Baseball Deal May Lead to Explosion For DirecTV
The number of Americans purchasing the DirecTV satellite service has a chance to explode between now and April, with word coming this week that the satellite provider has agreed to a seven-year, $700 million deal with Major League Baseball to exclusively televise the sport’s out-of-market regular season games, starting next month.
The MLB Extra Innings service is popular because it provides game coverage for the nation’s many baseball fans who live in a different market than the one in which their favorite team plays. A New York Yankees fan living in San Francisco, say, can subscribe to Extra Innings in order to view each Yankee broadcast, as opposed to only locally televised Giants games.
The exclusive deal had been rumored for months but was officially acknowledged for the first time by both parties on Monday. The Extra Innings package had previously been available on DirecTV, rival DishNetwork, and through various local cable services. But now, fans wishing to see teams other than those in their hometown will have to either purchase DirecTV, watch games online (for a fee) through MLB.com, find a local restaurant or bar that airs the games, or go without their baseball fix altogether. It’s expected, if the deal goes through, that many fans will go with the first option.