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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sorry, fans: No televised Mariners games for most of Alaska

Yeah, but can’t you see Moscow Tornados games from Alaska?

Thanks to a media contract dispute and Major League Baseball’s infuriating television blackout zones, Seattle Mariners fans who live in Alaska will have an extremely difficult time watching live games played by their favorite team next season.

Alaska’s largest cable provider, GCI, decided not to renew its contract with Root Sports, the MLB-licensed “Regional Sports Network” that exclusively televises the majority of games in a Seattle Mariners season, and instead has signed up with MLB Network.

GCI told the trade publication Multichannel News that Root Sports was asking for too much of a price hike to renew the contract. Root has countered by blaming GCI and telling people who are upset to switch their service to a competitor.

That decision should please non-Mariners fans because MLB Network features a huge variety of games and other content. But the problem for Mariners fans (aside from the team finishing above .500 just twice in the last eight years) is that MLB Network does not show Mariners games in Alaska due to its regional blackout policy.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:31 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, mariners, media

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   1. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4035601)
I wonder if Aleut Baseball is being televised in Alaska?
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4035606)
Given the quality of the Mariners, sounds like a good break for Alaska.
   3. JRVJ Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4035610)
I've only been to Seattle once (and ironically, I got there by train from Vancouver, Oct 2010).

WHen flying out (to Houston and then to Panama), I was struck by how the Continental flight was coming from Alaska and had left from Alaska at 2:00 A.M. or such. Plus, I was told in my city tour about a bunch of fishing boats that go up to Alaska that come down to Puget sound for repairs during the non-fishing season.

All in all, to the extent that Alaska follow baseball, it should follow the Mariners.
   4. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4035612)
Of course Seattle is part of Alaska. It's the main hub and headquarters for Alaska Airlines!
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4035628)
Maybe the A's can move there if they can negotiate the rights away from the Mariners.
   6. Shredder Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4035689)
This actually may slightly irritate my brother. And me if the Angels play the mariners when I go to Anchorage this summer.
   7. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4035710)
WHen flying out (to Houston and then to Panama), I was struck by how the Continental flight was coming from Alaska and had left from Alaska at 2:00 A.M. or such.

I've been to Alaska (from eastern Canada) once and I flew through Seattle. On the way back, I had to experience what people in Fairbanks call "the never ending day". I flew from Fairbanks at 1am (It wasn't really dark since it was mid-june), landed in Seattle in the early morning then flew to Toronto, then Quebec City. I got home at 6pm, barely 13 hours later.

When I was there, I noticed a lot of ballfields and there was a softball tournament in town.
   8. Boxkutter Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4035715)
I used to visit Alaska every summer growing up, lived there for my Junior year of high school, then finally went back to visit again this past summer (first time in 15 years). There never seemed to be a large number of Mariner fans up there. Alaskans always seemed very indifferent towards major league sports.
   9. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4035728)
So now we know what the Giants are getting in exchange for giving up Santa Clara county.
   10. Greg Pope Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4035822)
It's hard to tell who's right in a price dispute, but the blackout zones make no sense. Are people in Iowa really attending a lot of Cubs games that they'd stay home for if they were on TV?
   11. Xander Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4035837)
It's not like the NFL where the blackout rules are in place to maintain stability in attendance. It's meant to force people to watch games on their local RSN's.
   12. Greg Pope Posted: January 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4035844)
It's not like the NFL where the blackout rules are in place to maintain stability in attendance. It's meant to force people to watch games on their local RSN's.

Yes, and there are many, many places where the games are blacked out on MLB Network and yet the local RSN doesn't broadcast there. Isn't Las Vegas blacked out of something like 6 teams, but there's no local broadcast of any of them?
   13. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: January 13, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4035870)
I used to visit Alaska every summer growing up, lived there for my Junior year of high school, then finally went back to visit again this past summer (first time in 15 years). There never seemed to be a large number of Mariner fans up there. Alaskans always seemed very indifferent towards major league sports.


I had the opportunity to intern 2 summers in Alaska. Southeast Alaska in the summer (on the days it doesn't rain) is an amazing place. Plus the Alaska Brewing Co. Summer Ale is pretty darn good. Add in salmon/halibut fishing and you have heaven.
   14. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 06:11 AM (#4035918)
Plus the Alaska Brewing Co. Summer Ale is pretty darn good

Their Alaskan Amber is REALLY good too.
   15. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4035946)
Add in salmon/halibut fishing and you have heaven.


I've never had any reason to want to go to Alaska, but now I might go just for the halibut.
   16. Styles P. Deadball Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4035990)
Are people in Iowa really attending a lot of Cubs games


If Harry Caray's shout-outs back in the 80's were any indication, they attended a bunch.

"They're here from Mason City today, pulling for the Cubs."

Repeat every inning, substituting towns, for 15 years
   17. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4036001)
I had the ABC Smoked Porter - also quite good.
   18. TerpNats Posted: January 13, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4036434)
From my two years in Iowa, I can say that northern and northwest Iowa is Twins territory, western and southwest Iowa roots for the Royals, the eastern part of the state cheers for the Cubs and to a lesser extent the White Sox, and southeast and southern Iowa is Cardinals country. Dubuque and northeast idea has some interest in the Brewers as well. Des Moines is sort of split, although the Cubs' longtime presence in town gives them an edge.
   19. Downtown Bookie Posted: January 13, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4036496)
It's not like the NFL where the blackout rules are in place to maintain stability in attendance. It's meant to force people to watch games on their local RSN's.

Yes, and there are many, many places where the games are blacked out on MLB Network and yet the local RSN doesn't broadcast there. Isn't Las Vegas blacked out of something like 6 teams, but there's no local broadcast of any of them?


Exactly. MLB has a blackout rule (with which I agree) designed to protect local RSN's; but MLB enforces the rule even when there are no RSNs to protect; a policy with which I not only disagree, but which I find (for want of a better word) bizarre.

I suppose this is the type of thing that happens when profits are so large that no one can be bothered to be proactive about changing existing company policies that are anti-customer service. By enforcing the blackout rule in those area of the country where there is no need for such a rule, MLB is disenfranchising a significant number of customers (both current and potential); and that's just bad for business, both short-term and long-term.

DB
   20. Shredder Posted: January 13, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4036601)
If we're talking about Alaskan breweries, Midnight Sun in Anchorage is probably one of the best craft breweries in the country.
   21. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4036741)
I didn't see any Mariners fans in Alaska when I went. But I did manage to get a variation on this t-shirt up there.
   22. karkface killah Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4036759)
"They're here from Mason City today, pulling for the Cubs."

I grew up in Eastern Iowa. This is heavy Cubs country. Dubuque, the Quad Cities, CF/Wloo, Iowa City. St. Louis does have a fair number of fans.

If we're talking about Alaskan breweries, Midnight Sun in Anchorage is probably one of the best craft breweries in the country.
I've never had any reason to want to go to Alaska, but now I might go just for the halibut.

Have had extended visits to family in Alaska for many years and spent the majority of a summer there often as a youth. I took my wife a few years ago, and she thought she would hate it- she typically loves the beach, etc. She absolutely had a blast. Go in May or early September and you can get around pretty cheap. Talkeetna for the Moose Dropping Festival (and world-famous softball tournament) is excellent as well. Stop at the Latitude or the Fairview and tell them I said "hi".

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