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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Resnick: MLB Strikes Out By Not Televising The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners Series

For those looking for the game (well…I guess it’s time to load in another disturbing Man with a Camera eppy)...

The 2012 Major League Baseball season kicks off in Japan Wednesday morning with the Seattle Mariners taking on the Oakland Athletics.  Yet, for some inexplicable reason MLB has decided not to broadcast either of the two games on ESPN or on MLB Network.  Mariners fans are in luck as Root Sports will be broadcasting the games live while MLB TV will air both games on a three hour tape delay.  As for the A’s local station Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, the game isn’t going to be shown live or tape delayed.

A’s fans aren’t happy with that decision by Comcast not to show the game. David Koppett the Senior Executive Producer/Live Events for Comcast wrote in response to A’s fans dissatisfaction in regards to not being able to watch the game. He responded with “we did give this a great deal of thought, and there were extensive discussions about it with the A’s and MLB. For contractual reasons (and, honestly, financial and logistical reasons too,) adding these two games would have required trading them for two others on our 144-game regular season schedule. Given that the games will be played at 2 am and 3 am PDT, and that Sharks and Kings conflicts would prevent us from re-airing them in prime time when most viewers could watch, we couldn’t justify losing two games played at friendlier times of day later in the season.

MLB Network will be airing the games at 6 am on Wednesday and Thursday, so you will have an opportunity to see them.

...MLB clearly struck out by not broadcasting the game live and there’s no justifiable excuse for why it is not.

Repoz Posted: March 28, 2012 at 05:55 AM | 138 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, mariners, television

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   101. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4091118)
Are there enough viewers to support a Japan channel?

Well, there's NHK World in English, which I watched a lot during the tsunami. It's available on a handful of cable systems and secondary channels in the US.

Plus, it's fun to wake up and watch baseball.

This. In a perfect world, there would be baseball going on, somewhere, 24/7/365. I wanna wake up in the middle of the night, turn on the radio, and hear, "Bottom of the sixth here in Beijing, with the Mets leading the Dragons 2-0..."
   102. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4091126)
I was surprised that it wasn't on ESPN or ESPN2.
   103. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4091130)
It's amazing how many people post about waking up to watch baseball. Are there enough viewers to support a Japan channel? It could be combination of anime, J-Pop music and Japanese sports. During waking hours in North America, they could show entertainment; from midnight to 9am ET, live baseball or soccer. Is there something like this already that I haven't heard of?


There's probably a financial issue for it but I think there is an opportunity for a "sporting event" channel. With the various sports and time zones it's amazing to me the amount of times I CAN'T watch a live event. Get yourself a few knowledgeable announcers and have them announce the games from the studio to save on travel costs (soccer used to do this with Andres Cantor) while the feeds come in from all points.

Hell, if you do it right you can kind of combine the event with a morning recap show. The announcers talk over the game and focus on the game but at the same time discuss the issues of the day for the sport at hand (sort of the way Spring training is broadcasted), it just seems like there would be a way to make it work. It is truly ridiculous that MLBN didn't show this morning's game live.
   104. hokieneer Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4091142)
It's amazing how many people post about waking up to watch baseball. Are there enough viewers to support a Japan channel?


I was planning on setting my alarm early mainly because it was the opening game to the season, Hernandez was on the bump, and in my mind the game is a once a year novelty type of event. I couldn't see myself getting up 30-40 min early daily to watch baseball from Japan.

Now if there was some kind of pacific rim sports network that had live broadcasts of events from 12am-12pm, then I could easily see myself watching that channel a few minutes daily while I get ready for work.

I still have trouble understanding why the game wasn't live. It's the opening game to the season, MLBN should have shown it live and then replayed it 1-2 times throughout the day.
   105. plim Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4091143)
Yet, for some inexplicable reason MLB has decided not to broadcast either of the two games on ESPN or on MLB Network.
...
MLB Network will be airing the games at 6 am on Wednesday and Thursday, so you will have an opportunity to see them.

am I the only one confused by this apparant contradiction?

   106. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4091145)

This. In a perfect world, there would be baseball going on, somewhere, 24/7/365. I wanna wake up in the middle of the night, turn on the radio, and hear, "Bottom of the sixth here in Beijing, with the Mets leading the Dragons 2-0..."


I was totally buying into the premise until you had the Mets leading.
   107. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4091147)
Yet, for some inexplicable reason MLB has decided not to broadcast either of the two games on ESPN or on MLB Network.
...
MLB Network will be airing the games at 6 am on Wednesday and Thursday, so you will have an opportunity to see them.



am I the only one confused by this apparant contradiction?


On the west coast the game started at 3AM local time.
   108. bunyon Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4091153)
There was a rumor that the Red Sox were trying to line something up in Australia for 2012

Trying to slink out of town to avoid shame isn't the same thing as lining up a season opener.
   109. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4091157)
I suppose you mean you don't see any benefit to you to holding these games in Japan. There is the point Flynn makes and also the international promotion of the game, which I think would be something everyone can get behind. The more cultures that get hooked on baseball the more great players we get to watch. Win-win!

I agree, but Japan is already hooked on baseball. These games might perhaps be somewhat interesting to the Japanese as a novelty, but I seriously doubt it's going to get them that much more interested in MLB. They care about Japanese baseball and how the Japanese players in MLB are doing.

Really, it's no skin off my nose as I don't care much about either or the two teams, but if I was a diehard fan of either one, the opening series being done this way would annoy me greatly.
   110. Guapo Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4091183)
I'm about to bite the bullet and sign up for mlb.tv. I'll mostly be watching games on my Ipad. The "Premium" package is $15 more, but it includes the MLB At Bat 12 app free of charge (a $15 value), which I would need to watch on my Ipad. Is there something I'm missing, or is there any reason I WOULDN'T get the Premium package?

Thanks for any advice anyone has.
   111. Flynn Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4091184)
I agree, but Japan is already hooked on baseball. These games might perhaps be somewhat interesting to the Japanese as a novelty, but I seriously doubt it's going to get them that much more interested in MLB. They care about Japanese baseball and how the Japanese players in MLB are doing.


They're hardly somewhat interested. The games are on national television and I believe the games sold out many months in advance at highly inflated prices.

but I seriously doubt it's going to get them that much more interested in MLB. They care about Japanese baseball and how the Japanese players in MLB are doing.


I would suggest that not letting them see live, real MLB is not going to help MLB in their efforts to become more relevant to Japanese fans. Besides, what's wrong with caring what their countrymen do? It's not like Japan is going to stop producing baseball players. It's a different situation than going to a country where the popularity is based entirely on one transcendent star, like basketball in Germany.

Really, it's no skin off my nose as I don't care much about either or the two teams, but if I was a diehard fan of either one, the opening series being done this way would annoy me greatly.


I get that with NFL fans, since one game in London means only 7 home games, but there are 80 more games for A's fans to go to. Plus the 45,000 in the Tokyo Dome tonight probably surpasses how many fans would go to two games in Oakland. There's another 45,000 tomorrow too.
   112. Dan Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4091246)
I'm about to bite the bullet and sign up for mlb.tv. I'll mostly be watching games on my Ipad. The "Premium" package is $15 more, but it includes the MLB At Bat 12 app free of charge (a $15 value), which I would need to watch on my Ipad. Is there something I'm missing, or is there any reason I WOULDN'T get the Premium package?


Even if you didn't care about the app there's really no reason not to get Premium, since it allows you to choose which broadcast you want to watch for each game. Otherwise you're stuck with the home team's broadcast and stuck hearing guys such as Hawk Harrelson if your team is playing in Chicago, etc. The app coming free with Premium is just the icing on the cake (and new this year).
   113. plim Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4091309)
Really, it's no skin off my nose as I don't care much about either or the two teams, but if I was a diehard fan of either one, the opening series being done this way would annoy me greatly.


i would also dismiss this under the fact that even if oakland was the home team, the real home opener will be in oakland, and they'll still sell out (at least - i would hope they would!)
   114. Nolan Giesbrecht Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4091329)
Another MLB.tv question for the masses:

As a Jays fan who is a 28 hour drive away from the Skydime and who is blacked out of home games by MLB.tv, is there any way around that issue?

I know people around here have mentioned ways to circumvent this problem, but I don't even remember enough to try to google a solution. Something with faking an IP address?
   115. geonose Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4091381)
What am I missing? How did MLB drop the ball here? They don't decide what is being broadcast. To my knowledge they have no control over MLB Network and the certainly have no control over ESPN. If anybody dropped the ball, it's the sports networks, not MLB.
   116. Randy Jones Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4091388)
What am I missing? How did MLB drop the ball here? They don't decide what is being broadcast. To my knowledge they have no control over MLB Network and the certainly have no control over ESPN. If anybody dropped the ball, it's the sports networks, not MLB.


from wiki:
MLB Network is an American television specialty channel dedicated to professional baseball. It is primarily owned by Major League Baseball. Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications have minority ownership of the new network, with MLB retaining a controlling two-thirds share.


So yeah, MLB has a little bit of say in what airs on MLBN.
   117. Nolan Giesbrecht Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4091389)
Another MLB.tv question for the masses:

As a Jays fan who is a 28 hour drive away from the Skydime and who is blacked out of home games by MLB.tv, is there any way around that issue?

I know people around here have mentioned ways to circumvent this problem, but I don't even remember enough to try to google a solution. Something with faking an IP address?
   118. alkeiper Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4091394)
MLB.tv has paid for itself during Spring Training alone. I'll still have no way of watching the Phillies (or Pirates) during the season, but that you can watch a replay 90 minutes after the game negates much of that concern.
   119. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4091396)
What am I missing? How did MLB drop the ball here? They don't decide what is being broadcast. To my knowledge they have no control over MLB Network and the certainly have no control over ESPN. If anybody dropped the ball, it's the sports networks, not MLB.


Beyond what Randy said in #116 MLB shouldn't be just sitting on their hands. If they are going to do this they should have a coherent plan of how their product is being distributed and should have either aired it on MLB (it's insane that they didn't) or come to an arrangement with ESPN, Fox, Lifetime, whoever to air it there.

As a Jays fan who is a 28 hour drive away from the Skydime and who is blacked out of home games by MLB.tv, is there any way around that issue?


Have you considered moving?
   120. Swedish Chef Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4091399)
Have you considered moving?

Rogers is all-powerful in Canada, moving is doubleplusungood.
   121. Poster Nutbag Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4091400)
Isn't it just ####### absurd that the game was BLACKED OUT on MLB.TV....I realize I am in a team's "market".....but the game was a few thousand miles away.....
   122. geonose Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4091404)
MLB has a little bit of say in what airs on MLBN.

Thanks, Randy, I didn't know that.
   123. Dan Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4091414)
All you need to do to fool MLB.tv into thinking you're in a different location is setup a proxy for the HTTPS protocol to an IP in a location that isn't blacked out. You don't even need to proxy HTTP, so the actual streaming video doesn't need to go through the proxy, so it doesn't even need to be a high quality proxy. Any free one will do. You can even get playoff games and Fox and ESPN games on MLB.tv if you proxy to an international IP.
   124. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4091433)
They're hardly somewhat interested. The games are on national television and I believe the games sold out many months in advance at highly inflated prices.

Let's be honest though; the incredibly high interest in these games is primarily driven by the presence of Ichiro.
   125. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4091439)
The Red Sox and A's sold out the Tokyo Dome in 2008.
   126. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4091448)
Daisuke Matsuzaka.
   127. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4091458)
Didn't pitch.

I guess you'd say the 2004 games were sold out because of Hideki Matsui. The Cubs and Mets sold out the Tokyo Dome in 2000, and Masato Yoshii had left the Mets for the Rockies by then, I checked.

Major League Baseball is a huge draw in Japan, because Japanese people are big baseball fans.

EDIT: That should be, of course, "didn't pitch both games". The second Red Sox - A's games, with not a single Japanese player in either lineup or on either mound, sold out as well.
   128. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4091469)
Joey - Even if you are right and the presence of Japanese players on these rosters is the driving factor the reality is that Japanese players are here to stay. I have a hard to believing that there will be a time in the foreseeable future when a Japanese star isn't on a Major League Baseball. I have no doubt that the Yankees in '04, Sox in '08 and Mariners this year were chosen in part because of the presence of the guys you mentioned. Those types of players will continue to be on MLB rosters (Rangers in 2014?) in coming years.

As McOA notes I think you are being too simplistic. Given what we have seen from other sports in other countries including attendance at soccer exhibitions here in the US I think we can expect these types of games to be successful and to be a part of a larger marketing plan.
   129. Dat Yat Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4091475)
Apparently game 2 is now going to be broadcast live on MLBN. A's just posted it to their facebook feed.
   130. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4091480)
Wait, Joey B. is being too simplistic? Noooooo...
   131. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4091481)
Apparently game 2 is now going to be broadcast live on MLBN. A's just posted it to their facebook feed.

Does that mean it won't be on MLB.tv?

Wait, Joey B. is being too simplistic? Noooooo...

Don't pick on Joey when he's not being an #######.
   132. Dat Yat Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4091511)
Does that mean it won't be on MLB.tv?

The Seattle broadcast is still showing on tomorrow's schedule for MLB.tv.
   133. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4091539)
MLB Network doesn't black out MLB.tv.
   134. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4091555)
Joey - Even if you are right and the presence of Japanese players on these rosters is the driving factor the reality is that Japanese players are here to stay. I have a hard to believing that there will be a time in the foreseeable future when a Japanese star isn't on a Major League Baseball.

I have no problem at all with Japanese players. I just have a problem with these early regular season games in Japan, especially when they're taking place a full week before the real start of the season. To me, they're kind of ridiculous.

Look, I understand why the big sports leagues dream of truly going global, I totally get it. But the idea of a Major League Baseball team in Japan is a fantasy. It's impossible to make it work logistically, and the players will never agree to it. Nor should they, and I sure wouldn't if I was one.
   135. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4091561)
I'd like there to be baseball 365 days/year. What is the problem with extra baseball viewing opportunities?
   136. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4091597)
I have no problem at all with Japanese players. I just have a problem with these early regular season games in Japan, especially when they're taking place a full week before the real start of the season. To me, they're kind of ridiculous.

Look, I understand why the big sports leagues dream of truly going global, I totally get it. But the idea of a Major League Baseball team in Japan is a fantasy. It's impossible to make it work logistically, and the players will never agree to it. Nor should they, and I sure wouldn't if I was one.


I guess I can't really disagree with any of that but I don't think that's the goal. This is ultimately just a cash grab by MLB. I don't think we can argue too convincingly that the teams are being put at a disadvantage competitively as the first three Japanese games have resulted in a World Series appearance (2000 Mets), a division title and LCS berth (2004 Yankees) and an LCS berth (2008 Red Sox).

I suspect the players probably don't love this. The 2008 Sox had a brief "strike" before a televised spring training game because of the compensation for the coaching staff. The truth is that MLB players don't exactly deal with any change especially willingly.

I think to argue that this is "stupid" (or however you and a few others have phrased it) you have to be arguing that it is more than I think it is.
   137. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4091600)
I'd like there to be baseball 365 days/year.

Preach it, brother. Why doesn't MLBN have live coverage of fall and winter ball, f'rinstance? Arizona? Australia? Carribean? Why not an NPB Game of the Week? Korea? Taiwan? How about Haarlem Baseball Week? Or the occasional AAA or college game? High school all-star games? American Legion National Championships?

There's lots and lots and lots of baseball MLBN could be covering...but instead, we get dumb@ss studio shows, which I guess are lot easier and cheaper. Pfui.
   138. TerpNats Posted: March 28, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4091675)
The MLB Network shows its share of minor-league games during the season (usually on weekday afternoons, picking up a team's TV feed) and fall and winter baseball as well.
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