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Thread: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

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    Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    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.
    I hope it's never sunny in Philly again.

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    So long old friend rotnoid's Avatar
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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    He was for Direct TV before he was against it.
    I'm just like everybody else. I have two arms, two legs and 4,000 hits."

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    Quote Originally Posted by rotnoid View Post
    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.
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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    +1 Pedro. Right there with you.

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    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.
    /r/reds

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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    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.
    I'm just like everybody else. I have two arms, two legs and 4,000 hits."

    -Pete Rose

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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    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.

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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    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$$****.
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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracodave View Post
    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.
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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    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?

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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    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.

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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    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.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    I know the original deadline was extended until Sunday, but was there any development with the deal? Anyone know?

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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieMilner View Post
    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!

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    Re: Kerry presses MLB to hold off on DirecTV deal

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    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.p...=960&Itemid=52


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