Time Out From Gonzales for an anti-MLB Rant

I hope you all will forgive me for taking a day off from the U.S. Attorney scandal (we are in a pre-Kyle Sampson lull anyway) to focus instead on what happened yesterday on Capitol Hill. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) chaired a Commerce Committee meeting to investigate the greedy, short-sighted deal Major League Baseball cut with DirecTV to give the satellite provider exclusive rights to show out-of-market baseball games this year under a pay service called "Extra Innings." There are a few legal issues involved, most of which are so complicated that they aren't worth getting into here. The reason I care about this topic is that I am one of the hundreds of thousands of people who would have to switch from cable or Dish TV to DirecTV just to watch my favorite baseball team play.

No big deal, right? Right. I concede that in the grand scope of things this is not the most pressing issue of our time. But it's appalling the level of greed and arrogance in play here. There are as I say hundreds of thousands of cable and Dish TV customers who have been happy-- I would even say delighted-- to pay a few hundreds dollars each year to watch their teams. And since 2002 cable and Dish TV has paid good money to MLB to be able to provide that service. Supply and demand working in synch. But MLB wants to promote its own product-- MLB.tv., an online service that allows customers to watch games on their computers. Also, MLB wants to ultimately offer a baseball channel not unlike the National Football League's popular NFL Network. So MLB went looking for an exclusive deal that would ace out its current partners and found a willing new partner in DirecTV.

I don't blame DirecTV for making the deal. It's a great way for those guys to try to make a splash in a very competitive market. What I do blame DirecTV for, however, is the company's onerous service requirements for people like me who only want to sign up to see baseball. When I called a few weeks ago, I was told that I had to buy a $29.95 package (the minimum) just for the right to be able to purchase Extra Innings. Also, there is an early-termination fee if I want to stop my service (say, after the baseball season). If DirecTV is looking to lure customers like me, they aren't doing a very good job of it. They should make it easy not difficult for me to opt-in just for my "Extra Innings" package-- to them, it's found money since I would be a DirecTV customer already if I thought its service was better than cable.

But most of my ire is directed toward the people who run baseball. When they first cut the deal with DirecTV and its competitors (and their customers) cried foul, MLB relented and agreed to allow cable and Dish TV to match the offer. It was called a "poison pill" clause then and, indeed, when cable tried to match the offer last week, MLB refused to accept the deal, saying only that the cable industry had fallen short of matching each and every one of the material terms. So a sport that is tainted with a steroids scandal and already reeling from accusations that it is simply a greedy enterprise that ought to lose its anti-trust exemption is... acting like a greedy enterprise that ought to lose its anti-trust exemption.

Enter Kerry. Despite an honest effort, he failed yesterday to bridge the gulf between cable and baseball. All the Senator was able to do was to get the parties to agree to talk before Opening Day (which is Sunday). The latest deal on the table would allow the cable companies to carry Extra Innings for another two years while the parties try to hammer out the terms of a deal focused upon that new baseball channel. It's a no-brainer and shameful that baseball won't go for it. MLB can talk until it is blue in the face about its right in the free market to contract with whomever it wishes. But it is never going to convince me and millions of other dedicated fans that it is doing right by us.

By Andrew Cohen |  March 28, 2007; 8:39 AM ET
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Comments

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I urge to everyone who has a cable or Dish Network service to NOT switch to Direct TV or to sing to MLB.com to watch the games.I'm a hard Red Sox fan, but I rather watch the game's summary on ESPN or the local news channels

Posted by: Jorge Ardila | March 28, 2007 11:11 AM

The part of this that rankles most is that MLB is ditching its most ardent fans for little gain. True, they'll try to lure folks to the MLB.tv option, but few will choose to watch their laptops over their bigger screen TVs. DirecTV has been there for decades, so it isn't a new product. Those who've chosen it have done so for reasons that work for them. Those who went with cable are unlikely to upset their whole apple cart -- which could be bundled with internet and phone service these days -- just for MLB Extra Innings. It is simply too complicated and, as noted in this article, often more expensive.

Someone needs to check the subscriber count at the end of this and next year to show how badly MLB messed up again.

What kind of business dumps 40% of its best and most enthusiastic customers so easily? That action speaks volumes about baseball.

Posted by: Barry Spiegel | March 28, 2007 11:30 AM

Below is an email that I sent to Bob DuPuy, the President and COO of Major League Baseball. I sent copies to Senator Kerry and my Senators (Lautenberg and Menendez). Although I haven't gotten a response, I would encourage others who feel like I do to do the same.

Subject: MLB Extra Innings Package
To: bob.dupuy@mlb.com

Dear Mr. DuPuy:

I am a displaced Cleveland Indians fan living in New Jersey. I have suffered through many dismal seasons with my team. You and your exclusive deal with DIRECTV only adds to my misery.

I have been a subscriber to the MLB Extra Innings package through Cablevision for the past five seasons. I upgraded to digital cable solely to take advantage of the Extra Innings package. I am tied to Cablevision for my television, high speed internet and telephone service. I would incur a substantial penalty if I cancelled my digital cable service with them. I would also have to pay a significant amount of money to install DIRECTTV. I cannot afford these additional costs simply to continue to enjoy out of market games.

In your comments to the media, you mentioned that DIRECTTV set the market and the cable providers have chosen not to meet the offer you have made. While I disagree as whether you are bargaining in good faith, I will not debate that point with you.

I will say that you have not treated me and other fans with the respect that we deserve. Major League Baseball has, again, chosen dollars over integrity. You indicated that the controversy is about the cable companies' willingness to meet the price set by DIRECTTV. Yours is a product I no longer feel willing to support. I will not switch to DIRECTTV. I will not purchase the inferior MLB.com video package. I will avoid purchasing any authentic Major League Baseball product. When, and if, your coveted Baseball Channel debuts, I will not subscribe. I will take note of your sponsors and will make very effort to patronize their competitors. If my hard earned money is not good enough for you, I will find somewhere else to spend it.

My nine year old son is severely disappointed that he will not be able to watch Indians game with me this season. I have told him it is your fault. You may not be able to extinguish my love for this game or my team, but thankfully, he has not been drawn in as far as I have been. I am sure that he will find another interest beyond baseball, and I will encourage him to do so. You have sacrificed your future for a few dollars today. Spend those dollars wisely because there may not be more in the future.

Very truly yours,

Leonard E. Seaman, III

Posted by: Leonard Seaman | March 28, 2007 11:56 AM

I live in a condominium bldg which had DirecTV and I was lucky enough to watch the fairly new Nationals team via MASN. (I still don't understand that mess!) My condo bldg recently cancelled DirecTV and there is no more satellite. The signed on with a DISH service that does not show ANY baseball games!!! But, I have to pay monthly for it anyway. So now, I've had to sign up with Comcast because they have access to MASN and I can watch the Nationals. I'm also getting to pay for 2 services (one of which I'm not even connected to). And now.......... I don't understand what's happening. Maybe I have to give up baseball? MASN should not even exist! People should be allowed to watch the sports games. Eliminate them all or make them fair, please!

Posted by: Susan | March 28, 2007 12:25 PM

Your blog is right on. It's too bad that Senator Kerry failed. Perhaps if he had some support from his colleagues on the Commerce committee outside of those mentioned, MLB might sit up and pay attention. It was disappointing to learn that only four members of the Commerce committee attended the hearing As a Missourian, I noticed that the Freshman senator from my state, Claire McCaskill, who is a member of the committe failed to attend, even though she had been emailed asking for her support. Maybe she was at lunch with lobbyists. I don't know what she was doing. I hope she does.

MLB does need to lose it's arrogant attitude towards its fans. After all every time it makes a decision it makes the wrong one. Even a monkey flipping a coin would have a better track record. But then when you put a used car salesman in charge of the "national game", you are asking for trouble.

Posted by: Richard C. Herberts | March 28, 2007 12:32 PM

Sen. Kerry should refrain from making remarks out of his field, which by the way is lying and kissing Teddy Kennedy's ass along with making noise of any kind for recognition. Do you really think Kerry cares about J.Q Public and what we have to spend to watch our favorite teams. Don't be fooled.
Mr. Kerry is an embarresment to to the state of Massachusetts.

Posted by: John from Boston | March 28, 2007 01:36 PM

Re: comment from Richard Herberts, March 28, 12:32pm

FYI, Missouri's Senator Claire McCaskill did attend the Commerce Committee meeting yesterday and asked questions of all the parties seated at the table.

Posted by: S. Sanders | March 28, 2007 02:44 PM

Hi all,

I am terribly dissapointed I can no longer see my Tigers games. After all the years of heartache I finally had some fun last year. Leonard - wonderful note and letter. I too have sons who are at a similar age and started to "like" the Tigers. MLB is making a big mistake and I will not support Rupert Murdoch and his scummy hands!

PS - John: chill out on Kerry...regardless of your political party affiliation I think he'd be better than the administration we have now! Furthermore, at least he tried to do something.

Posted by: Tim | March 28, 2007 02:49 PM

I am a huge Astros fan living in Baltimore. My phone, high-speed and cable are all through comcast and I will incur a substantial penalty for canceling it. I think it's a bad decision by MLB, but I can't say that they shouldn't be able to do it. I do hope it is a massive failure though in the long term.

Posted by: MD | March 28, 2007 02:54 PM

This just goes to show you that Bud Selig and Major League Baseball have absolutely no clue when it comes to the game. Fans all over not just me spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars every year on the sport weather it be attending a game at Fenway Park (which is almost impossible to get tickets without scalping them) and or by getting the MLB Extra Innings package to follow our competitors in our division and just for simply watching a National League game for the sake of watching a game that we love.

Bud here is a clue I have cable and don't go exclusive with them either just do right and let all take part in the opportunity and have the whole pie. Take your money and your greed and go quiet into the night.

Save this "For the Love of the GAME."

Posted by: Mark | March 28, 2007 03:53 PM

Although I agree with everyone's comments that MLB's behavior is disgraceful, I am not about to let them destroy the Yankees season that I have been looking forward to since October of last year. Clearly I cannot cancel my cable agreement as I have one of those bundled deals, and I'm not thrilled with MLB.tv, but it is my only option. For others that are pissed off like me but still want to make the most of it, you can buy a 22" LCD computer monitor to watch the games on your computer for just over $200.00, which isnt that much more than it would have cost you to pay for Extra Innings. Cox Cable is also offering to pay for MLB TV for the season, which is a stand-up thing to do in my opinion since none of this is their fault.

Posted by: VMI Trader | March 28, 2007 04:09 PM

I am one of the many pissed about this move. I had DirecTV until a few months ago but left when I changed to High definition. I barely had line of sight for regular DireccTV and do not have line of sight for the HD satellites, hence I defected to Verizon FIOS.

I will not switch back just to watch baseball. Nor will I purchase the online product as I want to watch in my living room not on my computer screen.

It is sad that MLB is so greedy that they can't see the alienation they are creating here.

I hope they see the light soon.

Posted by: Mark | March 28, 2007 04:32 PM

I HAVE READ ALL OF THESE E-MAIL AND ONLY HAVE ONE COMMENT TO MAKE- MLB IS TRYING TO DISTROY THE GAME AS IT DID IN THE PAST. IT DOSE NOT CARE ABOT IT FANS. CONGRESS PLEASE, PLEASE DO SOMTHING BEFORE THEY FINISH OFF FAN SUPPORT.

Posted by: ROBERT P DOYLE | March 28, 2007 04:55 PM

You thought you saw everything - what with player strikes, umpire strikes, owner lock outs, no post season in 1994, steroids and gambling - now this. It seems like they go out of their way to try and destroy the game. I'm a loyal Yankee fan - I'll watch them locally on YES (free on cable) but unfortunately I already bought my tickets for this season. I won't buy any more MLB related products.

Posted by: Vinnie | March 28, 2007 05:49 PM

i'm an O's fan living in LA, and i think short of invention from congress (or maybe God), all we can do is try to drive MLB out of business until they recognize that the fans are it's customers, i think the only game i plan on attending this year might be when the O's visit the padres, and i'll make sure to get the tickets second hand, bring my own food (and a flask!), someone should take these chumps and make them watch a baseball game over MLB.tv on a 62" screen and see how pleased they are with the quality of their "product"....god i wish there was a minor league team close by

Posted by: shek | March 28, 2007 06:13 PM

What's the big deal about this anyway? The E-I package is subjected to blackouts so fans will not always get to see their favorite teams.

National and Local television rights / coverage take precedence over MLB's E-I package so why would they sell this blacked out flaw?

If you want to see your favorite team, subscribe to Direct TV and get the Sports Package for only $13/month + a Choice Package of at least 150 channels. In it, you'll get all the FSN Channels, plus all the CSN Channels, ESPN News plus other sports channels.

For Orioles fans everywhere, there's MASN 1 and 2 and CSN Mid-Atlantic.

Posted by: Orioles Fan in NC | March 28, 2007 06:13 PM

Hard core Red Sox fan living in New York. My house can't get a good satelite signal and now Bud & co. have removed my ability to watch my beloved Red Sox. I have tried that MLB.TV in the past and it is terrible. Even with a high speed internet connection, it keeps dropping out. Not to mention the fact that I just bought a beautiful 50" HD Plasma. Why on earth would I want to watch baseball on my 10" laptop screen?

Forget it. I will forever love the Red Sox but MLB is really doing a good job of turning me off of baseball - something I never thought could happen.

Posted by: Robert Benjamin | March 28, 2007 06:21 PM

The word "arrogance" has been used often to describe MLB's attutide in all this, and the reason the word keeps popping up is because it's so spot-on. Baseball's attitude is incredibly transparent, despite its stated position and reasons for its actions: MLB doesn't care that it will be angering many of its fans, that it will be forcing many of its most loyal fans choose to either lose coverage of their favorite teams or face terrible inconveniences and expense switching channel providers. MLB knows this and says to itself, "It doesn't matter that we anger and inconvenience our fans because eventually, and probably sooner than later, we'll get back everyone we lost. American needs baseball and they'll pay what we force them to pay to get it." And as much as I hate to admit it, MLB is probably right. We can try to boycott but, in the end, a great many of us will want our games and will either switch to DirecTV (which I'll never do -- I can only get sufficient signal strength if I install that hideous dish on the front of my 70 year-old house) or switch to MLB.TV (which I'll probably cave in and do once the urge to watch my team gets too strong). And MLB and DuPuy know this. They can treat the fans with as much disdain as they want because they know that, eventually, people will want their baseball. I wish I was wrong. Hopefully, I am.

Posted by: Jim, MA | March 28, 2007 06:46 PM

OFinNC, yeah piece of cake, i'll just demolish the huge apartment building that blocks my line of site to the D* bird, i'm sure the people that lived there won't mind at all, in fact, if only i had been born with a silver spoon in my butt, then i could just go buy a house that has a good LOS, in fact, i think i should make all my future housing decisions with LOS to D* as the most important factor, and i look forward to paying to watch HD-lite coming down from the D* bird at way under 10 MB/s

J-in-Boston, kerry may be a douche, but while he's trying to keep EI accessible to more fans he's OUR douche

Posted by: shek | March 28, 2007 06:49 PM

RE: D. Sanders comments:

You wrote and attacked an earlier poster without providing any proof of your statement.

According to my source I was also advised McCaskill was not at the hearing. What is your source for this? Are you a paid staff member of McCaskill's? Please provide some sort of proof of your posting that the lady was in fact present.

Posted by: Ronald Smoot | March 28, 2007 07:35 PM

Orioles fan in NC....Guess again! Every professional game (MLB, NBA, NHL) on the FSN networks in the sports package are blacked out, with the exception of your local FSN channel. Your post was terribly incorrect! The ONLY way to watch out of market games is through MLB EXTRA INNINGS.

Posted by: jeremy dewald | March 28, 2007 11:19 PM

MLB and Bud Selig are a disgrace. They are willing to alanate thousands of hardcore fans simply out of greed. The amount of money they are squabbling about wouldn't pay the salary of one sore armed pitcher. MLB never intended to let cable in on the bidding.If they really want to promote the greatest game in the world they wouldn't turn their backs on fans willing to pay full price. Baseball should be made available to everyone no matter if they have cable or Sattelite. Not everyone can get Direct TV. I will definately not stare at a computer screen for hours. Keep baseball on cable!

Posted by: Dennis Fairchild | March 28, 2007 11:28 PM

I watched part of the hearing and it got hot. Don't mess with fans!

Posted by: Gmsimms10@aol.com | March 29, 2007 02:04 AM

How can any elected official to the Senate or the House, justifly continuing Major League Baseball's anti-trust exemption. This is the time for the people we elect to serve us to, for a change, serve us, not Major League Baseball and Direct TV.

Congress and the Senate need to start the process to eliminate Baseball's anti-trust exemption and do it now. Major League Baseball says we can all watch the games on our computers. Sitting in front of my 19 inch computer monitor to watch a baseball game with a jerky picture, while my big screen TV is off, is not making the Extra Innings package available to baseball fans. It is just a way for Baseball to keep the entire fee we are charged to watch MLB on a computer.

There is only one thing to do now and that is up to the people we elect to serve us. Start the process to remove baseballs anti-trust exemption and start it now.

Posted by: Sandy Hoffman | March 29, 2007 03:51 AM

I've been saying for years that Bud Selig is quite possibly the worst thing to ever happen to Major League Baseball. Given what his ownership group did to the Milwaukee Brewers in his pre-Commissioner days (i.e. extracting every single penny from the team via an absurdly low payroll, holding the city of Milwaukee hostage for a new stadium then selling the team only a few years after the new stadium was built, etc.), it comes as no surprise that MLB, with Selig at the helm, is once again screwing the fans when it comes to this cable/satellite TV situation.

Posted by: DL | March 29, 2007 08:51 AM

I for one am not going to pay $15 a month to watch MLB on my computer. I would rather pay the $180 for the season for Extra Innings, to watch on my 57" HD TV. I will not switch from my cable system to Direct TV.

Posted by: Tom McKnight | March 29, 2007 10:49 AM

I aprreciate reading all of these sentiments which I agree with 100 percent. With that said, get on the phone to MLB. Forget the commisioner's office. Ask for the PR department.

Tell them how you feel. Let them know that MLB can still be known as the folks that saved baseball for fans like me where DTV is not an option.

Posted by: Scott | March 29, 2007 11:22 AM

I AM SORRY TO SEE DISHNET . WILL NO LONGER CARRY MLB. IF MLB IS SO GREEDY THAT IT MUST TAKE AWAY ITS FAN BASE FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE,I WILL DO AS I DID AFTER WE HAD MAJOR LEAGUE STRIKES AND LOCK OUTS. I BECAME A NASCAR FAN AND DID NOT WATCH MLB FOR MANY YEARS.I DID NOT CARE WHO WON OR WHO LOST .THIS MAY BE THE LAST STRAW I AM SIGNING OFF ON MLB AND WATCH NASCAR WHICH SEEM TO RESPECT THEIR FANS.

Posted by: BILL LYNOTT | March 29, 2007 02:01 PM

I am just as upset as everyone else, but I think there is a resolution to this. Allow InDemand, which is owned by Cox Cable, Comcast etc. the right to offer MLB Extra Innings to the hard core baseball fans that want to purchase it. Add the new MLBtv channel in 2009 to the monthly sports package available to all cable subscribers who want to pay the extra $5 per month in my case. I get the NFL network, NBA tv, ESPN Classic and a couple of other FSN affiliates for my money. The subscribers who like sports would definitely want to have MLBtv when it becomes available and gladly pay for it as long as it is reasonable. You can add that channel to the sports package and then charge $6 or $7 per month to buy the additional sports programming. What is so hard about that compromise. The people that want your product will buy it. The people who don't want your product do not get MLBtv shoved down their throat or have their basic cable rates raised just because it is now on the system.

Posted by: Stephen | March 29, 2007 02:49 PM

Stephen's comment is exactly what the cable companies and Dish Network offered MLB. They want the baseball channel forced on all subscribers, with the basic cable or satellite service bill being increased to cover the cost. They think if it is in more homes, they will get more viewers. In addition, they collect payment from more distribution.
The antitrust issue is a big one here. They are engaging in a practice commonly referred to as "tying" by requiring those purchasing Extra Innings to offer to their customers to also add the baseball channel. That would be like Procter & Gamble refusing to sell Tide or Pampers to a grocery chain if it didn't agree to buy Swiffer mops. Tying is illegal under both the Sherman and Clinton anti-trust acts. Baseball can do it because they have an anti-trust exemption. Take away the exemption and they can longer require the cable companies and Dish Network to carry the baseball network (arriving in 2009) as a condition of getting Extra Innings.
I'm really torn here. I could switch from Dish Network to Directv and pay the same for the Extra Innings package but I hate to support what I see as an arrogant disregard for ordinary people. Bud Selig and Bob DuPuy need to have a day of reconning (sp) but will my sacrifice of baseball for a season or two really make much difference to them? Something needs to be done but I think the congress is where it needs to happen. Just take away the anti-trust exemption. That would change everything.

Posted by: Jim | March 29, 2007 03:38 PM

Why watch any way? Everyone associated with MLB is juiced... In Bud Selig's case I think it's Geritol. Ultimately we can vote with our wallets.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | March 29, 2007 05:25 PM

This is the last for MLB. They have dumped on the fans again I say forget baseball and turn our backs on them as they have on us.

Posted by: Don | March 29, 2007 07:00 PM

I contacted my local cable company today (Cox Cable) to inquire about availability of the MLB Extra Innings package. The operator told me that negotiations are continuing and they expect an agreement to be signed very soon. The operator took my name, phone number,email address and said they would be contacting me as soon as possible when it was going to be available-at some sort of discount.

I specifically asked if this was the MLB Extra Innings package for the TV and not the computer since I have a bundled package with my cable company. I was told that both options will be available to subscribers but she couldn't say an exact date.

I shall wait patiently with fingers crossed to see if the powers that be have come to their senses and come to a fair and equitable agreement for all baseball fans.

Posted by: Stephen | March 29, 2007 09:34 PM

I love the fact that David Stern the NBA commissioner weighed in yesterday to say congress has better things to do than look at this deal. Mr. Stern it's their job to look at whatever the people are concerned about. I suggest you stick to policing that league of rapists and hoodlums you are running and mind your own business!

Posted by: Jeff Newman | March 30, 2007 07:27 AM

I have written to Sen. Kerry (twice) as well as other Senators and Reps. MLB wants to have its cake and eat it too. It claims to be a business with the right to maximize its profits. However, it is a monopoly that is also exempt from the Anti-Trust laws. MLB should not be permitted to "sell" its monopolistic rights (and create another monopoly) to the detriment of the public. (MLB claims it is acting to benefit the public but that is not true.) Baseball is part of "Americana" and as such MLB should be regulated as a monoplistic quasi-public-utility. It obviously cannot regulate itself. My wife and I gave up on baseball for a few years for many reasons. We were lured back by MLB-Extra Innings being available on Charter Cable in Sparks, Nevada. We have been subscribers to Extra Innings for a few years. We will not switch to Direct TV nor watch MLB on our computers.

Posted by: A. Skrocki | March 30, 2007 10:57 AM

I am so disgusted with MLB right now I can barely contain myself.
Their cowardly attempts to blame the cable companies for this fiasco is an insult to my intelligence. They are not bargaining in good faith, and it is obvious.
I am canceling my subscription to MLB.com which I used as a backup to my subscription to Extra Innings, for those times I was on the road.
I won't switch to DirecTV, even it is a better deal than cable, just on principle.

Once again MLB brass has shown blatant disregard for the very fans that keep them employed.
I will find better use for my money and time.

Goodbye MLB - I hope you choke on your $700 million.

Posted by: John T | March 30, 2007 11:08 AM

I was one of the Direct TV subscribers who went with Direct TV because of MLB season pass. During the holidays we upgraded to HDTV so we switched to DishTV with the understanding that they too offered MLB season pass. Before we signed up, DishTV stated they offered MLB season pass. I just found out that Dish TV never had an agreement with MLB and specifically lied to it's customer to convert the Direct TV customers over to Dishtv. Dishtv's business practice is fradulent and I hope MLB does not give them any capability to broadcast out of market games.

Posted by: Tim G | March 30, 2007 02:21 PM

MLB Extra Innings program with DirectTV is a scam!! You have to get a installation and a satallite. So that means working your working schedule with theirs. You pay $160 for the Extra Innings, You then pay $30 for the basic package PLUS in my case $20 for another receiver for another TV.... THEN to avoid future fees, you must SUSPEND service for 9 months, Send back the receivers, THEN RE-ACTIVATE this process all over again in the next season... FOR 7 YEARS I HAVE TO DO THIS???? Are they nuts!! I am a pittsburgh pirates fan.... My goodness, slit my wrists to watch that debacle? Was hard enough spending $160 every year, now these hoops!!?? Not to mention its a step back in current technology programs and client relationships!! MLB should be ashamed of their greed and program. I will not be a part of it in 2007. David in california

Posted by: David Jones | March 30, 2007 02:27 PM

It is ludicrous for MLB to expect and for DirecTV to anticipate cable and Dish Network subscribers to make a switch just for the privelege of watching their product. I have gladly paid for the privelege the last few years, and my wife appreciates the fact that I'm at home watching my games rather than hanging out in a sports bar. I urge those affected by this, like myself, NOT to switch to DirecTV or to purchase the MLB.TV product. This might force MLB and DirecTV to either raise the price of Extra Innings beyond the comfortable price point for subscribers or, even better, opt for a non-exclusive deal to include other carriers.

Posted by: Richard Moree | March 30, 2007 03:37 PM

Where are our Senators and Congressmen when we need them?? In a world that begs for some escape for all of us, why can't someone call MLB what it truly is... an unfairly protected monopoly that enjoys anti-trust protection while ripping off and not paying attention to its fans. Pulling Extra Innings from cable will be a disaster... and they deserve it. But my 8 year old and 6 year old son don't!!!

Posted by: Dennis Gerard | March 30, 2007 10:11 PM

Wake up basbeall fans! Baseball sheilds themsevles with their antitrust exemptation while demanding city, county and states to pay for the majority of all new basball stadiums over the last twenty years. This cost is in the billions of dollars while demaning fans pay at every turn. What makes someone a fan was watching away games that where on local televison for free to draw fans to see the occasional local game. Home and away games are only on cable in most markets. Even the averagew fan who pays in some sin tax the right for that team to stay in that market now cant see there local team if they dont have cable. Baseball counts on fanatics not fans to support them. When are you going to wake up and stop supporting baseball? I have not since the 1994 strike.

Posted by: Brent | March 31, 2007 02:47 PM

Finally we have an agreement! Rest easy baseball fans and cable customers you will be able to get the MLB Extra Innings package beginning tomorrow @ 8:00 AM, according to Cox cable.

Posted by: Stephen | April 4, 2007 10:09 PM

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