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.
A number of cable providers, in conjunction with Major League Baseball and In Demand, will offer a freeview of the 2011 MLB Extra Innings package that runs from Opening Day through April 10. Companies participating in the offer include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Bresnan Communications, Charter Communications and Midcontinent.
Roku has announced a firmware update that will allow its customers to stream live, out-of-market baseball games from cable channel MLB.TV. While the update is free, Roku users will have to subscribe to the MLB.TV Premium service, which is being offered for $34.95.
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.
DirecTV and CBS have signed a multiyear agreement that will enable the satellite-TV provider to continue offering out-of-market games during the NCAA basketball championship. The pact also gives CBS' college sports-themed CSTV cable channel distribution to 8 million DirecTV subscribers.