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Hall Of Fame
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From the Sports Business Journal (http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/):

"DirecTV is in advanced talks with Major League Baseball about acquiring exclusive access to baseball's out-of-market Extra Innings package, a move that could be a huge blow to the cable industry and one that will certainly grab attention on Capitol Hill."

The full story requires subscriber access. Matt Sarz summarizes the important points here: http://www.dbsforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=70531
 

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This news makes sense with Directv's purported HD capacity that will be available
in mid 2007. MLB EI in HD wiould be very attractive to subscribers and Directv will extract a premium price which the subscribers will gladly pony up.

EI's subscriber base of 750,000 is less than 1% of all multi video subscribers. These are the die hard baseball fans which include myself. I was an early HD adopter (bought a 61" plasma in Feb 2004). I suspect more than 50% of these subscribers have an HD set. Many of the early HD adopters have been sports driven.

I personally am against exclusives to one multi video provider. I originally signed up with Dish four years ago just to get MLB EI. My local cable company did not
provide Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia. We were the only community in the
entire Philadelphia DMA not to get CSN. I also signed up for NBA League Pass
and NHL Center Ice. Verizon Fios TV is going live in my area on January 9th and I have an install scheduled on Jan 12th. Fios TV is going to provide me with CSN HD,
YES HD and SNY HD, none of which are available on Dish. I never dropped my local
cable company, because it provides YES HD, SNY HD and INHD which I could not
get on Dish. Now that I am getting Fios, the local cable company is going to be terminated. I have been struggling whether to keep Dish for MLB EI, NBA League Pass and NHL Center Ice and supposedly Dish will be offering MSG HD and FSNY HD in 2007. Directv is currently providing YES HD and SNY HD in my area but not MSG HD or FSNY HD.

AS an early adopter of HD, I picked up a second HD set, and now that I am getting
CSN HD, I am going to purchase a third HD set, 1080P 60 inch plus. Once you start watching sports on a 60 inch HD set, you stop watching the SD feeds.

So if Directv gets an exclusive on MLB EI and offers an HD version like they do
for Sunday Ticket, I will definitely drop E and sign up with D to complement my
Fios service even though I am getting CSN HD, YES HD and SNY HD from Fios.
 

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Godfather
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Baseball has too much to lose if they do a deal like this. Congress is already itching with the steroid scandal and previous transgressions to pull the anti trust exemption baseball has. Selig is a fool if he starts teasing the govt tiger. He'll get bit fast.

Directv doesn't wanna play with the govt either. They want the Liberty deal to go through.

I just don't see this story as being anywhere close to believeable given the current government climate.

Time of course will tell.
 

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Godfather
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pdxsam said:
Baseball has too much to lose if they do a deal like this. Congress is already itching with the steroid scandal and previous transgressions to pull the anti trust exemption baseball has. Selig is a fool if he starts teasing the govt tiger. He'll get bit fast.

Directv doesn't wanna play with the govt either. They want the Liberty deal to go through.

I just don't see this story as being anywhere close to believeable given the current government climate.

Time of course will tell.
I agree with you, but I must say that the one dynamic here is that Bush is a former MLB team owner so he (and the weight of the presidency) would likely support MLB to the death.
 

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Godfather
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I think that after Jan 1 you'll see Congress look into the NFL package even more. The shot across the bow was already sent before the end of the year. You'll see a closer look being taken. With all the hoopla about programming on cable and also will extend to DBS I expect this to be the last DTV exclusive on the NFL package also.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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pdxsam said:
I think that after Jan 1 you'll see Congress look into the NFL package even more. The shot across the bow was already sent before the end of the year. You'll see a closer look being taken. With all the hoopla about programming on cable and also will extend to DBS I expect this to be the last DTV exclusive on the NFL package also.
There has been some saber rattling by the Dems but I would hope that they will address the real problems this country has. If this is the only kind of thing they want to address, then it show they dont have a clue how to solve the real problems.

I dont think even the Democrates want to alianate the 32 multimillionaires that own NFL teams. That would not make good political sense. It would not take many well placed calls from a few owners to a few Senators to kill the whole thing. Then if congress tries to block a deal between D* and MLB, then they will have 32 more millionaires on there case.

MLB wants a fat deal like the NFL has. If the NFL could make more money letting more outlets carry ST then they would do it. It would also dilute the value. In any case I dont see cable cos screeming foul until they have the capacity to put all those HD games into all there subs houses. Then they will be lucky to get 5-10% to sign up. Cable cos will want to pay the NFL for each signed up sub. I believe that D* is paying a flat fee for ST.
 

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Mentor
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I'll be really ticked off if / when they add an upcharge to MLB EI for HD games. I can see them trying to charge more for all HD games like they do with superfan, and that will bother me.....
 

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Even if they try to charge extra, I'm sure you'll be able to call and get it for free like most of us did with ST. At least, that's what I'm planning on doing.
 

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The 2nd reason NFL ST is exclusive to D* (the 1st reason is D* is willing to pay the $$$ to keep it exclusive) is that the networks want to limit the availability of NFL ST. They put up with it on D*, but are afraid that if cable had NFL ST it would seriously cut into the netowrk's revenue.

For MLB, however, I can't see any good reason for the MLB to make it exclusive unless D* overpays big time to make it so. And if they decide to do so, I will switch to mlb.tv, pay less money, and see the OTA games I can't get with MLB EI.
 

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Up The Irons!
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/20/sports/baseball/20base.html

Major League Baseball is close to announcing a deal that will place its Extra Innings package of out-of-market games exclusively on DirecTV, which will also become the only carrier of a long-planned 24-hour baseball channel.
Extra Innings has been available to 75 million cable households and the two satellite services, DirecTV and the Dish Network. But the new agreement will take it off cable and Dish because DirecTV has agreed to pay $700 million over seven years, according to three executives briefed on the details of the contract but not authorized to speak about them publicly.
 

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DCSholtis said:
Apparently....yes
I think that's a leap. It doesn't say that anywhere in the article that I saw and they must have an existing contract with InDemand for at least this year if not next, I would think.
 

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From the same article:

InDemand, which has distributed Extra Innings to the cable television industry since 2002, made an estimated $70 million bid to renew its rights, more than triple what it has been paying. Part of its offer included the right to carry the new baseball channel, but not exclusively.
That to me said they made an offer to extend their deal but were turned down. I guess we will have to wait for the official word from MLB and D* to make things clearer.
 

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DCSholtis said:
From the same article:

That to me said they made an offer to extend their deal but were turned down. I guess we will have to wait for the official word from MLB and D* to make things clearer.
Yeah, I saw that, but I didn't view it as a renewal for thisyear, as it seems a little late (< 3 months away) to do that. But believe me, I hope you're right, as I would expect the deal to mean more services in some form (hopefully without more cost...haha, yeah, right!)
 

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I agree with ya there..:D That MLB Network seems kinda cool I wonder what that will be like. Tell ya what though. If the situation with NFL ST is any indication. Sen. Spector and Comcrap are both going to be REALLY pissed off now.
 

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