It took a whopping 3 days into the season for cable to finally quit posturing and start shelling the cash.
The deal, which had already been inked by DirecTV, ends months of acrimony and gives baseball fans the opportunity to renew the package with their local operators rather than switch to the satellite provider. EchoStar Satellite LLC is the lone entity that still hasn’t come to an agreement.
Those cable operators that agree to carry the product would also be required to offer the new MLB Channel on its basic tier when it is launched in 2009.
“Our chief goal throughout the process was to ensure that fans would have access to as many baseball games and as much baseball coverage as possible,” Bob DuPuy, MLB’s president and chief operating officer, said in a release. “With this agreement, the MLB Channel will launch with an unprecedented platform. We are pleased with the launch of the MLB Channel to so many homes coupled with our agreement to extend the distribution of MLB Extra Innings with iN DEMAND.”
MLB and iN DEMAND had been put under increasing pressure from Congress to come to an agreement so that fans without satellite access would still able to view out-of-market games. When the DirecTV deal was announced on Feb. 8, MLB set a deadline of Opening Night this past Sunday for iN DEMAND and EchoStar to match the same terms.
But that deadline was extended Sunday as the parties continued to negotiate.
Bittersweet? Nah, I gotta say this is a victory for all; fans who can’t get DirecTV will be able to watch out-market-games through cable, and MLB’s New Media Goons get their fat wads of cash.
If they can make Echostar AKA Dish Network pony-up the same terms, something that seems inevitable at this point, then they’ll score the Baseball Broadcasting Triple-Play.
But hey, all’s well that ends well. Today, I renewed my MLB.TV; and whenever you guys get Dish on board for Extra Innings, we might pony-up the cash then as well.
See? Wasn’t so hard, no was it?
Oh and, by the way, you Bob DuPuy, are a lying snake.
You’re now saying that your “chief goal throughout the process was to ensure that fans would have access to as many baseball games and as much baseball coverage as possible” but not too long ago, you said something along the lines of:
“We cannot put the interests of what we believe are a relatively small minority of fans over what we believe are the best interests of the entire fan base as a whole,” Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer, said in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission.
So which is it Bob? All fans? Some fans? No fans?