According to the New York Times, MLB is close to handing DirecTV the exclusive rights to Extra Innings – which allows fans to watch many out-of-market games – for $100 million per year over seven years. InDemand, which distributes the package currently, has upped its offer, but, according to the Washington Times, its deal will pay about $30 million less per year.
The difference averages out to $1 million per franchise, per year – or, in these days of overheated player spending, chicken scratch. Even if it was five times that, it wouldn’t seem worth it to keep the product from so many fans.
The article goes on to raise to some interesting issues…but it comes down to “What is MLB thinking?”
UPDATE (by Chad): I think I agree with this take on the whole thing.
I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.