MLB Killing Itself with Clueless and Backward Internet Media Policy

There’s a reason you see so many Cialis and Viagra commercials during Major League Baseball telecasts- it’s pretty much the only demographic they have left!

MLB is dying among the youth crowd for one simple reason: it’s failure to join the rest of the 20th century when it comes to coexisting with internet media.

I hate the term “new media,” or even “internet media” for that matter, because the web is the only medium growing while every other medium is dwindling or dying out. Yet baseball still has a clause in their collective bargaining agreement prohibiting media access for representatives of web sites or blogs. Why? Because they don’t want any video highlights of any game getting posted anywhere other than the prescription service they want you to purchase. They also want their site to be the ONLY source of internet coverage.

Take a look at page 205 of the CBA, (which would actually be page 217 in this pdf) which discusses club media regulations. You’ll notice the very first point mentions “press, radio and television” and absolutely nothing about the world wide web.

Pretty much sums it up. But here’s how it affects you the fan, and kills their own product in the process:

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MLB Acts as Stalinist Thoughtpolice, Shut Down Podcast

soviet union

When it comes to the media relations policies of Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs, I tend to think of a famous statement usually attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller. It’s about the compliance of German intellectuals during the Nazi rise to power and the establishment’s successive elimination of chosen demographics.

They came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up

Ed Nickow from Chicago Sports in Haiku, summed up what went down:

Earlier this year, MLB Advanced Media sent a cease and desist letter demanding that Cubscast stop podcasting, take down their website, and transfer the domain name to MLB.

By Paul M. Banks

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