Major League Baseball finally announced its deal with DirecTV to air is Extra Innings package. It’s not an exclusive deal at this point, but it might as well be. The cable industry and Dish Network have until March 31st to match the terms agreed to by DirecTV. Cable would be hard-pressed to match that offer because DirecTV is insane. I can’t imagine a scenario in which Dish Network could agree, having only 50,000 Extra Innings subscribers last year. Still, this is over the top:
Dish Network assailed the new agreement. “When our customers are suddenly cut off from watching their favorite sports teams on TV,” the company said in a statement, “it is time to ask whether the market is working. This is both anti-competitive and anti-consumer.”
The deal is certainly anti-consumer, for all the reasons I’ve stated. But the market is not wrong. Two companies that reach a mutual agreement can’t be considered a broken market. Stupid,
definitely maybe, but not broken.
As a perfect example of how stupid Bud Selig is in his patronizing claims that fans can still see lots of baseball, consider the 2007 schedule offered by Fox. Beginning April 7th, it will air a game every Saturday. In the first month we get these choices:
Saturday, April 14
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Boston Red Sox
Saturday, April 21
- New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
- St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
Saturday, April 28
- Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
- Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals
Saturday, May 5
- Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees
My vision might be bad, but I see April 21st and 28th looking exactly the same, with only the stadium scenery changing. Whoopee. And the two bookend weekends present us with either the Red Sox or Yankees. That’s some amazing diversity. Well done, Bud. Thanks for looking out for fans.