ESPN And MLB, Going At It Again

Monday, September 24, 2007

You may remember back to the little All Star Game incident where ESPN angered MLB by releasing the ASG lineups ahead of the official unveiling on TBS. MLB told Baseball Tonight they couldn't be on location and ESPN seemed pretty bitter. Well the two are at it again. Via John Ourand and SBJ....

The current dispute centers on ESPN’s refusal to run on-air spots promoting postseason telecasts on Fox and TBS. This is the first time in years that ESPN will not run ads promoting playoff games on other networks, and, not coincidentally, also marks the first time since 1996 that ESPN will not have postseason baseball on its schedule.

Citing network policy, ESPN says it does not accept advertising that promotes competitive programming on other networks unless it is contractually obligated to do so — and it states that it’s not obligated to under its new media deal with MLB. It says other networks have similar policies.

ESPN’s decision greatly upset MLB executives, who are considering banning ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and “Baseball Tonight” studio sets from postseason venues if ESPN does not run the spots, network sources said.
Wow. That's a tough spot to be in if you're ESPN. I know you don't want to promote the competition, but this seems like a lose-lose for the "Leader". They have run the "Dane Cook" spots but the had no reference to FOX or TBS and were just generic Playoff commercials.

Here's the question though. Do you think ESPN loses credibility if they aren't on location for any of the playoff games/series? To me it loses some allure, but not all that much. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

ESPN, MLB spar again (Sports Business Journal)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 12:23 PM


I see baseball's point, but given how popular football is getting in this country, I wouldn't block ESPN from broadcasting from any playoff game site. Any coverage to go up against football is good.

gilbert said...
Sep 24, 2007, 1:03:00 PM  

silly AA, who cares about baseball when they can just run another three poker marathons? now those are real athletes.

Anonymous said...
Sep 24, 2007, 1:05:00 PM  

"Do you think ESPN loses credibility if they aren't on location for any of the playoff games/series?"

When your analysis team consists of Kruk, Morgan, and Phillips, et al, is there any credibility to begin with?

Total BS said...
Sep 24, 2007, 1:26:00 PM  

the other networks don't do that for bspn

Anonymous said...
Sep 24, 2007, 1:27:00 PM  

I'm not sure how MLB can insist on this when it isn't in the contract.

The only reason TNT, ESPN/ABC, and NBA TV mention each other's upcoming telecasts for the Association is because it has to be written into the agreement.

It makes sense for the Four-Letter. Why would they promote anything they have no broadcasting hand in? It's like NBC running ads for CSI or House.

Signal to Noise said...
Sep 24, 2007, 1:31:00 PM  

If Kruk's hair isn't present for the playoffs, especially outdoors at the various stadium venues, it certainly will NOT be the same for us.

Sep 24, 2007, 1:49:00 PM  

So they can't do a broadcast from teh event? So what! Does that make what Gammons says any less credible? If MLB wants something, they should make sure it's in the contract, this way it's ESPN's fault if they sign off on it.

ESPN can play chicken and win. MLB needs ESPN to promote, ESPN has other high (higher?) profile sports it can work with.

Bring back Austrailian Rules football on ESPN!!

Anonymous said...
Sep 24, 2007, 1:52:00 PM  

What happens if the D-Backs make the World Series... will FOX have Eric Byrnes mic'd up in the outfield? Will his dog be chasing home run balls in the pool they have in right field? I'm anxiously awaiting.......

Riggs said...
Sep 24, 2007, 1:55:00 PM  

They should just pull a Pete Rose in Cooperstown move and broadcast live from a nearby facility, like a bar in Wrigleyville, or a place in the Gaslamp District.

Chip Wesley said...
Sep 24, 2007, 2:17:00 PM  

I'd rather have some of the bozos from ESPN doing playoff games than the guys from FOX.

B-Sells said...
Sep 24, 2007, 2:31:00 PM  

If ESPN falls, this is how it will happen. They will paint themselves into such a legal corner regarding every nitpicky aspect of broadcasting w/r/t competitors/organizations/leagues, they will find themselves terribly limited and bordering on marginalized when it comes to being the 'Leader'.

BTN and forthcoming SEC network may be a beginning to such a scenario with the NFL Network laying the groundwork.

Snacky Boy

Anonymous said...
Sep 24, 2007, 2:56:00 PM  

I dont see ESPN promoting NFL games on FOX or CBS or NBC? baseball needs to get over it. The media has a job to do and plugging stuff for MLB isnt part of it.

Steve said...
Sep 24, 2007, 11:00:00 PM  

The media has a job to do and plugging stuff for MLB isnt part of it.

That is true. ESPN is too busy plugging things for DisneyABCESPN.

twoeightnine said...
Sep 25, 2007, 4:19:00 PM  

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