God damn do I hate Major League Baseball.

April 4th, 2007 → 9:45 pm @ // No Comments

Enough people have complained about the complete stupidity of Major League Baseball’s decision to take it’s Extra Innings package away from the millions of cable subscribers that have, in the past, willingly shelled out more than $150 a year to watch their home team play its games even if they no longer live in the city of their team of choice.

Not surprisingly, the Times‘s Joe Nocera highlights just how stupid MLB truly is in a an article on the whole messy imbroglio. “Let’s face it,” Nocera writes, “the men who run baseball have a history of not making the smart play.” Truer words have never been spoken. After going through all the not-so-exciting details, Nocera sums up the issue nicely:

“So let’s think about what baseball has done here. In the interest of seeing to it that its baseball channel gets a running start on DirecTV, it has infuriated the cable industry, which is now unlikely to ever give it the time of day. It has turned down the opportunity to be guaranteed an astounding 30 million subscribers on Day 1 because it wants to squeeze the cable industry for more. … Plus, it has alienated 200,000 of its most passionate customers — the ones willing to pay $165 a year to see baseball games every night — taking away from them a fruit they had already tasted. Plus, it has forced those same fans to go to the baseball Web site to see those games — which, however good the site is, still entails scrunching over a screen and looking at a picture that doesn’t compare to say, a flat-screen plasma TV. Plus, it has reminded the world yet again how much sports is just another greedy business — exactly what its customers don’t want to be reminded of. Plus, it’s gotten Congress up in arms.* …

“Nice going, fellas. The N.F.L. would never do anything this dumb. Of course, that’s one of the big differences between pro football and pro baseball. The football guys actually know how to run their business with some intelligence.”

Color me spoiled — or color me stubborn — but I’m one of those passionate customers who absolutely refuses to pay for the honor of watching Sox games on my MacBook. (I spend enough damn time sitting at my desk as it is.) So tonight, I grudgingly shelled out $14.95 for the MLB Gameday Audio package (and no, dammit, I won’t put in a link)…and was greeted with the following message:

“Server busy. Please try back again soon.”

This went on for a full half-hour. Then I finally patched in. And then I got knocked off in the third with Beckett pitching out of a Mike Lowell-induced jam. Now I’m back on…but it sounds like I’m listening through snowstorm of feedback.


* Yeah, I’m glad John Kerry made some noise about the whole issue, too. But think about this: cable subscribers around the country are relying on a man who referred to the two best hitters on his own team with the Frankensteinian moniker “Manny Ortez.”

Post Categories: DirecTV & Joe Nocera & Major League Baseball & Manny Ortez

5 Comments → “God damn do I hate Major League Baseball.”

  1. colin

    17 years ago

    I was *this* close to signing-up for the audio myself today after being screwed by MLB in similar fashion. Thanks for sharing how well your experience went, saving me the cash. I usually save my animosity for specific Sox players that underperform but this is now focused clearly on the knuckleheads who just don’t want my money.


  2. jnagle

    17 years ago

    The N.F.L. would never do anything this dumb.

    What about the NFL network brouhaha from last year? Isn’t that almost exactly the same as this situation?

    I live down in the south within the realm of one of the cable networks that was at odds with the NFL, which meant no Thursday night games for me…even after numerous calls to the cable company.


  3. gary

    17 years ago

    As much as I hated to do it, I was going to switch to directv tonight when luckily I found out an agreement had been reached. Imagine how furious I would have been if I had made the switch. Supposedly the deadline had passed. I’m very happy and very pissed at the same time.

    For what it’s worth I have mlb audio on my macbook. I had it last year also since it’s not subject to blackouts like extra innings and it’s pretty cheap. I’ve never really had a problem with reception except with the red sox home broadcast. Still, I’m glad I won’t have to depend on it except for a few games.

    On a sidenote, the whole black out thing is ridiculous. I live in pensacola and can get braves games 4 hours away. But a game in miami, 10 hours away, is blacked out.


  4. branatical

    17 years ago

    I feel your pain. I signed up for MLB.TV tonight and was greeted by video that kept freezing every 10-15 seconds. It was completely unwatchable and there was no audio to be heard. I kept logging on and off but nothing changed. Obviously there were major issues with the streaming video.

    In disgust I dialed up the MLB hotline. When I finally got in to the waiting room (initially it said to call back bc of overwhelming demand) I was forced to wait for over 1.5 hours. Finally I gave up. It was a horrible experience and I want my 15 dollars back.


  5. vfraenckel

    17 years ago

    How can you say the NFL would never do anything this dumb. Granted the Sunday ticket never WAS on cable, but the NFL granted exclusivity to its out of market games to the exact same provider as MLB tried to do, and the NFL network was something cable was unwilling to put on its vendor’s basic tiers, while DirecTV was more than willing to essentially do just that.


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