As reported earlier, MLB has rejected a counter-offer by iN Demand to keep MLB's Extra Innings on cable this upcoming season. Officials from MLB responded further today as reported by Eric Fisher and John Ourand on Sports Business Daily:
"iN Demand's strategy of negotiation is a failed one," MLB Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan said. "Our offer to them to match DirecTV remains open, but time is running short." Late Tuesday, iN Demand faxed Brosnan an offer that it said would match DirecTV's terms, guaranteeing the same rates and household distribution as the satellite operator over the next seven years. Brosnan bashed the offer, saying that it does not. "Time and again, we have given iN Demand an opportunity to respond to legitimate offers," he said. "And time and again, they have responded by making misleading statements."
As Fisher and Ourand further report, the key stumbling block is in the way iN Demand structured their offer compared to DirecTV, the carrier that MLB has initially agreed to a 7-year, $700 million agreement with to show Extra Innings exclusively.
DirecTV has agreed to place the upcoming MLB Channel in 80% of its homes according to a filing with the FCC sent today by MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy. MLB is demanding that cable match the offer of 80% of its homes, as well. Added to this issue is the fact that “iN Demand’s offer to pay for Extra Innings on an actual sub basis, rather than an upfront guarantee”, such as DirecTV has offered.
DuPuy added in the FCC filing that, "[They] will need to commit to a fair allocation of the total rights fees for Extra Innings, ... based on the number of digital households that they and DirecTV serve.”
Maury Brown will discuss this latest news at 6:25PM EDT on XM 175.