Broken dish

You’ve heard about Major League Baseball’s potential $700 million deal with DirecTV, which would receive exclusive rights to broadcast Extra Innings, baseball’s subscription out-of-market game package.

You know how you might be a wee bit upset over this fact if you’re not able to get the satellite service because you live in an apartment, or any other reason that prevents you from switching from cable.

Nah. No big deal. So says Bud Selig.

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune caught up with the baseball commissioner over the weekend, and Selig was asked about the much-criticized deal. His comments, in which he called the controversy “ridiculous,” were…well, they speak for themselves.

Speaking to reporters before Saturday’s Cubs-A’s game, Selig called it “a slight controversy, in some places.”

He pointed out the deal is close to being completed but is not done.

“I’ve heard for years we have too much product out there,” Selig said.

“Everywhere I’ve gone … there’s no market that has less than 350 to 400 [televised] games, and some [like Chicago] have quite a bit more than that. We have an enormous amount of product out there.

“As for this deal, what fascinates me is I have spent a lot of time going over it and trying to find out who can’t get [DirecTV].

“We’re down now to such small numbers, that I’m really wondering [about the fuss].

“… In a year or two, when people understand the significance of this deal … everybody will understand it.”


Hmm. Perhaps Mr. Selig would like to take a look at the contents of my Inbox the day after we discussed this issue last month. Perhaps no other issue in recent memory has prompted the amount of outrage and questioning that the DirecTV deal has. And yet, it’s only a “slight controversy … in some places.” I should have known better. So should you, apparently.

But I suppose it’s foolhardy, even if you’re a Sox fan kicking back on Santa Monica Boulevard in your six-unit apartment building whose landlord won’t allow a dish on his roof, to argue the fact. You are, after all, a “small number,” and we don’t understand the significance of this deal yet. How could we mortals, after all, know what Selig knows?