Or cable, for that matter.
You will all remember that when said deal was announced, many of us cried foul. Some doubted our conviction, yet our resolve would not be undermined until we got results. And results we got. MLB was publicly scorned and vilified into including poor-ol’ cable into their deal.
All was well with the world, fans could again watch their MLB Extra Innings packages through Cable or DirecTV. Oh, uhm, well not all fans. Certainly not those with Dish satellite service in their living rooms.
Curious that nobody raised their arms in protest because the other satellite provider was not invited to the MLB Extra Innings party. Curious also that Echo Star, the parent company of said Sat Service Provider just announced that it had acquired Sling Media.
So the conspiracy nut in me has to wonder…
But if you’re just joining us, let’s recap:
Sling Media is a tiny little compnay (not really, but it makes for great Drama) that makes the Sling Player. This brick-shaped device allows you to connect it to your home internet connection and television service (be it Satellite or Cable or UHF). Once you hit the road, you’ll be able to connect remotely to your Sling Player to watch your home’s TV service using those series of tubes we call the Internets.
You will also remember that just this summer, the MLB New Media Goons, née MLB Advance Media hinted at suing (then backed off) Sling Media for putting a huge obstacle into their Geotracking scheme. What is GEO Tracking you ask? Well, you should know that you can watch baseball games through MLB.tv, a concoction brought to you by MLB owners and Bud Selig.
Though it resides on the Web, this service has a peculiar distinction from other Video streaming services. MLB managed to impose a TV-style restriction system on it, where you cannot watch your local team due to Blackout restrictions. This means you’re stuck, and they’re stuck with all the cash for the local TV deals.
How was this possible? Yes, Virginia, GEO Tracking would be the correct answer. They know where you are from the IP address your computer is using while online.
Naturally, that small device known as the Sling Player would flush that model down the toilet, eliminating any and all trace of GEO Tracking, because, as you remember, you’d technically be using the cable or sat signal from your home, allowing you to watch local market baseball gratis.
So back to the conspiracy nut in me. Now that Echo Star, aka Dish network, aka the other satellite service provider that was not, I repeat, WAS NOT, included in the MLB Extra Innings Deal, has acquired Sling Media, they own the Sling Player and anything and everything you do with it.
Again, the winner of the MLB Extra Innings deal is not MLB, is not DirecTV, is not Cable. It is Dish, who silently understood who really has the heft to pull some leverage.
That’d be Us. Or as Time put it, “you.”
A belated thank you to Forager for the WSJ info. Hit us up with an email and we’ll get you that umpbump.com sticker.