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After whining themselves into the DirecTV deal, Cable suddenly forgot what team it’s playing for.

indemand-onmlb.jpgThe technology landscape has changed dramatically since last year’s ill-fated DirecTV-Extra Innings exclusive deal; more and more people have migrated to the web to watch TV shows and download movies, something that’s been traditionally and intrinsically tied to the Television and the cable or satellite set top box.

Ironically, the Extra Innings deal would’ve forced subscribers to switch to the MLB.TV service, where they’d be able to watch most games from their computers at home or work. But due to huge fan outcry and a brief intervention by Congress, MLB New Media Goons, aka, MLB’s Advance Media arm decided to let Cable into the deal.

This time around, however, it’s Cable that’s about to screw us all over. And this time, I doubt there’s anything Selig or his henchmen can do to stop it.

From the AP:

NEW YORK – Time Warner Cable will experiment with a new pricing structure for high-speed Internet access later this year, charging customers based on how much data they download, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

As you all remember, Time Warner is part of that group of affiliates that own and operate In Demand, the system that distributes the MLB Extra Innings package to cable subscribers.

And this new pricing structure that they’re testing for broadband access will undoubtedly add a premium to the luxurious price that those of us who watch TV programming online (IE, baseball games through MLB.TV) already pay.

And what’s the reasoning, you ask?

Now, let’s see — that pricing structure would be really bad news for any Web entity selling downloadable movies and TV shows. Customers of cable company broadband might think twice if the download would bust them through to the next tier of service, forcing them to pay more.

And, hmm, who is most threatened by Web entities selling movies and TV shows? Why — that would be cable companies! How coincidental! By making downloadable video more expensive, cable companies might convince customers to just watch cable TV or get a movie on cable’s pay-per-view. Amazing how that works, huh?

Sure, that this becomes the norm is only speculative, but the Net Neutrality issue has been brewing for a while, with Cable leading the charge that we ought to have a tiered system to pay for broadband.

And so, the fact that Networks are enticing people to watch TV online, and not to mention, the big push for online movie rentals, oh and of course, music downloads, will make broadband internet service providers (IE, Cable) only think of pulling schemes like Time Warner’s out of their digital rear ends.

12 Responses to “Sleeping with the enemy: Is Cable poised to screw over MLB Advance Media?”

  1. What is with Shaughnessy and his blinding hatred of a couple of aging pitchers?

    I am not saying that I disagree with what he is trying to say, but here is a well-known sportswriter basically condemning a person as a liar without even attempting to give a basis for his gut feeling.

    Anyway, Clemens is a stupid, fat, liar. Shaughnessy is the very same blowhard that he likes to label Schilling.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    One of the most perplexing statements I’ve seen is from Buster Olney:

    “A recurring question is why Clemens or any other player named in the report simply didn’t come forward and meet with Mitchell investigators, once he was asked to do so. Part of the reason was uncertainty about what they were going to be asked, and uncertainty about what George Mitchell’s version of due process was going to be.

    “Two days before the Mitchell report was released, a veteran agent described the concern: ‘Imagine if you got a summons to appear in court next Tuesday, but nobody would tell you why. Nobody would tell you what the charges are, nobody will tell you anything about the evidence being presented, and nobody will tell you who the witnesses are. When you have a case in court, there is a time of discovery so you can prepare a case. There was nothing like that, in any way, with the Mitchell people.’”

    First of all, I think if you’re contacted by George Mitchell, who was well known to be writing a report on the use of steroids in baseball, and you happen to be a major league baseball player, you might have a pretty darn good idea of why he was calling you. The least you could do was leave him a voicemail saying, “I didn’t do it.” Plus, the irony here is just too delish to resist. Yes, you could imagine you got a court summons…but first, you’d have to picture the Mitchell Report with subpoena power!

  3. I could not agree more. The cable co are trying to get their piece of the internet video pie – just like the Writer’s Guild. Once someone gets HD video from the net to the tube, it is all over for the cable co. Cable is going to be like having a land line phone after five years.

    BTW, this is a nice blog.

  4. E.G.G., Corporate run cable companies are in no way, “just like the Writer’s Guild.” How do you compare a corporation trying to gouge customers with individuals seeking fair compensation for what they have created? You can’t be serious.

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Well, I think the point of comparison is that both groups want to make money off of the Internet. But is there any company out there who *isn’t* trying to make money off of the Internet? But yeah, obviously I have to throw my support firmly behind the writers, who, with the exception of Aaron Sorkin, never get the credit they deserve. Writers unite!

    And thanks, Ghosty, for the kudos.

    As for the MLB.TV stuff, I’m at the point where I can’t even understand what’s going on anymore. I just want something reasonably priced that doesn’t have blackouts. Plus, it would be really great if they could stream the radio broadcasts over the Internet too, since I get no radio reception in any apartment I have ever lived in. Get with it, MLB! You WANT to have more baseball fans! It is in your interests to make the games easier, not harder, to follow!

  6. Nick Kapur says:

    They do stream radio broadcasts over the internet, but you have to pay. Last time I checked it cost something liek $20 a year.

  7. Sarah Green says:

    Well, last time I checked, it wasn’t possible to listen to Red Sox games on the radio at all. Maybe it was blacked out? I don’t know. At any rate, it’s impossible to resolve this discrepancy in mid-January, as there is no baseball! (*Sob*) They were saying on the radio this morning that January 21st is officially the gloomiest day of the year, according to some researcher somewhere. He probably lives in Green Bay.

  8. Big business at its worst…

    My cynicism tells me that they’ll eventually win and hardly anyone will care.

    People would care if you charged them extra for every minute they watch American Idol.

  9. Melissa,

    I love the work writers produce and support them. I can’t stand reality TV.

  10. Sarah Green says:

    Normally I would agree. But I just gorged myself on hours upon hours of America’s Next Top Model, and it was worth every second.

  11. Sports are my reality TV.

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