Today is the day that most Major League Baseball teams begin the 2012 season. And up until Wednesday afternoon, it looked like DirecTV customers in Philadelphia and Chicago wouldn’t be able to watch their hometown teams because of a protracted contract dispute between the satellite provider and the Tribune Company.
On April 1, the Tribune Co. had pulled 23 of its stations from a number of markets around the country. Among those stations are WGN in Chicago and WPHL in Philadelphia, both of which are slated to air today’s season openers for the Cubs and Phillies, respectively.
The blackout had also included WPIX in New York City, which carries some Mets games, but not today’s game.
As late 6:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, DirecTV was e-mailing customers to remind them of the company’s stance that the Tribune folks were to blame for the standoff.
But a few hours later, the two companies announced that they’d reached an accord on a 5-year contract and the Tribune stations were once again available on DirecTV.
Of course, as we reported on Monday, DirecTV and Dish customers in Philadelphia continue to be screwed out of most Phillies games as Comcast holds onto its monopolistic death-grip on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, which broadcasts more than 100 Phillies games each year and which is unavailable on satellite and also blacked-out locally on MLB.TV and MLB Extra Innings.