
04-04-2007, 09:28 AM
I guess i'm a little wierd, but i prefer what's best for me, not whats best for major league baseball. All I know is last year i could watch all of the Red's games on TV for a small fee. This year i can't.

You can if you buy a DirecTV dish or connect a computer to your TV.

Sports fans of today are spoiled. Watching every game is not a birthright. If we want to have a team to watch, we should be interested in the financial health of the league. Baseball needs $$$ to compete with other sports leagues and other entertainment options to retain its appeal to fans. If fans lose interest in the game, networks lose interest in televising games. If that happens, there won't be TV coverage available to receive in the first place.

Mutaman
04-04-2007, 11:56 AM
You can if you buy a DirecTV dish or connect a computer to your TV.

Sports fans of today are spoiled. Watching every game is not a birthright. If we want to have a team to watch, we should be interested in the financial health of the league. Baseball needs $$$ to compete with other sports leagues and other entertainment options to retain its appeal to fans. If fans lose interest in the game, networks lose interest in televising games. If that happens, there won't be a way to watch the games on TV.

Or I could also move to Cincinnati. These are not options for me or a lot of other fans. I'm not interested in watching "every" Reds game, I would like to be able to watch a few. From what i read, there is no problem with the financial health of baseball, in fact it is at an all time high. This decision was about greed, plain and simple. And if fans like me are unable to watch their favorite team once in awhile, so Baseball can make a few more bucks, so be it. I don't think us fans are the "spoiled" ones.

fearofpopvol1
04-04-2007, 12:29 PM
You can if you buy a DirecTV dish or connect a computer to your TV.

Sports fans of today are spoiled. Watching every game is not a birthright. If we want to have a team to watch, we should be interested in the financial health of the league. Baseball needs $$$ to compete with other sports leagues and other entertainment options to retain its appeal to fans. If fans lose interest in the game, networks lose interest in televising games. If that happens, there won't be a way to watch the games on TV.

Is Bud Selig or the COO of baseball posting on RZ?

Hey Meat
04-04-2007, 12:47 PM
You can if you buy a DirecTV dish or connect a computer to your TV.

Sports fans of today are spoiled. Watching every game is not a birthright. If we want to have a team to watch, we should be interested in the financial health of the league. Baseball needs $$$ to compete with other sports leagues and other entertainment options to retain its appeal to fans. If fans lose interest in the game, networks lose interest in televising games. If that happens, there won't be a way to watch the games on TV.
It is also possible that some fans that are not diehards could become disgruntled by this effort of Bud Selig, MLB and DirectTV to monopolize the market and make more money for themselves. Those fans might abstain from DirectTV or MLBTV, then they might actually lose money. I kind of hope this happens just to prove a point; Look what happens when you get too greedy. Extra Innings was a great thing from MLB to out of market fans. Why ruin it and give it to a crappy satellite company that might not always work, or that doesn't always have local channels?

Hey Meat
04-04-2007, 12:50 PM
You can if you buy a DirecTV dish or connect a computer to your TV.

Sports fans of today are spoiled. Watching every game is not a birthright. If we want to have a team to watch, we should be interested in the financial health of the league. Baseball needs $$$ to compete with other sports leagues and other entertainment options to retain its appeal to fans. If fans lose interest in the game, networks lose interest in televising games. If that happens, there won't be a way to watch the games on TV.
Also, connecting A computer to a TV is not as simple as it sounds. I priced a device on Apple.com at 299 and one at BestBuy for 199. Please inform me of some easier way to do this. I don't really want to pay that much to watch MLB TV.

kaldaniels
04-04-2007, 12:51 PM
It is also possible that some fans that are not diehards could become disgruntled by this effort of Bud Selig, MLB and DirectTV to monopolize the market and make more money for themselves. Those fans might abstain from DirectTV or MLBTV, then they might actually lose money. I kinda of hopes this happens just to prove a point; Look what happens when you get too greedy. Extra Innings was a great thing from MLB to out of market fans. Why ruin it and give it to a crappy satellite company that might not always work, or that doesn't always have local channels?

And you've just made the case for a free/open market. Viva la Capitalism!!!

Hey Meat
04-04-2007, 01:00 PM
And you've just made the case for a free/open market. Viva la Capitalism!!!

Thank you my man, that's why I am Economics teacher. Sorry for the bad grammar in my last post.

RFS62
04-04-2007, 02:31 PM
Wow, I had no idea I was spoiled.

Here I thought I was getting screwed for no good reason.

Unassisted
04-04-2007, 04:03 PM
Also, connecting A computer to a TV is not as simple as it sounds. I priced a device on Apple.com at 299 and one at BestBuy for 199. Please inform me of some easier way to do this. I don't really want to pay that much to watch MLB TV.


All you need to get the video on the TV is a computer with a video card that has NTSC output (assuming you have a non-HD set with AV inputs.) HD input is more complicated.

I have an MSNTV2 set top box that I use to watch MLB.TV on my TV. I paid $30 for the box (refurbished, but often available used on eBay for that price) and I pay $10/month for the MSNTV service.

http://msntv.com/pc/

Bigredfan#1
04-04-2007, 05:15 PM
He was for Direct TV before he was against it.

Good one. I guess what ever side he falls on I will be on the other!

Wheelhouse
04-04-2007, 06:02 PM
You can if you buy a DirecTV dish or connect a computer to your TV.

Sports fans of today are spoiled. Watching every game is not a birthright. If we want to have a team to watch, we should be interested in the financial health of the league. Baseball needs $$$ to compete with other sports leagues and other entertainment options to retain its appeal to fans. If fans lose interest in the game, networks lose interest in televising games. If that happens, there won't be TV coverage available to receive in the first place.

On the first bolded point: I can't. On the second: it's not birthright; we've paid for their f&$*#$& stadiums. It's a purchased right.

TC81190
04-04-2007, 06:49 PM
Also, connecting A computer to a TV is not as simple as it sounds. I priced a device on Apple.com at 299 and one at BestBuy for 199. Please inform me of some easier way to do this. I don't really want to pay that much to watch MLB TV.

Once again, that will not work. Apple TV won't play streaming video on your TV. Just games that are already completed and that you have saved on your hard drive.

Sea Ray
04-04-2007, 10:36 PM
It's not official yet, even though the decision is looking less promising for us non direcTV customers

As is posted on other threads, your prayers have been answered. Extra Innings will be available on your cable system for the next 7 years as well as the MLB Channel when it comes out. The deal was announced at about 8pm tonight. Dish is still negotiating but I bet they come to an agreement as well.

Mutaman
04-04-2007, 11:05 PM
Thank you Senator Kerry.

RFS62
04-04-2007, 11:18 PM
Thank you Senator Kerry.


Yes indeed. I shall buy two bottles of ketchup tomorrow in your honor, sir.