After all that, it looks like Mr. Manny Ortez helped out after all

April 5th, 2007 → 10:43 am @

Yup: all of us cable subscribers are going to get the privilege of spending $150 bucks to watch baseball after all. Which doesn’t mean that I don’t still hate Major League Baseball. (Apropos of that, here’s something worth checking out: a reader wrote in saying that he was able to listen to the ‘EEI feed of the game for free — and that it was much clearer and stronger than the MLB feed. I have to assume someone will wise up and start blacking that out soon, but in the meantime you might want to see if that still works.)

Here’s a question I have (and some cursory poking around on the Interweb didn’t provide the answer, although maybe when InDemand updates their MLB page to reflect the fact that they’ll now have Extra Innings, I’ll be able to find the info there): I currently am a Time Warner subscriber, but I’m moving to a Cablevision neighborhood at the end of May. Is InDemand going to transfer over my subscription? Or will I have another reason to get incensed? Anyone?

Post Categories: DirectTV & InDemand & Major League Baseball & Manny Ortez

God damn do I hate Major League Baseball.

April 4th, 2007 → 9:45 pm @

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