On Weds. June 27th, MLB sent an advisory to members of the media announcing that the All-Star player selections would be made available in advance to the media at approximately 3:30 p.m. (EDT), with an embargo to last until The 2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, had been concluded on TBS later in the day. The reason for releasing the names in advance of the televised announcement was to allow “local news-gathering organizations to obtain player reactions after games that day.”
The release had the following in bolded section within it:
AS A CONDITION OF THE EMBARGO, ALL OUTLETS ARE PROHIBITED FROM SHARING THIS INFORMATION PUBLICLY VIA PRINT, RADIO, TELEVISION, INTERNET OR ANY OTHER DISTRIBUTION METHODS, INCLUDING MOBILE TECHNOLOGY, UNTIL THE CONCLUSION OF THE TBS BROADCAST.
ESPN, however, released the names of the players selected for the All-Star Game on SportsCenter in the midst of the TBS selection show, much to the consternation of MLB Headquarters.
Now, MLB is making its displeasure known... with actions. As Neil Best of Newsday reported earlier today:
The punishment was the loss of special consideration Tuesday night in the form of one of those spiffy on-site sets that ESPN usually uses at major events even when it is not the rights-holder for said event. Basically, that means you will see the usual commentators covering the game for ESPN in San Francisco, but presumably they will be standing up instead of sitting down, unless they are back on the set in Bristol, where they will be able to sit down behind a desk, as usual.
This may seem trivial on one level, and yet is much larger on another. MLB sent numerous releases mentioning the TBS show, which was the unofficial coming out party for TBS with MLB under a new broadcast agreement. MLB might have been upset on their own, but the addition of TBS into the mix might have raised the ire a notch or two further.
It will be interesting to see if this action impacts how the announcement is made next year.