DirecTV Close To "Extra Innings" Deal With MLB

DirecTV is close to sealing a deal with MLB to be the exclusive carrier of its “Extra Innings” baseball package. From Reuters:

For baseball, the deal may be worth the controversy because DirecTV is throwing in a valuable sweetener — guaranteeing distribution for a TV network MLB plans to start in 2009, the Journal reported.

The proposed deal has upset fans and aroused opposition in Washington because it will disenfranchise an estimated 230,000 fans who previously watched the out-of-market games package [on other cable/satellite providers]

According to the New York Times, DirecTV president Chase Carey defended the deal, claiming that the product would be improved if it were available only on DirecTV. Meanwhile, an anonymous cable insider says that other providers matched DirecTV’s financial offer. From the NYT:

A cable industry executive who was not authorized to speak publicly said that In Demand had matched DirecTV’s financial offer and that it would make the Baseball Channel, which is to start in 2009, available to slightly more than the 15 million subscribers promised by DirecTV.

What special magic draws all cool sports programming packages to DirecTV?—MEGHANN MARCO

DirecTV nears deal on baseball [Reuters]
DirecTV Promises to Improve Baseball Package, but Others Wonder How [NYT]
(Photo: Scott Ableman)

PREVIOUSLY: MLB Extra Innings Going to DirecTV?
FCC Investigating Proposed DirecTV “Extra Innings” Monopoly

Comments

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  1. B says:

    What draws the cool sports programming packages to DirecTV is their lower subscriber base. That way MLB can get the money from DirecTV without affecting their Network and local TV ratings as much.

  2. robrob says:

    What special magic draws all cool sports programming packages to DirecTV?

    dollar dollar bills, yo

  3. B: That logic makes no sense. Viewers of Extra Innings aren’t going to watch a local baseball game in their market – they’re interested in their out-of-market team. MLB games aired locally on regional cable and local over-the-air TV are blacked out on Extra Innings.

    In fact, on top of that, Extra Innings never aired Saturday afternoon out-of-market games (aired regionally on Fox) or Sunday games after 5pm ET (aired nationally on ESPN).

    This deal has nothing to do with local ratings. It’s all about greed, or else there would be no explanation for locking 45 million households (the total number of digital cable & Dish TV subscribers) out of access to Extra Innings.

  4. Dashiell says:

    @eastvillageidiot: B is half right. It’s not about local TV, though, it’s about the web. MLB.com is a huge money maker for them, and restricting out-of-market games on cable/satellite will (in theory) drive folks to their web package, where you can watch any game online and they don’t have to share the profits.

  5. Art Vandelay says:

    Your collective heads will spin once college conferences and individual colleges began rolling out their networks. This is a pretty standard broadcast rights contract, historically speaking, so I don’t see why people decided to complain now.

  6. br549 says:

    We need a la carte so badly. These damn media companies use one valuable property to force media outlets to carry another one. Then they try to make that one valuable and repeat ad infinitum. Eventually each company has 12 channels, with 1 show worth watching when they could have 1 channel with 12 shows worth watching.

    Stop the madness. McCain, save us!

  7. sushisuzuki says:

    You probably won’t get shit for it since this post isn’t against the MLB or anything, but typically for pro sports events, the GAME is copyrighted (probably in conjunction with broadcast, photos, stories, etc…), meaning even if you took the picture with your own camera, you might be violating their copyright. My photo professor ran into this problem with Basketball in the past and it’s probably the same with Baseball. Just fyi.

  8. magealita says:

    Subscribing to these sport packages does not actually mean that directv will get the rights to air a game in certain markets, thus well getting confused and often angry customers calling directv and demanding their baseball game. However it’s not the fault of directv, it’s the mlb that actually has control of what games one can watch with this package. So it’s not the media company’s fault,they cant sell these games on a pvp basis, it’s the mlb who want to make money and utilizing directv to sell their baby.

  9. Americana says:

    I’ll never understand watching out of market games.

    Baseball begins and ends with the Red Sox. I could give a damn how a Giants vs Diamondbacks game goes.

  10. bobhayes474 says:

    I can not believe that MLB is allowing this to happen. I’m with Dish Network and was told that they are in “Hard Negotiations” to try and keep it. The hell with pleasing the customer. I personally hope it back fires on MLB and Direct TV. Greedy S.O.B.s