Major League Baseball's quarterly meetings have just ended, and with that, the vote to redefine MLB's television territories has, yet again, been tabled. The issue has now been tabled for the last two years.
The vote that was tabled centers around a proposal by MLB President and COO, Bob DuPuy. That proposal would have owners risk losing a geographic area of a territory they currently are claiming if they have not broadcast into that area for at least one season, thus lifting the blackout restriction for that geographic location.
Based upon the lateness of the season, odds seem exceptionally long that the issue will be addressed by the end of the season. Based upon the structure of the television territories, arcane blackouts occur at the regional and local level. National exclusivity agreements would not be addressed as part of the proposal. That means the country is blacked out on MLB Extra Innings due to FOX and ESPN games.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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