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This entry was posted on Friday, January 26th, 2007 at 9:59 pm and is filed under Baseball, Mets Rumors & News, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

With Spring Training around the corner, it might surprise some out-of-market fans to learn that they will no longer be able to watch their favorite teams on television. From the fat cats that brought you baseball’s Steroid-Era comes the latest in greed and avarice as MLB is on the verge of agreeing to a seven-year, $700 million deal that would eliminate MLB Extra Innings from all cable networks, as well as the Dish network, in favor of an exclusive arrangement with DirecTV. The deal would also make DirecTV the exclusive provider of the 24-hour baseball channel that MLB is launching in 2009.

Currently, DirecTV is available to just 15 million subscribers, or less than one-fifth of cable subscribers. While baseball will receive $30 million more per year under the agreement with DirecTV, Richard Sandomir of The New York Times wonders aloud if it’s worth angering and marginalizing your fan base to make a buck.

The only recourse for jilted fans at this point seems to be to switch to DirecTV, however there are many living situations that prohibit satellite dishes, and in these homes, fans will have to turn to the internet for their games. Mlb.tv offers streaming video to out-of-market fans for a $79.95 subscription fee, however the service requires a broadband internet connection, and provides vastly inferior video quality. In addition, mlb.tv’s service could prove hugely inconvenient for fans who have grown accustomed to recording games when they’re not at home via a DVR.

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