My response was to contest this comment made by Msguy, "They are denying him the opportunity to purchase MLB Extra Innings?, DIRECTV is not denying him the opportunity to purchase MLBEI, just that if he does he still won't be able to view Pirates games.
I think it was worded quite clearly. Says they cannot offer MLBEI as an alternative to the Pirates games not being on for him.
It is beyond stupid, however. The sports television structure is a mess. The teams, the leagues, the channels and the providers are all to blame.
Open it all up. Just make people pay for it.
They are all fools. The games being available actually ADD to the prestige, the fanbase and, eventually, the bottom line of the teams involved. Not only can they get money for their TV product, but they are the biggest informercials for their actual product around. People watch the games on TV are *more* likely to go to a game than those who can never see them.
I agree with everything else you've said here, the whole market area/blackout system needs a wholesale revamping, think of the poor folks who live in Las Vegas, they have about 6 teams that claim that area as "market territory".