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Bugs & Cranks
March 10, 2009 at 11:02 am ET
3 Comments
C’mon, baseball. Get Sirius.

I admit it. I’m addicted. I can’t see ever going back. Life will never be the same.

I’m completely hooked on satellite radio. My wife, famous for – among things – her pitch-perfect birthday gifts, bought me a Sirius subscription a few years ago. If you like radio, it’s the absolute shite. Underground, punk, roots and indie rock, alt country, bluegrass, thrash metal – all the faves at Stately Smitty Manor.

It’s missing one thing, though. (Hint – it’s round, with red stitches.)

Right after I joined the Sirius world, MLB signed a deal with rival XM Radio. For several years, baseball taunted me from that black and yellow XM logo. Every game. Every night. You wanna hear Jon Miller do Giants games? Ooo, too bad! You got Sirius.

But then, after more than a year in court, a Sirius/XM merger received the FCC’s blessing. Both companies, it turns out, have been hemorrhaging money for years. Paying baseball, paying the NFL, paying Howard Stern and Martha Stewart. The only way to make it work was for the two companies to merge. Finally now, with the merger complete, I can listen to baseball on Sirius, right?

Wrong. Major League Baseball thinks $59 million a year isn’t enough. And tough luck for Sirius subscribers who happen to be baseball fans.

Though the NFL and the NBA both signed exclusive deals with one or the other satellite company, since the merger both leagues have allowed satellite subscribers to hear their games. But baseball, which already has the richest sat deal in sports, is holding out for more money.

I’m shocked. Shocked! The Pope is Catholic, bears shit in the woods and Bud Selig is greedy and shortsighted.

Still, somehow, there’s hope. According to today’s Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, MLB and Sirius XM are in talks to get baseball to Sirius subscribers in time for Opening Day.

“Discussions are ongoing with Major League Baseball and we remain hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement that will allow Sirius subscribers to hear the games,” a Sirius XM spokesman told the Business Journal.

Sounds pretty good, right? Until we hear from baseball’s curmudgeons:

“As with any partner seeking to amend their deal terms, we would be open to negotiating new terms that were agreeable to both parties,” the Business Journal quoted an MLB spokesman. “As a practice, we do not discuss details of private negotiations in public.”

And baseball’s crummy, anti-fan attitude is precisely why I’m betting against it.

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3 Responses to “C’mon, baseball. Get Sirius.”
  1. B.E. Earl says:

    My favorite thing about baseball on XM (sorry!) is the display of the inning and score as you go from channel to channel. With just a quick dash around the dial I can get updated on all the scores before settling back in with the Yankee game.

    Another thing I like is that XM picks up the radio feed from the home team’s announcing crew for each game. So while I can listen to Sterling (ugh) anytime I want on WCBS, I get to hear other (better) announcers when the Yanks are on the road. Win!

  2. GM says:

    Baseball never seems to get anything right. Just look at their blackout rule. I live about 90 minutes from Baltimore but I don’t get the Orioles on any local station but if they are playing on ESPN it is blacked out. Not that watching the O’s is enjoyable or something I would do but I would like to have the choice. It is the same thing here with the Phillies but at least I get their games on a Comcast station.

    Does MLB really think I am going to get in my car and drive 90 minutes to Philly or Baltimore just to watch a baseball game? It is ridiculous.

  3. Smitty and thrash metal? Not quit seeing that one.

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