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· Legend
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I am looking into losing 40 pounds. I think the answer for now is encourage teams to work out a DTC option with their current provider. I think 6 teams have such a deal. Five Bally teams and Boston.
 

· Godfather
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427 Posts
It took almost 100 years to get rid of the reserve clause. Not holding my breath waiting for MLB to make a meaningful change to the blackout rule.
 

· Registered
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1,330 Posts
I have been following this. I think that blackouts will finally be ending. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred himself has said “blackouts are frustrating”. I also have been following that MLB may buy the Bally Regional Sports Channels. Blackouts might come to an end this year. Fingers crossed🤞 Link Below. This is all very promising news with MLB season right around the corner.

 

· Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have been following this. I think that blackouts will finally be ending. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred himself has said “blackouts are frustrating”. I also have been following that MLB may buy the Bally Regional Sports Channels. Blackouts might come to an end this year. Fingers crossed🤞 Link Below. This is all very promising news with MLB season right around the corner.

That story is from back in early October. Since that time the leagues have said they will not be buying the Bally RSN’s.

 

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Rob37, if you believe a single word out of Manfred's mouth.... well, I don't know what to say.

This is the guy who says it's all about the kids and fans, then lets ESPN move a 1:00PM to 7:00PM on a Sunday, when families have bought tickets months in advance.

This is the guy who says it's all about the kids and fans, then lets world series games end near midnight on the east coast.

This is the guy who says it's all about the kids and fans, then lets teams wait 3 hours before postponing a game due to rain.

This is the guy who says it's all about the kids and fans, oh, well...... the defense rests.

The only reason blackouts will ever go away is because MLB will make an extra 12 cents on the deal.
 

· Super Moderator
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The only reason blackouts will ever go away is because MLB will make an extra 12 cents on the deal.
So you're saying there is a chance? :)

There may be an opportunity for blackouts to be negotiated due to the RSNs having issues delivering the content they paid for. The MLB still needs someone to produce their games and they rely on the RSNs to do that. Working WITH the RSNs to sell the RSN's MLB content via MLB.TV in a way that is beneficial to the MLB (making 12 cents) and the RSNs (being able to easily sell via streaming) could be worked out.

I agree that the solution will be driven by finances.
 

· Godfather
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Rob37, if you believe a single word out of Manfred's mouth.... well, I don't know what to say.

This is the guy who says it's all about the kids and fans, then lets ESPN move a 1:00PM to 7:00PM on a Sunday, when families have bought tickets months in advance.

This is the guy who says it's all about the kids and fans, then lets world series games end near midnight on the east coast.

This is the guy who says it's all about the kids and fans, then lets teams wait 3 hours before postponing a game due to rain.

This is the guy who says it's all about the kids and fans, oh, well...... the defense rests.

The only reason blackouts will ever go away is because MLB will make an extra 12 cents on the deal.
"Kids and fans" is sports code for "tv money." Same reason NFL games are flexed from 1:00 Sunday afternoon to 8:30 Sunday night in December in Green Bay. It's never about the fans.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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2,560 Posts
"Blackouts" are a function of multiple generations of ineptitude in the leadership of MLB. RM is just the most recent occupant of the office who lacks the leadership to get MLB on one page relative to their media rights.

When RM is talking about "doing away with blackouts" that has NOTHING to do with ending the crazy quilt of over-lapping claims to places where, simply put, these teams are NOT THE LOCAL TEAM. Rather it means offering some kind of product where you pay for the entire league, including how many ever (it can be up to six) teams claim to be "local" to you. You will pay more.

A leader would simply do a study, based on ticket sales, fan polls, sports writers, history, etc. and then INFORM the various teams what their actual geographic boundaries are. The Cleveland whatevers are NOT local in eastern Kentucky, the Pittsburgh Pirates are NOT local in any part of West Virginia south of US 50, nor in Columbus Ohio, nor in Buffalo. The Reds are NOT local in Mississippi or North Carolina. The Twins are NOT local in Montana. There may, in fact, be places where no team really is a local team. A leader INFORMS the teams. A loser announces he is working on it.
 

· Super Moderator
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54,190 Posts
It is strange that I am "local" to teams in three different MLB markets (Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati). The NBA and NHL have decided I am only "local" to Chicago. DIRECTV has also decided that I am only local to Chicago and requires the "Sports Pack" to view Detroit and Cincinnati games.

One design (not perfect, but a design) would be to have 100% of games available either from the MVPD subscription or MLB EI. Buy those two subscriptions and never be blocked out of any game anywhere. But the MVPD subscription has become overpriced (unless one wants the hundreds of other channels) and some RSNs are not distributed throughout their entire team's footprints. Cincinnati games should not be exclusive to an RSN outside of where that RSN is distributed on ALL MVPDs. The availability of "Sports Pack" helps on DIRECTV but I can't say every MVPD would provide the Cincinnati and Detroit games where I live. I can say that MLB EI would be blacked out.

The cord cutting shift away from MVPD subscriptions breaks that old school design. People want to pay for JUST the content they want to view. They don't want to pay for RSNs and Sports Packs just to watch their one favorite team. The cord cutter needs an option that works around the RSN via MVPD model. Something that provides the games regardless of who has the rights in their area.

"Here is $200 ... give me every Detroit Tigers game and don't bore me with who has the rights to that game or what MVPD channel it would be on." Since I am in the Tigers footprint that would usually be Bally Detroit. So let's pick another team - $200 for every LA Dodgers game. Don't tell me which "local" RSN the game is on and make me subscribe to an MVPD package and Sports Pack to get the game, just deliver the game.

Of course that breaks the RSN's distribution model of "charge everybody via their MVPD whether they watch the RSN or not". A model that is fairly broken anyways now MVPDs are saying no to carrying RSNs.

The final thought I have on the issue is what to do with nationally broadcast games. Games that currently are not on any RSN or MLB EI. Would my $200 allow me to watch the Tigers when they play on ESPN or some other national feed? Nope. Getting to 100% of the games being available is more than a simple request.
 

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1,387 Posts
I think MLB will follow MLS model with Apple by 2030 for RSN Have to plan ahead to aggregate rights but the MLS/Apple deal is awesome for fan All games, one spot, no blackouts anywhere
This chart is a couple of years old, but look at the "end" column and the "revenue" column.


Herding cats would be easier than getting 30 teams with vastly different revenue totals and end dates to agree on a "one spot" deal. Especially when many teams have ownership positions in their RSN's.

Edit: Ooops, forgot to include the link. Sorry....
 

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How dumb are current blackouts?

In Vegas, we are considered "in-market" to 6 teams, the nearest being the Angels at 265 miles away.

Compare to San Diego. Since they have an "in-market" team, Angel games are "out of market" - a mere 95 miles away.

Go figure.

At least DirecTV carries all 6 "in-market" teams - Dodgers, Angels, Padres, D'Backs, Giants, and A's.
So, I don't have to drive 530 miles round trip to see my "local" Angels play.
Or 1,136 miles to see my "local" Giants play.
 

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i live 135 miles from the Twin Cities.. and 207 miles from Miller Park in Milwaukee.. and yes the Brewers are my team but .. you would like to believe that you could SEE BOTH ON BALLY"S SPORTS. but NO.. I can't even though the channel is 669.. Brewers yes.. Twins no.. and yet I have spoken to many HERE who get mulitple teams in their location.. Will this change fix this?
 

· Registered
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"Blackouts" are a function of multiple generations of ineptitude in the leadership of MLB. RM is just the most recent occupant of the office who lacks the leadership to get MLB on one page relative to their media rights.
Blackouts are embedded in the contract between RSNs and the teams. It has to do with local broadcast rights holder making sure they protect the commercials since the same commercials are not on MLB.TV. Streaming of commercials are rarely the same as the broadcast. If you are an advertiser paying for local spots, you would be pissed if a portion of the audience isn't seeing them.

Local broadcast blackouts are not limited to just MLB. The same blackouts happen on NBA Leaguepass, CenterIce and even Sunday Ticket. So it is not the "ineptitude in the leadership of MLB" because that would include the NBA,NHL and NFL.

Now I think it is in the best interest of the RSNs to negotiate and find a solution.
 

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I remember a similar article years ago 2019

 
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· Super Moderator
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54,190 Posts
It has to do with local broadcast rights holder making sure they protect the commercials since the same commercials are not on MLB.TV. Streaming of commercials are rarely the same as the broadcast.
It is not just the commercials. The RSN is being paid a subscription fee for every subscriber. If the most expensive content on their channel (the in market rights for local games) was available without paying the RSN for a subscription, the RSN would lose a considerable amount of their income. Advertising revenue alone does not cover the price the RSN is paying for rights fees. They need the monthly subscription income (preferably for the entire year and especially from non-viewers that are forced to subscribe by their MVPDs) to stay afloat.

Give people a way to get the game content the RSN paid for without paying the RSN and the RSN becomes worth less (not worthless, just worth less than when a full RSN subscription is needed to view the content).
 

· Cool Member
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44 Posts
Keep in mind that with just a couple of exceptions, RSNs are not just for MLB. The NBA and NHL have a lot of say as well, and neither league would be happy with MLB running RSNs that they rely on for their distribution.
 
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