Think The MLB Blackouts Are Going Away? Think Again

This is what you might see next year if Bud doesn't act now!

Bud Selig said they had to go. The owners said they were going to redraw the ancient and arcane "territorial map" that had, among other things, six teams claiming parts of Iowa as a "home" territory and six others at home in Las Vegas -- neither place has an actual major league team within hundreds of miles.

But if you thought 2009 would bring you, as it was supposed to, the opportunity to watch any MLB game as long as you were willing to pay for it, Maury Brown at Biz of Baseball says the Powers That Be seem to be in no hurry:

MLB owners, yet again, tabled restructuring the local and regional television territories for the league at today's quarterly owners meetings in New York, and in doing so, leaves an arcane and convoluted system in place just before the MLB Network launches on January 1.

The commissioner’s office has proposed an adjustment that will involve clubs losing a territory or market if they do not broadcast within it. Currently, markets such as Las Vegas sees six clubs claiming the television territory, including the A’s, Giants, Padres, Angels, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks.

The issue will not be broached again until the next quarterly meetings by the owners in January.

Unless the league makes a provision, the ranks of those that will be faced with the "blackout blues" will grow exponentially as the new television network for the league reaches 50 million homes next season. MLB Network plans on broadcasting 26 games each season.

YOU try to figure this out!!
Click on map to open a larger version in a new browser window

The way I read this, you'll see blackouts worse than the Fox Saturday nonsense, unless the owners address this in January. I've written about this many times, and I'll keep doing it, not that they're going to listen to me, but maybe if enough people push this issue, they'll actually do something about it. It's real simple, as I wrote above: if you are willing to pay to watch a baseball game, you should be able to do so, whether you are in Chicago, Des Moines, Las Vegas, Kathmandu, or on Mars.

Fix it, Bud. Now. It's about 20 years overdue.

Hat tip to Rob at 6-4-2 for the Biz of Baseball link.

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