MLB to look into iN Demand’s ‘Extra Innings’ offer
Baseball’s “Extra Innings” package of out-of-market games might wind up staying on cable television.
IN Demand said Wednesday it will offer to match the terms of DirecTV’s $700 million, seven-year deal with Major League Baseball on behalf its owners, who are affiliates of the companies that own Time Warner, Comcast and Cox cable systems.
As part of the offer, iN Demand also said it would carry The Baseball Channel when it launches in 2009 to at least the same number of subscribers who will get the channel on DirecTV.
“As the current home for ‘Extra Innings’ for more than 200,000 cable subscribers, we have extended ourselves to do our best to be able to continue to provide this package to baseball fans and our customers,” iN Demand president Robert Jacobson said. “This offer meets all the conditions set forth by MLB last week.
Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer, said he would have to find out details of iN Demand’s offer before commenting.
“Extra Innings” had more than 500,000 television subscribers last year plus about 60 percent more on MLB.com, the sport’s Web site.
EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network also has carried the “Extra Innings” package. There was no immediate word whether Dish also would match the offer.
IN Demand is owned by Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership, Comcast iN Demand Holdings Corp and Cox Communications Holdings Inc.