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MLB Owners Meetings: Extra Innings Blackout Update #8,265 Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 12:44

BlackoutTomorrow, MLB’s 30 owners will begin holding their final set of meetings of the year at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton, the same location that MLB’s general managers just recently met at.

What to expect out of the two days of meetings? For you fans, possible lower ticket prices, which is good news. Beyond that, not much.

The agenda will be light with the focus being the economy, economy, economy. That translates to ticket prices, what has been working (and not working) for the clubs during the recession, and well… not a whole lot more.

For those that keep hoping that the blackout territories for MLB Extra Innings will be addressed, that doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.

And, for those that wondered whether in-market streaming of games might be the mode by which MLB never addresses the MLB Extra Innings issue, at least there is some signs that on the face of it, that model may not be as lucrative as expected.

Last week’s SportsBusiness Journal noted that the landmark “Yankees on YES” deal between the Yankees, Cablevision, and MLBAM to stream games in the New York market was less than optimal. With only 6,000 subscribers at $49.95 for half the season garnered approx. $300,000 – small potatoes when you factor in that the revenues were being split up between the principles in the deal, with the lion’s share going to MLBAM.

“No matter how you slice it, 6,000 subscribers off of a base of 3.1 million is a tiny take-up rate,” one RSN executive said, referencing the total number of New York-area customers who subscribe to Cablevision, Verizon and Blue Ridge.


The San Diego Padres also rolled out in-market streaming this season, in partnership with Cox Communications, but sources branded the purchasing for those games as minimal, falling below even 1,000 users.

Back to the MLB Extra Innings black out issue… Odds seem exceptionally high that a year from now, the topic will still be on the owners’ plate. It’s been over 3 years now since MLB talked of addressing the issue, so the notion of “4 years” does not seem a far off.






Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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