Considering the mass response we received on the subject, we’re probably just waiting for one or two more to chime in before hearing from Bud Selig’s entire “small number” of baseball fans who are irate over the MLB-DirecTV deal.
A quick sampling of the inbox after the jump:
MLB will tell you to look at the NFL Sunday Ticket as an example of why this is ok. Well it's not. These are different situations. One writer put it best by saying, "The Sunday ticket was never available to fans of cable, Extra Innings was." The Ticket was never taken away because it was never there to begin with. Extra Innings was ripped from our homes and lives for the price of one minor leaguer per team.
Matt A, Naperville, Ill.
I have also argued that they’re completely different beasts. It’s quite easy to excuse yourself one afternoon a week to hit the local pub and catch your favorite NFL team on the dish. It’s another thing completely to be sitting on that stool all Peterson-like six-seven evenings.
The fact regarding people in apartments is convincing, but what about everyone else who simply does not want satellite television? I live in upstate New York and literally, through digital cable, will watch 110-120 games a year on television. I am now on the outside and will not be able to watch my beloved Sox. You lose satellite signal if it is merely cloudy outside; who wants to deal with that?
Andrew Coniglio, Rochester, NY
I will say this, satellite TV is getting a bad rep over this and it doesn't deserve one. I’ve had DirecTV in the past, and was more than pleased with the strength of signal for the most part. In fact, the only time I had any issue with the dish was when I had to brush snow off it. That’s it. I fear that the assumption out there is that it won’t work unless weather conditions are optimal. That’s simply not the case.
I live in St. Paul, MN, I rent a house and my landlord has no opposition to putting a dish put on the house, I have no opposition to Direct TV, but unfortunately I have no direct southern exposure.
If all the articles that I have been reading are true; there will be close to 50 million less subscribers then in reality all the commissioner is saying is “I have no concern for the fan and I don’t have any common sense”.
Although I am not a commissioner to me 50 million less subscribers is not a small number!!!
Robin Siedman. University of Minnesota
Well, obviously, Robin, only about one-quarter of our homes have no direct southern exposure. But that's a much “smaller number” than the three-quarters of us who do.
MLB went to DirecTV, because cable TV didn’t want to pay anything. If your readers want to be angry, direct that anger towards the cable industry.
Anyway, satellite is light years better then cable. It doesn’t free up a dozen times a day like cable’s digital TV, it isn’t rebooting every day, etc. Every channel is digital. They are also planning on offering more HD channels then cable. You also aren't overpaying for things like that remote control fee.
Oh yeah, it's also a lot cheaper.
Again, the people who deserve any anger are the ones running cable and the politicians that allow them to remain a monopoly. Allow cable companies to compete in every market and you see how quickly things get cheaper and how many options become available for you.
Oh, most apartments outside the Northeast have balconies, which can hold a small satellite dish.
Again, you won’t get me badmouthing satellite TV in itself, and in fact I encourage if you are able to get the service and are willing, to do so. It is cheaper, and will have more HD soon on the way which is a major plus. I have, however, heard testimonials about EI games, for the most part not being in high-def, which is an issue. Some folks have had bad experiences. I, nor apparently Dan, am in that demo.
I have heard players complain about being disrespected when a team “only” offers them $10 million dollars a year. But hey, if that kind of money is out there, why shouldn’t the players share in it? The thing is, that kind of money comes from this kind of deal. It’s greedy and incredibly disrespectful to the fans. Is it so important that these millionaire players get the extra $$$ every year that MLB feels it acceptable to abandon out of market fans who live in apartments? Apparently Bud Selig thinks so.Ted Barszewski
I find it funny too that most folks think the XM-Sirius merger faces a tough road through Congress, but this monopoly should be ready by Opening Day. Makes sense. And no, I don’t really want to dwell on the fact that John Kerry and I have the same agenda here, thank you very much. That’s a little frightening.
A law was passed that states an apartment or landlord cannot prohibit a satellite dish. They can say that a dish cannot be permanently attached to the outside of a building or something to that nature. But is a person has a porch or deck attached to their condo or apartment then satellite dishes are allowed by law. Of course if the apartment is facing the wrong view of the sky or another building is blocking its direct view of the sky then it is a different matter. But those are very few people who actually get the MLB package. Also, MLB will always say if they do not wish to change TV providers then they can access all the games via MLB.com and watch them on the computer. How can MLB turn this down?? The money is too much and quite frankly, DirecTV is better then cable. As a New Englander living in NC I must have DirecTV to get all the Patriots games. I feel most people, like me, who get the MLB package are sport nuts who get the NFL Ticket also. So the real numbers to look at is the actual number of people who get the MLB package and have no absolute way to get Satellite (cannot get a signal.)
Good point, Ryan. But again, how many apartments in Manhattan have porches or decks?
First… any apartment resident can fight and win. It has already been done so there is precedent. Stop complaining and do something!
Second…. 3million people represents 1 percent of our population and way less than 3 million can’t get DTV. So what are we talking about 1/8 of 1 percent if that. Come on get real it is a statistical non factor! Use the computer they used to email you and buy MLB.tv and your problem is solved.
William Van Belle
Because nothing says sporting enjoyment than sitting at your office desk watching a game instead of kicking back on the couch. There is a solution to this, however if you’re able to hook your laptop up to a big screen, except I can’t speak of picture quality or lack thereof. Slingbox is out there too, and people swear by it.
I have a lot to say, but most of it wouldn't be printable. What I will say is while there may be a "small number of people who can't get Direct TV", what about those of us who don't want Direct TV? Been there, done that - when it rained or snowed we lost reception. Totally unreliable, no HD local channels, two year wait right now for an HD DVR (we did actually check, you see). So we're left with the dilemma of not watching our Red Sox (except when they play the hated Yanks) or not having quality programming day in and day out. I guess it's time to say goodbye to Extra Innings - and you better believe we won't subscribe to MLB online--wouldn't give Bud the satisfaction or my $$.
Well, most Red Sox fans didn’t want JD Drew either.
Two-year wait for a DVR? Is that accurate?
I own a single family residence but as a member of a Homeowners Association, which are quite common in the West, I am also restricted in terms of satellite dishes. Note that restrictions go far beyond Apartment dwellers.
M. L., Las Vegas
Bud might ask you to move to prove you’re a true fan.
Only a small impact…Like on everyone who lives in NYC…but this is only a small town. Selig comes from Wisconsin, doesn't he? Maybe he's never heard of NYC.
Ronald H. Shechtman
The New York factor is what makes this whole thing so backwards. I’m sure that Selig assumes everyone in Manhattan is a Yankees or Mets fan, which means no problem in catching games. But that’s obviously not the case, and in fact, New York might have the most displaced fans of any city in America. Based on site stats, the other most popular areas that read us on a daily basis are in Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Dish in Denver and LA, probably no problem. It’s more of one in the Bay Area, and downright near impossible in Manhattan.
I can’t totally blame him though for not seeing how this affects fans – as most likely no one ever signed up for MLB Extra Innings to see his old team the Brewers play. I think when people leave that market, they are rather glad they don’t have to watch that team anymore. So again, I don’t think Bud truly understands how you could live in one city and be a fan of another team.
I think you’ve got it.