June 19, 2006

MLB puts a parental lock on your season and fav teams,: what is MLB thinking, and no answer from the head office. A good story from jeff passan.

posted by sauceysays to baseball at 07:46 PM - 20 comments

Is there any evidence that suggests a game being broadcast on TV actually impacts the gate sales? It seems to me that if one lived within a comfortable traveling distance of one's favorite team, one would watch the team live when ever time and money permitted regardless of whether the game was on TV or not. Blackouts will continue to help MLB in its quest to be less popular in the USA than biathalon.

posted by Joey Michaels at 08:24 PM on June 19, 2006

The only team deoing it somewhat right is the Atlanta Braves, can't stand 'em. Being a Phillies fan here in Wyoming is not easy, but we do get a lot of Rockies(not a fan of them either) games thru Fox. If ESPN would get off the Yankees and Red Sox dicks, they could help us out a bit as well(though they are showing the Phillies-Yankees game tonight). Cable companies need to buck up and charge less and allow us to choose any channels we choose from any where in this great big country. Every April I go to at least one game. $300 dollars later tends to leave a bad taste. Oh well, back to game seven of the NHL finals, another bunch of brilliant bureaucratic decisions at the the wheel their too eh?

posted by GoBirds at 08:38 PM on June 19, 2006

Have to agree with Atlanta. I find that sometimes I end up watching more Atlanta Braves games than I do my home team (Houston Astros)...I don't have MLBTV (I have DISH Network) and there are a lot of times where the Texas Rangers are on TV in Houston when the Astros are playing. I know Bud has his hands tied, but he HAS TO DO SOMETHING or else he'll lose fans to this issue. I've not seen a baseball game in over a month and I'm just getting aggrivated about it all. Here's to MLB fixing this problem which has been prevalent for about 4-5 years now.

posted by chemwizBsquared at 09:23 PM on June 19, 2006

"local market for six teams"... wow, that sux!

posted by zippinglou at 09:23 PM on June 19, 2006

I know it's just radio, but XM is great. Every game with no black outs. (Not that I'd care if they wouldn't let me listen to the Marlins.)

posted by ?! at 09:34 PM on June 19, 2006

And they say it is steriods that is ruining baseball. Have they given the management a test yet................. A common sense test?

posted by jojomfd1 at 09:35 PM on June 19, 2006

ya i have been looking into this a long time i just hope it can be fixed

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 10:28 PM on June 19, 2006

I know it's just radio, but XM is great. Every game with no black outs. (Not that I'd care if they wouldn't let me listen to the Marlins.) Actually, it is because of radio that these strange "local market" rules evolved. Taking the Iowa example from the story. WCCO, WGN, and whatever the flagship AM stations for the other teams were back in the first half of the last century, had a rather long reach, it was quite possible to get any or all of the radio broadcasts in, say, Waterloo. Since radio was the only live game in town at the time, the teams fought to have their markets as wide as possible, and the thought was, that when you DID go to a game, you would go to the team that you listened to on the radio... Originally, it was not to protect ticket sales, but to generate them; get the distant farmers hooked on your team and they will come to you. I do not know when broadcasting went from ticket generating to ticket gobbling, but I would venture it coincides with football being broadcast regularly on television.

posted by elovrich at 11:22 PM on June 19, 2006

We have the MLB cable package, so blackouts don't get us very often. Fortunately. If ESPN would get off the Yankees and Red Sox dicks Trust me, at least from a Boston fan perspective, we'd totally welcome ESPN getting off our, uh, dicks. I wish they wouldn't broadcast any Boston games, at all. Same with Fox. Fucking McCarver. Sunday night, I had my annual reminder on just how bad ESPN is. You forget if you aren't exposed to it. The pain dulls in your brain and you don't realize the excrutiating pain of listening to Jon Miller and Joe Morgan fuck up everyone's name, call the pitching coach by an entirely different name, incorrectly generalize the entire city of Boston and the fans, blah blah, etc.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:55 AM on June 20, 2006

Just Radio? Is there anything better than sitting outside on a nice summers' eve listening to a baseball game? My private heaven. But back to topic, I'm stuck in an area that falls into four markets, yet the major cable dealer only offers one. The others get blacked out if you try to buy them. That seems really dumb to me. As a co-worker put it, MLB has this great product... But you can't see it. MLB needs to take a lesson from the NFL.

posted by SummersEve at 06:23 AM on June 20, 2006

For the last two years, Reed has subscribed to MLB.TV, and because he happens to live in Keokuk, Iowa, he has been subjected to baseball's television blackout rules rooted in the game's dark ages. How upset can the guy be if he was willing to re-up a second year knowing the blackout situation? The notion that MLB.com could upset ticket sales with their broadcasts sounds completely idiotic to me. Following elovrich's observation, I always assumed that the blackouts were tied to local television broadcasts -- I figured MLB didn't want to create a competetive market with the affiliate stations with whom MLB (or the individual teams therein) are already contracted. XM is absolutely awesome for so many reasons. You get to hear broadcasts from radio teams all over the country, and the guys doing radio are so often better than the TV guys. Bob Uecker, Jerry Coleman, Marty Brennaman, Lon Simmons, Harry Kalas, and the venerable Vin Scully -- all recipients of the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence -- can all be caught broadcasting for their respective teams. MLB clearly was not concerned about ticket sales or local radio outlets when they signed that contract. You can hang a star on that one.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:17 AM on June 20, 2006

I used to work for a MLB team and live just 35 miles from said team. Yet with the dish I have I have only been able to watch about 6 games this year. So as with any thing, out of sight out of mind.I did get a free ticket to go to a game, so the sisty bucks I spent on food and beer did not seem to bad. Shit who am I kidding. It sucked . Any way back to topic, MLB should take a page out of NASCAR's book. The more people who are exposed to your product the more people who will buy your product. I for the life of me do not understand how withhollding your product from your intended market is good for sales. I have to admit I had a good time at the game I went to. For the time I was there I did not think about HGH or Barry Bonds or any of the never ending bad press. If it was as easy for me to find a ball game to watch as it is for me to find all the bullshit about the game, I might still have and intrest.

posted by CB900 at 11:43 AM on June 20, 2006

I for one have MLB.tv and really am annoyed every saturday afternoon when Fox only broadcasts one game in my area (usually two teams I could give a crap about) and all the other games are blocked off my computer. It's like Fox is saying "we control you and what you watch". Idiots. Makes me like Fox so much more and so I want to watch other things on their channel - NOT. I wish there had been a disclaimer from MLB that stated I would not be able to watch games on Saturday.

posted by skydivemom at 01:47 PM on June 20, 2006

I actually don't have that problem, where I live we get Fox Sports Net that broadcasts almost every Tigers game.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:32 PM on June 20, 2006

Yeah YYM we get that too but it just so happens this house doesn't root for the Tigers so it doesn't really help us.

posted by skydivemom at 03:57 PM on June 20, 2006

Oh yeah. Did you manage to catch the Tigers vs Cubs series? It was excellent if I do say so myself. Prior's first game back was a gem. Do you get to watch some Cubs games on WGN?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:01 PM on June 20, 2006

Although I have to agree with you about the Atlanta Braves being the only team handling it correctly, even they don't do a good job. TBS will broadcast 3 games in a row and then not show another Braves game the rest of the month... I know, Im an Atlanta fan in Upstate NY, and every time i go to watch the Braves take on a division rival, I just see a re-run of Friends or Everybody Loves Raymond.

posted by zachaweenus at 05:17 PM on June 20, 2006

I have an interesting option for those of you using directv...when i signed up for my service i was not able to get my local fox channels(in fact we didnt have one in SWMO). St. Louis was the closest city that it was available(4 hrs away)...i was bummed becuase i couldnt watch the saturday cardinals games on fox or the sunday ones on the WB. But i discovered a little trick that allowed me to at least catch them on the east and west coasts...i get fox east and fox west(for about 2.00 a month) since i wasnt in a fox market directv allowed me to do this. The trick works much better during football season ( i virtually see every game every weekend that is broadcast of tv.) But it will allow people who live on the east coast to follow west coast teams and vice versa. Just make sure you arent close to a fox station...or at least lie about your Zip code. oh yeah....i live in stl now....and i never miss a game....between fox, fsn, and the local wb i see them all....and can still follow the fall of the yanks and the end of barry bonds on the weekends.

posted by BLAKE320 at 05:50 PM on June 20, 2006

"But I discovered a little trick that allowed me to at least catch them on the east and west coast" "or at least lie about your zip code" ?????????? And if you stand on your left foot and face SE when the wind is blowing from the North........ Jesus I did'nt know you needed code word or better to view a fucking baseball game. Inspite of MLB's best efforts people still want to still want to watch. HEY BUD got any more hoops we can jump through?

posted by CB900 at 08:57 PM on June 20, 2006

Oh yeah. Did you manage to catch the Tigers vs Cubs series? It was excellent if I do say so myself. Prior's first game back was a gem. Do you get to watch some Cubs games on WGN? posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 5:01 PM CDT on June 20 Yes I did and I am the first one to admit that the Cubs suck this year. I in no way meant any disrespect to your Tigers, I just don't root for them so I don't really care if they are on TV. I am not one of those people who jumps on the bandwagons of good teams so I will not be rooting for them anytime soon. I hope your Tigers have an outstanding season. Yes I do get to watch some games on WGN but not enough for my liking.

posted by skydivemom at 10:05 PM on June 20, 2006

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