Wednesday, March 14, 2007

DirecTV Update

For those of you who haven't been following, MLB agreed to a deal with DirecTV that would make the Extra Innings package non-exclusive. In other words, cable companies still have a chance to carry the package. However, a pre-requisite to offering the package is an agreement to carry the baseball channel (when it launches) on the basic tier. As has been noted by Maury Brown, this is a poison pill. It's a provision that baseball knows no cable companies are going to go for, so it's still a de facto exclusive deal.

Personally, I may have been 50/50 about switching to DirecTV a few weeks ago. Now I'd say there's probably no more than a 10% chance I'll make the switch. And with MLB using this as an opportunity to jack up the cost of MLBTV, chances are I'm not getting that either. So it's looking more and more like I'll be a casual baseball fan this season at best. That means about 99% less baseball content here, and during baseball season, that means about 99% less content period.

There may be a last ditch effort to save the package for cable companies, though. Senator Kerry has scheduled a hearing for March 27th:
"The senator all along has wanted to know more about this, so he's going to be asking a number of questions," said Vincent Morris, Kerry's spokesperson. "We're going to be looking to hear from all interested parties: baseball, satellite carriers, probably the cable operators, possibly ordinary fans. We're still putting it all together."

Well, Senator, I've got some vacation time available and some frequent flyer miles saved up. I could probably clear some time on the 27th. The email address is up in the right corner. I'll be waiting.

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