Extraneous – definition: (from dictionary.com)
1) not belonging or proper to a thing; external; foreign
2) not pertinent; irrelevant
Sometimes I forget that I’m spoilt rotten, living in the same city as my baseball team. I can go to the games for $5 – 12 bucks a seat and I can watch every single game on just plain ol cable TV right here. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to be able to watch their team on TV. Sure you can buy (satellite) XM radio and LISTEN, or “watch” on mlb.com, but watch a live game, nope. I had always thought if you paid enough, you could watch just about anything on cable, but wronggggg. For reasons I just do not understand, MLB blacks out certain games in certain territories if you pay for mlbtv (Extra Innings.) (from ondemand.com) “If you live in a zip code area that falls within an MLB team’s home television territory, that team’s games will be blacked-out from MLB EXTRA INNINGS. These games will generally be available on that team’s RSN or team affiliated OTA station. Blackouts protect the local rightsholders who arrange separate distribution agreements for their exclusive territories.”
Unfortunately, this means that IF your RSN does not broadcast the games, you can’t see them. It also means that if you travel and want to see games when you are away from home, you can’t (as my mama found out.) The territories are often huge and overlapping, and already many fans can’t watch their team under the current setup.
This year, not only is MLB continuing its blackout patterns, but they have made a 7 year exclusive deal with DirectTV to broadcast Extra Innings only through them – Maury Brown of www.bizofbaseball.com explains: http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=635&Itemid=52
Me, I do NOT get this at ALL. This means that no households with cable or other satellite services can get Extra Innings. This will DECREASE the number of people watching Extra Innings. Which means they will have to really increase the price of a subscription. Which means that a whole lot of people won’t subscribe who used to. The new stadiums which are being planned and built are decreasing the number of available seats AND the number of available seats sold to just plain fans, not corporations. If fewer fans can go to games or watch their team on TV, how is this supposed to increase the popularity of the game? Will there be bootleg broadcasts? Or will they just charge for mlb.com from now on? Seems to me that the more you limit who can watch a game, either in person, or on TV, the fewer people will be interested in it. And when fewer people watch or care, they won’t take their kids to games, watch games with their kids and the kids won’t play ball, and fewer people will grow up fans.
Seems to me that most people just really don’t care about the future – deal with what is happening now, and whatever happens later, happens. Maybe having a mother who is a CPA has, um, kinda, let’s say, influenced me, but I think you HAVE to consider the future and plan for it. Because stuff happens. And not caring if you lose fans who watch in person or on TV is just plain dumb.
And as for getting more money from the fewer tickets that will me more in demand they then sell to corporations for a higher price, let me tell you this – I have watched ball games from most every seat in the ballpark (except for the extra ritzy area where Drayton McLane and George and Barbara Bush and all the other celebs sit.) And I can tell you this – the business people who come to ball games don’t know a baseball from a soccer ball and they spend the entire game talking business. And yes I mean men – and yes there are men who honest to GAWD got NO idea how many players there are on a roster, or even how many players there are on the field, let alone the rules, even the basic ones, of the game. I promise you, they are not fans. Sure they clap when the whosis guy catches the ball. Sure they know who Roger Clemens is. But these are not people who will take their sons to Little League, and let me remind you that these days, kids don’t just go in the streets and play ball, and that pretty much only kids from upper income families play baseball.
You can’t afford to lose your fan base.
Fortunately for the Astros, the vast majority of Astros fans live in Houston, or at least in Texas and Louisiana where FSN broadcasts the games, so we won’t be affected by the Extra Innings loss as so many other fans will…