16 April 2011

Silly broadcast rules

I'm going to brush aside the futility of the actual team for a bit (pretty much already said all I have to say about that, anyway).  Today (and also tomorrow), my annoyance is the enigmatic, at times seemingly random MLB territorial broadcast rules.

When the Mets play any other team besides the Braves, I can watch the Mets feed via SNY or Pix 11 through DirecTV's Extra Innings (which costs a small fortune, but as I've said before, is worth every penny). For those other 140-odd games not carried by a national network, MLB doesn't care whose feed I watch.  In fact, for ANY MLB game not involving the Braves, I can with rare exception get the home or away feed for both.  Braves games, however, I must watch on the Braves' feed, as my place of residence falls within the Braves' territorial rights (per Google maps, I'm all of roughly 40 miles closer to Turner Field than Minute Maid park in Houston).

The concept behind this is understandable.  The owners of the Braves, like any other team, sink an unholy amount of money into their product and have been granted a designated area in which to sell it.  However, the practical application of this gets downright silly in this day and age of internet and satellite.  Just as one example, as I type this, the game is supposedly only available to me on FoxSportsSouth.  But if I flip over to the Game Mix channel, which simultaneously shows video from 8 different games with your choice of audio, I highlight Mets-Braves and the feed there is from SNY with Gary, Keith, and Ron.  And yes, I've actually gotten so frustrated with the Braves' drama queen announcers before, I finished watching the game on the tiny Game Mix screen, which leads me to my next complaint.

Some of the Braves' games are carried by their so-to-speak in-house network, PeachtreeTV.  PeachtreeTV sucks.  Few things hack me off more than having a wide-screen HD television and a premium baseball package and being forced to watch a game in 4:3 low-def.

Then there's the matter of wild inconsistency.  In addition to the aforementioned Game Mix goofiness, there seems to be different rules for different networks.  As well as Extra Innings, I also have the everyday sports package, which includes most of the local sports networks around the country including SNY, YES, MASN, the regional Fox networks, etc.  For some reason, it's OK for me to see Mets Weekly and Kids' Clubhouse, but every regularly-scheduled Mets Yearbook is blacked out.  It's also inconsistent from network-to-network, with YES being a usual suspect.  Why, oh WHY am I allowed to see YankeeOgraphy, but not Shea Goodbye?  There have even been instances when the SAME Mets-Yankees game from years past has been blacked out as a Mets Classic on SNY but not as a Yankees Classic on YES.  Figure that one out.

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