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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Major League Baseball: Show the Washington Nationals’ first playoff game since 1933 on local TV!

The Washington Nationals are playing in their first home playoff game since 1933, yet the only way to watch the game is through pay TV packages that have MLB Network. Moreover, the Nationals are playing in a publicly subsidized $600+ million stadium. MLB needs to do the right thing and air the game on local broadcast television so fans who can’t afford to go to the game or can’t afford expensive cable or satellite service can see history!

Sign the petition!

eddieot Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM | 91 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, mlb_network, nationals

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   1. Chris Needham Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4260715)
sigh
   2. JJ1986 Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4260718)
I think it's a really bad idea to have playoff games on MLB Network. Is TBS busy showing Family Guy at that time?
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4260719)
Are the Nationals like the Cleveland Browns, where they inherited the history of an unrelated franchise with the same name? And if so, do they get the heritage of Senators II as well? Maybe Bernie Allen can throw out the first pitch.
   4. Topher Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4260722)
Why is it a bad idea? Nothing is more likely to get folks to call their cable companies to demand MLB Network (or at least get it on a lower tiered package) than to prevent them from viewing a game they really, really want to see.
   5. BDC Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4260725)
I don't have cable at all, so unless I get fascinated by the NLCS, I'm going to save my October TV baseball for the World Series on FOX (with the sound down, mind you).

I must be one of a tiny percentage of Americans with broadcast TV but without cable. As TFPetition notes, we're probably disproportionately poor (and hence not worth considering as a demographic to reach).
   6. BDC Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4260730)
Are the Nationals like the Cleveland Browns, where they inherited the history of an unrelated franchise with the same name?

There has always been a franchise in Washington known as the Nationals. Surely you remember when Frank Howard was traded and they acquired Rusty Staub to be their cleanup hitter. Who can forget the great seasons Gary Carter and Andre Dawson had for the mighty Nats. We have always been at war with Eurasia.
   7. JJ1986 Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4260731)
Why is it a bad idea? Nothing is more likely to get folks to call their cable companies to demand MLB Network (or at least get it on a lower tiered package) than to prevent them from viewing a game they really, really want to see.


I think it's about 20 dollars a month for me to get that package, which I can't see many people paying for one game. And I don't think the cable companies will move it because of complaints. You're going to lose a lot more eyeballs than you're going to gain subscribers.
   8. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4260751)
I think it's about 20 dollars a month for me to get that package, which I can't see many people paying for one game. And I don't think the cable companies will move it because of complaints. You're going to lose a lot more eyeballs than you're going to gain subscribers.


Mine comes as part of an expanded basic type package.

I think from MLB's perspective making MLBN a "go to" place is useful in the long haul. It's not that people are going to pay for one game but if they start to get the sense that more and more things are being broadcast on that station they will start asking for the channel to be more easily accessible. ESPN got some heat in the early days of ESPN2 for putting some big events on that station even though many people didn't have it. I have a recollection of a UNC-Duke basketball game being one of the biggies. Eventually ESPN2 got folded into more general packages.
   9. Gamingboy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4260752)
Go to a bar.
   10. Topher Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4260757)
You're going to lose a lot more eyeballs than you're going to gain subscribers.


I'd agree with that. But I also think the long term strategy to maximize profits from the MLB Network is to do something like this.

I'm not going to take the time to look this up (call me out if I'm wrong) but I'm quite confident that the NFL Network is available to a greater audience and in general is on lower tiered packages. NFL Network wasn't always that way but they really were able to get things moving when they granted tv rights to themselves instead of making the games more broadly available.
   11. fra paolo Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4260763)
Are the Nationals like the Cleveland Browns, where they inherited the history of an unrelated franchise with the same name?

Some Nationals fans, amongst whom one can apparently count eddieot, want to make it so. The franchise itself is more ambivalent, and celebrates both 'baseball in Washington' and its Expos' past.

In fact this will be the fourth home playoff game in the franchise's history.
   12. dave h Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4260766)
I was going to say you're wrong, but I looked it up and you're correct at least for AT&T. You have to go another tier up to get MLB Network. I wonder how much of that is that there's a game a week on NFL Network now, which amounts to ~6% of all games in the season.
   13. jmurph Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4260771)
NFL Network


Speaking of which, I don't understand how the networks haven't revolted over the Red Zone channel. I live in a 2 team market and couldn't care less about the local teams. So unless the Patriots are on, if I'm watching the NFL at all I have the Red Zone channel on in the background while I do other things, meaning CBS and FOX rarely get my eyeballs on the games they paid eleventy seventy chillion dollars for. I can't imagine I'm alone on that one.
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4260781)
It's WORLD HISTORIC!

God, such primadonnas.
   15. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4260782)
I'm more pissed off about a 1pm start than I am about it being on MLBN.
   16. geonose Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4260786)
Wait a minute, am I understanding this correctly? This game is not on any local station in either Washington or New York? What's up with that?
   17. Spectral Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4260788)
The game is also inexplicably at 1 PM. I can find ways to watch games on networks I don't have, but there's absolutely no plausible way for me to catch a 1 PM game. I really don't know what the MLB gains from putting a game at 1 PM instead of just having multiple games on at the same time.

Are the Nationals like the Cleveland Browns, where they inherited the history of an unrelated franchise with the same name? And if so, do they get the heritage of Senators II as well?


The team generally celebrates baseball in Washington more than identifying with the Expos. I don't know that they directly claim the history of former DC teams, but there's certainly a tip of the cap to their predecessors here.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4260796)
Wait a minute, am I understanding this correctly? This game is not on any local station in either Washington or New York? What's up with that?

A minority of people with low end cable packages don't get the MLB channel. I've got the second tier FIOS ("premium" without any special movie channels) and AFAIK that's had the MLB channel right from the beginning. This is obviously a war of nerves between MLB and the cable companies to see who will crack first.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4260799)
I really don't know what the MLB gains from putting a game at 1 PM instead of just having multiple games on at the same time.


Revenue for twice as many hours' worth of TV programming from its network partner?
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4260801)
The game is also inexplicably at 1 PM. I can find ways to watch games on networks I don't have, but there's absolutely no plausible way for me to catch a 1 PM game. I really don't know what the MLB gains from putting a game at 1 PM instead of just having multiple games on at the same time.

MLB tried that in 1995, and they were deluged with protests from viewers who understandably wanted to see all the games played, not just one. The obvious solution this time would be for MLB to allow a local broadcast channel to pick up its feed, but that would be an act of public spiritedness that baseball wouldn't even begin to consider.
   21. Spectral Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4260803)
MLB tried that in 1995, and they were deluged with protests from viewers who understandably wanted to see all the games played, not just one.


I don't really see how this is understandable. How many people are actually able to catch games at 1PM? I'd wager that it's less than the number of fans that want to see specific teams play and would rather be given the choice between two games at night. I suppose that would require the MLB allowing a local channel to pick up a feed though, which is clearly out of the question for some mindboggling reason.

I feel like local governments should carry a bit bigger hammer with this sort of thing when they put up huge amounts of money to cover stadiums. I'm OK with blowing $600 million on a stadium, but if a city's going to do that, the MLB doesn't get to treat their product as a purely private item; it's now in the domain of public interest.
   22. just plain joe Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4260806)
I'm not going to take the time to look this up (call me out if I'm wrong) but I'm quite confident that the NFL Network is available to a greater audience and in general is on lower tiered packages.


On my cable system the NFL Network and MLB TV (or whatever it is) are both on the same higher tier. When the NFL Network first started it was carried as part of the basic package but was bumped into a higher tier after a few months. AFAIK MLB TV was part of the higher tier from the beginning.
   23. Chris Needham Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4260810)
Wait a minute, am I understanding this correctly? This game is not on any local station in either Washington or New York? What's up with that?

What playoff game (in this round!) IS available on local TV? Other than the World Series and whichever LCS Fox gets, the postseason is mostly a cable thing, and has been for a few years.
   24. Spectral Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4260811)
I just checked for DirecTV and it appears that MLB TV and NFL Network are on the same package level. The NBA channel is on a higher package for some reason. Personally, I can't imagine going without the full sports pack though, and there's not much else on TV that I really care about (aside from Breaking Bad).
   25. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4260814)
For Verizon MLBN is on the sports package and it cost 9.95 a month. I believe the NFL network and all its various other channels is in the same package.
   26. Gamingboy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4260818)
What playoff game (in this round!) IS available on local TV? Other than the World Series and whichever LCS Fox gets, the postseason is mostly a cable thing, and has been for a few years.


It's been true for basically every sport except for the NFL for years.
   27. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4260820)
MLB should have one of the game starting at 6pm tomorrow and not 1pm. Or really it should probably go 5:30, 6pm, 8:30, and 9pm.
   28. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4260824)
Go to a bar.

Word up. The amount of whining that goes on here in the wealthiest area of the country is just unbelievable.

Are the Nationals like the Cleveland Browns, where they inherited the history of an unrelated franchise with the same name? And if so, do they get the heritage of Senators II as well? Maybe Bernie Allen can throw out the first pitch.

Another sigh. I really do look forward to the eventual blessed day when we no longer have to keep rehashing out the whole Nationals/Expos/Senators thing, because frankly it's starting to get a little tiresome. Fifteen to twenty more years should do it, but I hope that it's fewer than that.
   29. Chris Needham Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4260826)
[27] The problem is there could be 4 games tomorrow or 2. They don't want to double up on games so they want each to have their own timeslot. If all 4 series are going, the Nats would have to be slotted at 1, just because of the 2 west-coast teams. So rather than wait until late tonight or tomorrow to decide, they just locked in the Nats at 1.

Either people would be upset that they'd have no notice, or they'll be upset at the start time.
   30. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4260828)
First tier FIOS does not have a lot of things, including NFL network or MLB. It's about $20 a month more to go to second tier and since I don't really care about anything else they have on the second tier, I didn't buy it.....I can't watch the game tomorrow anyway since I am at work..I do wish I had it now.
   31. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4260833)
And if the Reds and Tigers win then MLB has 1 game on at 1pm eastern time and 1 game on at 7:40. So the 1pm game is noon in STL and 10am on the West Coast. That is ideal? Then the only other game is on at 6:40 in the midwest and 4:40 on the West Coast, that is ideal?

Seems to me a 5:30, 6:00, 8:30, 9pm setup solves the problem.


Either people would be upset that they'd have no notice, or they'll be upset at the start time.


didn't the schedule that announced a 1pm start for the Nationals come out yesterday?
   32. OsunaSakata Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4260836)
There are flags above the scoreboard for 1924, 1925 and 1933. Check if there are flags for those years at Target Field.

Next year there will at least be a 2012 NL East flag. (Or 2012 National League Champions or 2012 World Champions.) I don't think there will be a "We beat the Cardinals but got crushed by the Reds flag."
   33. bunyon Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4260845)
I really do look forward to the eventual blessed day when we no longer have to keep rehashing out the whole Nationals/Expos/Senators thing, because frankly it's starting to get a little tiresome. Fifteen to twenty more years should do it, but I hope that it's fewer than that.

I imagine in 15 to 20 years San Jose will be whining about the whole Nationals/Expos/Senators/Nationals thing.
   34. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4260860)
I don't have cable at all, so unless I get fascinated by the NLCS, I'm going to save my October TV baseball for the World Series on FOX (with the sound down, mind you).

I must be one of a tiny percentage of Americans with broadcast TV but without cable. As TFPetition notes, we're probably disproportionately poor (and hence not worth considering as a demographic to reach).


I'm part of that insignificant group, too. I can't bring myself to pay for television, however entertaining some of it is. When the cable companies (or whoever runs the show in the future) let me pick and choose what I want to watch instead of sticking me with a hundred time-wasting channels, let me know.
   35. Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4260864)
I am super annoyed about the 1 pm start but I get why it is happening. Wish I didn't have to burn a vacation day though. Anybody need a ticket? I got an extra one since my wife can no longer come with me.
   36. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4260867)
Well, Washington's last home playoff game wasn't on TV at all, now was it? (You people are so ungrateful...!)
   37. Spectral Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4260870)
Oh, I wish so much I could justify taking the afternoon off. Too much to do though. Trying to catch a chunk of the game in an NIH coffee shop is about the best I can hope for.
   38. Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4260871)
Well, Washington's last home playoff game wasn't on TV at all, now was it? (You people are so ungrateful...!)


heh. it was also probably in the middle of the afternoon as well.
   39. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4260878)
It looks like mlb.tv is streaming these cable rounds without blackouts for 4.99:

mlb.tv for 4.99

I streamed mlb.tv to my TV this year, with good picture results, though mlb.tv itself was unreliable compared to Extra Innings. Do others with mlb.tv stream to TVs, or is it mostly to computers? I ask because I've been experimenting being one of the "tiny percentage of Americans with broadcast TV but without cable," and I've found that the streamable content is more than I really need (e.g., the major pro sports packages except for the NFL).
   40. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4260879)
I am super annoyed about the 1 pm start but I get why it is happening. Wish I didn't have to burn a vacation day though. Anybody need a ticket? I got an extra one since my wife can no longer come with me.

I might have three extra playoff tickets as well since the 1pm game has caused everyone I know to bail or not be able to go. I've got them up for sale on stubhub now at the cheapest price for the section but the 1pm game is really killing the market so I have no idea if they'll sell or not.
   41. Spectral Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4260881)
When the cable companies (or whoever runs the show in the future) let me pick and choose what I want to watch instead of sticking me with a hundred time-wasting channels, let me know.


It sounds like you're looking for DVR. It exists and costs around $5 per month on top of whatever your normal rate is. Most cable companies also have on demand versions of popular shows. Really, it seems like you're asking for features that the cable companies are currently offering.
   42. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4260889)
Most cable companies also have on demand versions of popular shows. Really, it seems like you're asking for features that the cable companies are currently offering.

Except the cable companies make you buy a basic package first, and then bundle up a bunch of channels at various different prices, and pay for various different options just to watch some things when you want to watch them.

I believe he is asking for the ability to pay for only certain channels and options instead of having to spend 100 dollars or more a month on hundreds of channels he'll never visit.
   43. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4260902)
I am super annoyed about the 1 pm start but I get why it is happening.

As soon as I found out there would be 2 LDS games on MLBN, I predicted where they would be: Washington and Detroit. Yep.

Yet another reason why I want a Nats-Tigers World Series: it would induce the MLB and TV executives to kill themselves.
   44. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4260919)
Yep. Win enough games, and eventually the mavens of Madison Avenue have to put you on the big stage, whether they like it or not.
   45. Perry Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4260936)
One thing the NFL does right is put games involving the local team on broadcast TV if it's a network cable telecast. IOW, if the Broncos are playing on ESPN or NFL, during the game that network is blacked out here in Colorado and the game is shown on an over-the-air channel.
   46. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4260968)
That's because CBS and NBC are spending billions of dollars each year.
   47. Perry Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4260980)
That's because CBS and NBC are spending billions of dollars each year.


And Fox is spending billions for baseball. So why not show the game on MLB everywhere else but show it on the local Fox affiliate in DC and St. Louis?
   48. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4260986)
Fox only paid for one Championship series and the World Series.

Down to just two extra tickets for tomorrow.
   49. depletion Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4261034)
I must be one of a tiny percentage of Americans with broadcast TV but without cable

Me, too. Not poor, just ch..I mean thrifty.
McCoy how much for one of the tickets? You can BBTF message me if you want.
   50. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4261055)
I've got two tickets left for section 135 WW. Face value of $65 and I'm selling them on stubhub for $75.

A big tumble from two weeks ago. Thank you 1pm start time. I could have sold them two weeks ago for anywhere from 130 to 150 dollars.
   51. depletion Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4261063)
OK, thanks. I'll email you soon if I can get time to go.
Regards,
Tim
   52. depletion Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4261079)
Can't do it. It sounds like fun though. Good luck selling them.
Regards,
Tim
   53. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4261094)
And Fox is spending billions for baseball. So why not show the game on MLB everywhere else but show it on the local Fox affiliate in DC and St. Louis?


Seems odd that MLB doesn't give a DC station the opportunity to air the game. The NFL Network does that for the home team market on the Thursday night games.
   54. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4261115)
The NFL is pulling a game off of Sunday to put it on their network on Thursday. Fox and CBS spend billions of dollars every year to get highly rated content each Sunday. By pulling highly valued teams from Sunday and moving it to Thursday the NFL is greatly devaluing the value of their package in the eyes of Fox and CBS. If Chicago is on Thursday night that means Fox loses all of that revenue and eyeballs in Chicago that it would have had if the Bears were playing on Sunday. Letting Fox air the game locally maintains the value of the package to the broadcast companies.
   55. JJ1986 Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4261130)
Whenever the Ravens play on Thursday, the game is on NBC locally, even though the game would have been on CBS on Sunday.
   56. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4261135)
I think the local over-the-air broadcasts of the cable NFL games are put up for bid, as opposed to the NFL giving something to back to their broadcast partners.
   57. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4261173)
Apparently it is an anti-trust obligation. The NFL is required to offer any game that is on cable to be broadcasted on free tv locally. I believe it is the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961.
   58. Pirate Joe Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4261177)
When the NFL shows those games on a local channel, the local stations bid on the games. High bidder wins. In Pittsburgh normally the local CBS affiliate wins, but the Steelers' game on Thursday night is actually going to be on the local CW channel because all the network stations are showing the Vice Presidential debate.


   59. DA Baracus Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4261184)
The NFL is pulling a game off of Sunday to put it on their network on Thursday. Fox and CBS spend billions of dollars every year to get highly rated content each Sunday. By pulling highly valued teams from Sunday and moving it to Thursday the NFL is greatly devaluing the value of their package in the eyes of Fox and CBS.


And yet last year they both signed 9 year extensions at almost twice the price of the contracts they're on now.
   60. base ball chick Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4261252)
9. Gamingboy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4260752)

Go to a bar.


- excuse you, mister
i am not going to a *()^*(ing BAR at 12 NOON.
i don't even know what the eff bar would be showing a baseball game at NOON - not around here when there's something exciting like golf or watching paint dry
i could carry a sign in 3 languages saying - do NOT bother me i am watching the ballgame - and i would still get harrassed


mlb network is not on standard cable here in houston. i have no idea whether or not the new astros rsn is even going to be on standard cable. we are sure as **** not paying extra for more channels.

this putting playoff games on an inaccessible channel is bullshpit.

mlb.tv sometimes runs fine, sometimes it doesn't - has nothing to do with the speed of your internet - sometimes, they just have effups with their broadcasts. my mama has a subscription so she can watch the cards. it's great for watching the rerun of the other teams' braodcasts, if you want. but live, it is a problem. i have also been told it is a serious problem at hotels, not sure why.

   61. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4261256)
3. Aren't the Expos are the 1993-2001 Marlins? Or are the Red Sox the Marlins, and Expos the Red Sox? It's about as confusing as a local businessman owner abandoning his local club. In this case - two, Henry and the Expos' majority-turned-minority* owners.

* When they refused to respond to modest cash calls to invest in the club.
   62. DA Baracus Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4261261)
i am not going to a *()^*(ing BAR at 12 NOON.


Better chance for the rest of us to get a table!
   63. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4261278)
Ticket prices keep dropping for tomorrow afternoon's games.

When I got home and checked prices around 4:30pm today the cheapest tickets were listed at something like $32 and now the cheapest tickets are $21.

   64. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4261294)
I can't see the game tomorrow. And I have a billionty channels. just not mlb network. fml
   65. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4261334)
When I got home and checked prices around 4:30pm today the cheapest tickets were listed at something like $32 and now the cheapest tickets are $21.


Wow, too bad my girlfriend has to work or we might actually go for that price!
   66. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4261341)
Well, it is now $20 but it is for SRO and you also have to factor in the fees which would put the total at around 50 or so dollars for two.

Cheapest seat is $39 for upper RF terrace

Correction-it is now down to $15 for SRO.
   67. Spectral Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4261345)
With 2,200 tickets still available, it could fall even further. Really, if you can make it to the game and don't mind standing, it's a hell of a deal at this point. I'm sorely tempted to blow off work, I'd just have to figure out how to schedule that.
   68. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4261356)
I'm just glad I was able to sell one ticket at above cost.
   69. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4261412)
One ticket left! And prices keep dropping.
   70. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4261415)
I'm looking at Thursday . . .
   71. Dan Evensen Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:43 AM (#4261432)
The start time is frustrating to me, since I'm in China right now. I'm not geting up at 1 AM to watch this game.

Go to a bar.

At 1 PM on a Wednesday?

MLB tried that in 1995, and they were deluged with protests from viewers who understandably wanted to see all the games played, not just one. The obvious solution this time would be for MLB to allow a local broadcast channel to pick up its feed, but that would be an act of public spiritedness that baseball wouldn't even begin to consider.

Thank you, Andy, for finally mentioning the Baseball Network debacle -- which, as is so often forgotten, was Bud Selig's responsibility. Baseball fans were very frustrated when four games were played simultaneously that year and aired regionally. There was a pretty damning Sports Illustrated article about Game 2 of the Mariners - Yankees series, an incredibly exciting game that could have helped baseball immensely after the strike, and which was seen by a very small television audience.

I don't mind the early afternoon start times. After all, the entire postseason (World Series) was played at that time for decades. I don't mind having the division series games on cable, either, though that's mostly because I have cable.
However, I can remember being very upset when the NBA disallowed local broadcasts of playoff games a few years ago.

Of course, as baseball chick alluded to, this is bad for the game in general. It's kind of hard to make new fans when your premier product is on a premium cable channel.

Seems to me a 5:30, 6:00, 8:30, 9pm setup solves the problem.

If you have 4 television networks, maybe. With two, you'll run into a problem if that 5:30 game goes a bit longer. Plus, you're not guaranteeing the broadcasting network that theirs is the only baseball game in that timeslot.

Seems to me that going back to the two division setup with only 4 playoff teams solves the problem.

[T]he ability to pay for only certain channels and options instead of having to spend 100 dollars or more a month on hundreds of channels he'll never visit.

This is the real problem, and it reaches far beyond the realm of baseball.
   72. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:47 AM (#4261456)
If you have 4 television networks, maybe. With two, you'll run into a problem if that 5:30 game goes a bit longer. Plus, you're not guaranteeing the broadcasting network that theirs is the only baseball game in that timeslot.

TBS/TNT solves the problem of timeslot and MLBN can always carry a game until another one is wrapped up.
   73. SOLockwood Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4261460)
11: To be pedantic it will be the sixth home playoff game in the franchise's history. There were also two games of the 1981 NLDS in Montreal.
   74. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4261482)
Go to a bar.


Are people really not willing to go to a bar at noon/1PM on a weekday? Assuming you don't have to be at work what's the big deal? No one is saying you have to get hammered. I rarely drink and I love going to bars. Get some apps, have a soda and watch the game. I find if you are friendly and tip well bartenders are cool with it.

Having said that people shouldn't have to go to a bar to see a game. It's possible that people under 21 might enjoy the game and they can't go to a bar and just generally if people want to stay home and watch the game they should be able to.
   75. Greg Schuler Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4261489)
I don't really see how this is understandable. How many people are actually able to catch games at 1PM? I'd wager that it's less than the number of fans that want to see specific teams play and would rather be given the choice between two games at night. I suppose that would require the MLB allowing a local channel to pick up a feed though, which is clearly out of the question for some mindboggling reason.

I feel like local governments should carry a bit bigger hammer with this sort of thing when they put up huge amounts of money to cover stadiums. I'm OK with blowing $600 million on a stadium, but if a city's going to do that, the MLB doesn't get to treat their product as a purely private item; it's now in the domain of public interest.


Well, the games were played in the stadium that was built with all that public money. If you're arguing that the use of public money should dictate the scheduling of events in that stadium and the broadcast of those events to the local populace, wouldn't that allow more people to watch the game and possibly not fill the stadium. Or not.

Or do you mean that a private business has civic pride implications and as a sporting team and event, that civic pride takes precedence over all existing business contracts and dealings? Hard to say other than you want the game on TV so everyone can watch and not have to be inconvenienced in any way.
   76. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4261495)
When the cable companies (or whoever runs the show in the future) let me pick and choose what I want to watch instead of sticking me with a hundred time-wasting channels, let me know.
In this case, the FCC is the villain. Cable companies aren't allowed to let you pick and choose what you want to watch, even if they wanted to.
   77. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4261501)
I don't really see how this is understandable. How many people are actually able to catch games at 1PM?

Call in sick. Your world won't end and your company won't fold. It's sure as hell a lot better for lots of other people (school kids) than games that end after midnight. "Think about the lawyers" isn't any more convincing than "think about the children".

And BTW if you haven't noticed it by now, the Nats' game 4 will start at 4:00 while the Reds begin at 1:00. And if the Nats-Cards goes to a fifth game, it'll be in prime time (8:30) while the Yankees-O's are set for 5:00. So it's not as if the Nats are being singled out for any particular sort of mistreatment.
   78. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4261505)
In this case, the FCC is the villain. Cable companies aren't allowed to let you pick and choose what you want to watch, even if they wanted to.

I didn't know this. Pretty archaic of the FCC in this case. The internet model of paying one entity for bandwidth and another for content is much better. Cable and telco companies are extremely wrapped up in financing elected officials, so I am not confident that the best solution is the likely solution.
   79. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4261508)
Your world won't end and your company won't fold

I'm self-employed as a defender of earth from aliens. My contract requires 24/7/365.
   80. asinwreck Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4261511)
Go to a bar.

At 1 PM on a Wednesday?


Hardly unusual behavior in the District of Columbia.
   81. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4261517)
In this case, the FCC is the villain. Cable companies aren't allowed to let you pick and choose what you want to watch, even if they wanted to.


Someone with a better understanding of the business of cable can probably explain this but I have a sense that if we went to an a la carte model the price wouldn't change much, the options would. I would think the infrastructure of delivering cable requires a certain cost and that, not the channels themselves, is what is driving the pricing. Right now I have several hundred channels of which I watch about 20. If I wanted to select the 20 I watch and only those 20 what would the cost be per channel? I would expect it to spike making my cable package roughly the same cost it is today.

I think in my lifetime this model is going to come into vogue though. I think at some point we're going to see a total blend of cable and internet so that when I turn on my TV I'll simply be turning on my browser and if I want to watch Fringe rather than tuning to channel 508 I'll go to www.fox.com. I think the a la carte model will work then with certain channels requiring log ins and the ultimate cost to be similar to what I pay today.

I'm self-employed as a defender of earth from aliens. My contract requires 24/7/365.


You probably shouldn't be posting here. Remain at your post!
   82. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4261542)
Someone with a better understanding of the business of cable can probably explain this but I have a sense that if we went to an a la carte model the price wouldn't change much, the options would. I would think the infrastructure of delivering cable requires a certain cost and that, not the channels themselves, is what is driving the pricing. Right now I have several hundred channels of which I watch about 20. If I wanted to select the 20 I watch and only those 20 what would the cost be per channel? I would expect it to spike making my cable package roughly the same cost it is today.
Yes and no, IMO.

Carriage fees (the money cable providers pay channels) are pretty expensive, and my understanding of the industry is that they're largely responsible for cable rates being as high as they are. This is a list of cable channels and their carriage fees from 2009. The fee listed is what the cable/satellite provider paid the network per subscriber per month. Three years ago, cable companies were paying $6.50 a month for every household they served, just for the right to transmit ESPN and FSN. Add another $0.50-$1.00 a month for each of ten channels like TNT, Disney, USA, and CNN, and things begin to spiral from there.

Obviously those rates are negotiable. When Fox launched their business channel several years ago, for instance, they gave cable companies a break on the FNC carriage fee if they agreed to carry Fox Business.

I agree with you about the consequences of a la carte programming, though. I think many people would end up spending about the same amount and getting less channels. Niche networks would have to jack their prices up sky high to make up for lost revenue.

An example: I love Fox Soccer Channel. Most people don't. I've switched cable companies because my previous provider didn't renew its contract to carry FSC. In an a la carte situation, I'd absolutely order Fox Soccer. If 95% of their current households dropped the channel, which seems likely, they'd have to make up that revenue somehow. That somehow would come out of my pocket.

I wouldn't subscribe to The Tennis Channel. Maybe my neighbor would. Maybe the guy next to him would subscribe to The Outdoor Network, and someone else would subscribe to BET Jazz. We'd all be paying out the wazoo for those specific channels because most people would drop them like they're Josh Hamilton and niche networks are a popup in Game 162.
   83. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4261546)
Really wish I had the vacation time to burn. Unfortunately there's no bar close to my dump of an office in Annandale.
   84. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4261564)
Cue Club Cafe
7014 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA , (703)941-7665
I have never been there and have no interest, financial or otherwise in this establishment.
   85. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4261565)
Kilroy's
5250 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA
Ravensworth Shopping Center

You can do it! Blow off work! Blow off work!
   86. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4261627)
Sadly I don't have a car (I take a bus in), so I'm really limited to how far I can get around Annandale, and I doubt the local KFC, Wendy's, Taco Bell or Mexican Chicken place will be playing it. MLB Gameday it is!
   87. SoSH U at work Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4261649)
Are people really not willing to go to a bar at noon/1PM on a weekday? Assuming you don't have to be at work what's the big deal?


In BBC's case, and I'm sure others, the fact that she has children in whose care she has been entrusted kind of makes for a dealbreaker. It's one thing to watch the game at home while the lil'uns watch Phineas and Ferb in the next room. It's another to tell them not to touch the passed out man in the corner.

   88. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4261654)
In BBC's case, and I'm sure others, the fact that she has children in whose care she has been entrusted kind of makes for a dealbreaker. It's one thing to watch the game at home while the lil'uns watch Phineas and Ferb in the next room. It's another to tell them not to touch the passed out man in the corner.


True. On the other hand kids are cheap drunks. Slip them a whiskey in the first inning and they'll be asleep by the third. That's just good parenting.
   89. Spectral Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4261696)
Well, my usually excellent impulse control didn't work today... standing room ticket purchased, work about to be ditched. Let's go Jackson!
   90. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4261706)
I'm thinking I'll end up walking around the park as my seat is kind of crappy.
   91. Chris Needham Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4261717)
So tempted to walk down there and just see what seats I can dig up with a scalper... impulse control is fading!

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