MLB Says Thanks But No Thanks to Cable Counteroffer
Get those dishes ready. After some late-in-the-game uncertainty, it now appears that baseball’s Extra Innings package will go exclusively to DirecTV after all.
In announcing its exclusive deal for DirecTV to carry its out-of-market premium package earlier this month, Major League Baseball put in a surprise last-minute provision that gave the package’s other current providers- the InDemand cable consortium and DishNetwork- an opportunity to match the offer by the end of March. But after InDemand did just that Wednesday afternoon, MLB took just over 30 minutes to reject the offer out of hand.
InDemand, an on-demand service owned by several major cable systems, agreed to match the terms of the $700 million deal, even agreeing to carry the baseball and DirecTV-owned Baseball Channel when it launches in 2009. But Bob DuPuy, MLB’s chief operating officer, announced less than an hour later that the response “falls short” of DirecTV’s offer.