In spite of the fact that new sports venues often cost upwards of billions of dollars to construct, many American teams play in stadiums and arenas that are less than 25 years old. Heck, once the Atlanta Braves move into their new park, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park will be the most senior venue in the NL East — and that only opened in 2004. Whether it’s through municipal bonds, tax breaks, or free real estate, a lot of the money to pay for these venues ultimately comes out of taxpayers’ pockets. [More]
Major League Baseball is a huge business and much of a team’s financial success depends on its ability to win on the field. So the idea of one team possibly breaching another team’s network to get information on player personnel isn’t very different from two rival manufacturers trying to steal trade secrets. That’s why the FBI is investigating claims that the St. Louis Cardinals might have hacked into the computer network for the Houston Astros’ front office. [More]
The Los Angeles Dodgers currently hold a narrow lead in the National League West over the San Francisco Giants, but many Dodgers fans can’t watch their favorite team play because Time Warner Cable hates everyone who doesn’t have Time Warner Cable and has been unwilling to share the SportsNet LA network it co-owns with the team. That is until today, when Charter and its well-heeled backers lobbed $55 billion their way. [More]
Taking yourself out to the ball game is getting pricer this season, with the average ticket price to attend a Major League Baseball game rising by 3.3% to $28.94, the sharpest increase the league has seen in six years.
FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’
There’s another internet-related firestorm a-brewing at the FCC. This one is not as broad or as contentious as the now infamous net neutrality ruling, but it is bringing all the big players out to have their say. And what, you might ask, has everyone worked up? It’s the big bandwidth bugaboo of the twenty-teens: online video.
As demonstrated by the ongoing SportsNet L.A. debacle in Los Angeles, the shift of most in-market Major League Baseball games from broadcast TV to basic cable has resulted in lots of local fans being unable to watch their favorite teams. And this divide is likely going to expand as younger consumers cut the cable cord or choose to never get cable TV to begin with. New MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says that reaching these fans is a high priority of his. [More]
Baseball season is only days away, and the L.A. Dodgers are fresh off a 94-win division title season. Yet a large number of Dodgers fans can’t watch the games on TV because the cable sports channel owned by the team and Time Warner Cable has yet to reach deals that would let other pay-TV operators in the region carry the station. And TWC’s answer to these fans is mind-bogglingly idiotic. [More]
With pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training in the coming week, and the start of the 2015 Major League Baseball season fewer than eight weeks away, the overwhelming majority of Dodgers fans in Los Angeles are still unable to watch their hometown team on TV. And even though now-former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig had said during his final months that the league would do “everything we can to break the impasse,” those words now ring hollow as Selig’s replacement has confirmed he wants nothing to do with getting baseball back on TV in L.A. [More]
HBO has had several years of practice with streaming its HBO Go product, but things are about to get a lot more complicated when it launches its standalone streaming service in 2015. So who does the cable network turn to for help with rolling out this new offering? Major League Baseball, of course. [More]
Forget Madison Bumgarner’s historic heroics in last night’s Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, the true Most Valuable Player of this postseason is Rikk Wilde, a regional Chevy executive who was thrust into the spotlight after Wednesday’s game and unwittingly turned himself into an Internet icon, while also handing out a recently recalled truck. [More]
It’s no secret that Time Warner Cable hates Dodgers fans. If they liked them, the cable company would figure out a way that more than 30% of people in L.A. could actually watch the games on TV. But with the team doing so well right now (and, more importantly, with regulators in D.C. asking questions about how the Dodgers disaster relates to the Comcast merger), TWC has decided that the final few games of the season will be available to anyone with an antenna. [More]
A goalie, a shortstop, a satellite dish repairmen, and a Comcast tech all walk into a courtroom (well, the Comcast tech comes a few hours late but tells his boss he arrived on time). This oddball mish-mash of sports leagues and pay-TV giants have been trying to convince a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by sports fans unhappy with rules they believe allow the leagues to make a pile of cash by limiting access to out-of-market games. But last week, the judge ruled against the sporty alliance, bringing this case one step closer to trial. [More]
Things are looking up for Houston Astros fans. The team isn’t currently in last place, and the ‘stros are outperforming the even more woeful Texas Rangers. Now comes news that some Houston-area sports fans may even get to watch their favorite teams on TV after a bankruptcy court determined to hand over ownership of Comcast SportsNet Houston to AT&T and DirecTV. [More]
As we’ve discussed in an earlier post, some 70% of people in L.A. are currently unable to watch the L.A. Dodgers because SportsNet L.A., a station jointly owned by the first-place team and the bottom-of-the-barrel cable company, won’t let other pay-TV carriers air the channel without paying a premium. While the FCC has generally stayed out of such messes, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has let TWC know that he’s not exactly happy with the current situation in Los Angeles. [More]
While yes, sporting events are the most important, serious endeavor and should be approached only with the utmost in respect and deepest reverence, sometimes things happen. Sometimes you need a nap, even during a game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. But one fan says the Yankees, ESPN, its announcers and a Major League Baseball organization defamed him by broadcasting his snooze on-air, allegedly calling him “fatty, unintelligent” and “stupid.” [More]
This baseball season, Domino’s Pizza is running a promotion where fans can get a code for a free pizza after the first two no-hitters of the year. While many people were shut out of the code-generating website, reader Jim wasn’t one of them. He got a code. The problem is that he and Domino’s disagree about how calendars work, and now he has no free pizza. [More]
Getting your face on the kiss cam? Amateur. Proposing to your loved one via a billboard message for everyone at the game to see? That’s how the pros do it, and it can cost a pretty penny. It’s Opening Day across our baseball-loving land and while spring weather might not be in the air everywhere, love can be — but at what price? [More]
Sports broadcasting: it’s both lucrative and confusing. Sometimes you can turn on the TV and watch a game that’s taking place in your own hometown, and sometimes you can’t. When you can’t, you’re part of a broadcast blackout.