Cablevision Systems has forged a deal to deliver the MLB Channel. Cablevision's Extra Innings package will run $159, which will include up to 60 out-of-market baseball games per week during the MLB season.
Short, multiepisode series developed for play on cell phones have become more popular in Hollywood, but advertisers have been slow to support them. For example, the only sponsor for the "Green Arrow" series, spun off from the "Smallville" TV series, was Sprint.
More manufacturers are rushing to bring Internet videos to TV. Microsoft's Xbox 360 lets users download from the online store, and the Apple TV is already being shipped out across the U.S. Others are developing similar technology, turning television into an Internet-friendly zone.
Major League Baseball made final its seven-year deal to give DirecTV rights to its out-of-market game package, but it said cable companies and rival satellite operators could have access to the package if they agreed to carry MLB's new cable TV network. As part of the deal, DirecTV agreed to carry the Extra Innings channel on its basic tier, which means that cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable would have to agree to carry it on their basic tiers as well.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is raising concerns that baseball fans will be denied access to out-of-market games in the wake of a proposed deal between Major League Baseball and satellite provider DirecTV. The deal would make MLB's Extra Innings package, once available via cable, only available to DirecTV subscribers.