Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blackout regulations to be addressed

Rob Neyer has a quick post regarding the MLB Owners' decision to revisit the unbelievably ridiculous blackout rules the clubs enforce.

True story: I lived for a significant portion of my life in Abilene, TX. I ordered the MLB Extra Innings package one season. Opening Night I had a party where we invited a bunch of people over to watch G1 of the season. So we get everything ready, people show up. Turn the channel over to the game, and get three hours of black screen. The game had been blacked out.

If you're familiar with your Texas geography, Abilene is a six-hour drive from Houston (though I once made the trip in 4:57. God bless you, Highway 36.) The way Fox Sports Southwest explained it, it was physically possible for me to drive to the game, thus - blackout. I only saw about 40 Astros games that season, even though I had paid the $170, or whatever. And note - you can't cancel the Extra Innings Package. Think of it as a six-month long PPV movie.

Here's Neyer:
If the owners can agree to dispense with their terribly arcane and unfair territorial blackout rules, that would be yet another victory for the fans.
Sure, neither of these things really makes a huge difference to most fans. But that's not really the point. The point is to do the right thing when you can, and seem to care about the happiness of your customers. Most owners don't actually care about their customers, of course ... but as long as the results are good, why worry about motives?

Rob Neyer - I agree with thee.

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