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Blackout syndrome


Whatever it took to keep MLB's Extra Innings package on cable, we're grateful. But we're starting to hear those annual complaints from customers who can't watch what they thought they had signed up for, even after shelling out their $179, thanks to MLB's often-puzzling blackout regulations. Well, for the first time, there's hope.



In Jackie Robinson's MVP season of 1949, he drove in 124 runs, stole 37 bases and got 203 hits. Only one active player has had a season in which he matched or beat all three of those numbers in the same year. Can you name him? (Answer later.)


We're hearing that a discussion of those blackout rules is on the agenda for next month's owners meeting. And indications are that it's Bud Selig's intention to fix this mess ASAP. We've also heard that teams have been asked to submit info to MLB specifically outlining all the distant locations in their "territory" where they're actually on some form of local TV. MLB then intends to crack down on clubs that are claiming certain areas as their turf if, in reality, those claims actually are preventing fans of that team from seeing games even if they're willing to pay for Extra Innings.


It's one thing for clubs to protect their right to cut local TV deals. But it's a big problem for the industry if the effect is, essentially, to tell fans: "You can't be a fan of this team anymore." Nevertheless, it isn't as simple as it sounds. So stay tuned.


There's some hope yet.

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I hate to say it, but I am satisfied with MLB.tv this year. I would have definately bought EI if mlb would have gotten this shit straight before the season like they should have, since they didn't I re newed my mlb.tv subscription and I can't see the point of paying for 2 services this year. The stream on mlbtv is smooth and this is at 400 k, I plan on buying the $30 upgrade for the 700k soon. Next season, I'll likely switch to DTV, if not I'll buy EI on cable.

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