Next Broadcast Battle For Baseball: Slingbox?
Major League Baseball may have lost its months-long fight to put its out-of-market baseball package exclusively on DirecTV, but that hasn’t kept the sport from trying to continue controlling where its games can be viewed.
Now, baseball’s top lawyer has made noises about going after Sling Media, makers of the Slingbox device, for allowing fans to watch out-of-town games, the Web site Ars Technica, citing Hollywood Reporter Esq., reported Wednesday.
The Slingbox, launched in early 2006, is a “place-shifting” TV-streaming device that allows users to watch their own television from anywhere in the world, via an internet connection. Therefore, a baseball fan from Chicago, traveling in New York, could use the Slingbox to watch a local Chicago broadcast of a Cubs game, streamed from his home. At issue, for baseball, is that that fan would in their view be circumventing both baseball’s national cable and satellite contracts, as well as the Cubs’ local broadcast deal. MLB general counsel Michael Mellis said as much to the Hollywood Reporter.