Desperate To Keep "Extra Innings" Customers, Cablevision Offers To "Pay" For MLB.TV

Cable and Satellite companies are in the midst of a battle to attract and retain the lucrative customers who subscribe to out-of-market sports packages. DirecTV and MLB recently came to an agreement that would allow DirecTV exclusive rights to offer the “Extra Innings” out-of-market baseball package. Cable companies are fighting the deal, even arguing their case before a couple senators. So far, DirecTV’s deal stands and Cablevision is fighting back by offering to compensate former “Extra Innings” customers with a credit towards MLB’s online service MLB.TV. A few shocked readers forwarded the email, which we’ve reproduced inside. The deal is only for customers who subscribed to “Extra Innings” last year. —MEGHANN MARCO

PREVIOUSLY: Senators Have Tough Words For DirecTV’s “Extra Innings” Deal
DirecTV Close To “Extra Innings” Deal With MLB
FCC Investigating Proposed DirecTV “Extra Innings” Monopoly
MLB Extra Innings Going to DirecTV?

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/cablevisionemail-thumb.jpg?w=522&h=883

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    That’s a pretty good offer. Color me impressed.

  2. RickyF says:

    I am a Cablevision customer. I gather that compared to other cable companies, i.e., Comcast, Charter, Time-Warner, Cablevision is a good company with which to do business.

  3. 44 in a Row says:

    Other companies are doing this, too. I’ve seen comparable offers from Cox and Comcast, and I’m sure we’ll hear of more in the near future.

    They’re not just being nice. They’re trying to retain the baseball fans who had subscribed to Extra Innings last year, and thus would be the most likely to switch to satellite in order to keep the package.

  4. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    @44 in a Row:

    True, this offer is in their best interest as well, but this is one of those rare win-win situations for both the consumer and the company.

  5. Sonnymooks says:

    Cablevision is the devil. Sorry, I just have alot of bitterness towards the ownership. This is a good thing they are doing though.

  6. JohnMc says:

    Interesting. Good for the cable provider, they are fighting it out in the marketplace.

    I would hazard that the cable companies trying for legislative relief ought to check out some recent history. The Congress in a binding resolution agreed to foster competition in the marketplace. This is the result. They got outbid by DTV. Poor losers.

  7. 44 in a Row says:

    Normally I’d agree with letting the marketplace decide, but let’s not forget that the fact that “MLB” as a single entity is even allowed to negotiate such a package is because of the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961. That was passed in response to a court decision, which said that the NFL’s practice of negotiating league-wide television packages was a violation of anti-trust law. MLB reaps some pretty substantial benefits from the anti-trust exemption, which is one of the main reasons there’s been a call for legislative involvement. MLB shouldn’t be able to have it both ways.

  8. wreckingcru says:

    Actually, this may not work.
    I was an MLB.TV subscriber for about a year, and I could barely watch any Yankees games live, since I was living in New York zipcode because of local blackout restrictions.
    Similarly, most subscribers would probably want to watch their local team, which won’t work with MLB.TV

    Slick idea, but no cigar.

  9. jeblis says:

    @wreckingcru: I thought iDemand had the same blackout restrictions.


    I wish I could get the RedSox over cable in HiDef. I ponied up $120 for mlb.tv premium this year even though the service quality sucked last year (dropped connections, poor video quality). Wish I could get NESNHD + inDemand

    Be sure you unselect the auto-renew option if you sign up. In the past the only way to cancel auto-renew was to call them up.

  10. Canadian Impostor says:

    Your local teams are blacked out because you get them on cable. If you live in a Cablevision serviced area you have YES which shows the Yankees games, you don’t need MLB.tv or Extra Innings at all.

  11. phanie says:

    I sent a really pissy letter to Allen H. “Bud” Selig yesterday. I’m so angry that they’ve decided to ignore an entire segment of their die hard fans. I can’t get DirectTV. I live in an apartment. So it’s Yahoo! Gamecast or MLB.TV which is piss poor quality and I can’t sit on my couch. Thanks Bud! Enjoy that $14.5 million you earned last year.

  12. wreckingcru says:

    @jorach

    You’re right – but I had crappy service from Dish, that my landlord wouldn’t upgrade (don’t ask), so I couldn’t get YES. That’s why I opted to get the MLB.Tv package.

    The point being that – Cablevision can’t get the games on Cable, but are willing to pay for an equivalent internet package – this won’t work for fans of the local MLB team because of the blackout restrictions imposed by MLB.

  13. Rory B. Bellows says:

    Out of curiosity, why are you blaming major league baseball for the fact that your landlord won’t let you put a dish up or upgrade your cable service?

  14. Art Vandelay says:

    @phanie: You may need to sit down to hear this, but generally speaking, sports broadcasters don’t care about the ‘die hard fans’. They know you’ll watch the game no matter what they do, they’re more interested in gaining the casual viewers via hyped story lines etc.

    I still don’t understand why this is such a big deal. This is how broadcast rights contracts work. Here’s a counter argument to people who think it’s their right to have access to out of market games: how did you watch them before these packages were created? You either went to a sports bar or didn’t see them and couldn’t care less.

  15. brewguru says:

    I don’t have a problem with the exclusive Direct TV deal. Congress should deal with other problems.
    Did Congress get involved with the exclusive Direct TV NFL Sunday Ticket package? Did Congress get involved when the NBA took the conference championship games off free TV? Did Congress get involved when the NFL broadcast some games on its own network? Treat baseball as the other sports are treated.
    And, Doug Dascenzo, Direct TV is not an outdated technology. It is the fastest growing segment of the television industry. Much moreso than cable, which will be outdated pretty soon.

  16. magellan says:

    How do people think the cable companies receive the TV feeds? Oh yeah, by satellite. Outdated?

    @wreckingcru

    Maybe you should direct some of your anger at George for making a HUGE media deal with the YES network. It’s not DirecTv that put the Yankees on the YES network.

  17. OnceWasCool says:

    Baseball still has viewers? I haven’t seen a game since the first time they went on strike. I just get into College sports because they still have heart!

  18. hardcle says:

    To those who complained about the MLB.tv picture quality, you might want to know that the new premium service (which costs more, natch) comes with a 700kbps signal, which is twice as good as last year. I’m using it now, and it’s very good. There’s also a five day free trial, so you can try it out and see if you like it.