After the failure of bankrupt Diamond Sports to pay licensing fees, Major League Baseball will take over all San Diego Padres broadcasting starting Wednesday:
As a result of the new arrangement, Padres fans can now obtain a new direct-to-consumer streaming subscription for $19.99 per month or $74.99 for the rest of the season by registering at MLB.TV. This offer is only for Padres fans in the Club’s Home Television Territory and is a separate service than the MLB.TV out of market package. By offering a direct-to-consumer streaming option on MLB.TV in the Club’s territory for the first time, MLB is able to lift the blackout for Padres games previously distributed on Bally Sports San Diego. Fans can also find more information about the availability of Padres games at Padres.com/tunein.
The oncoming failure of regional sports networks in the face of cord cutting is one of the more interesting media stories of our times. While some local cable channels have begun to sell games to cord cutters—Red Sox broadcaster NESN was the first—this is the first time that Major League Baseball itself has taken over all production for a team’s games, and is streaming them directly in the MLB app. (For continuity’s sake, the games will also be on local cable, satellite, and Internet TV providers in the Padres’ geographic territory.)
It sure feels like a milestone moment in the future of sports broadcasting—and the unwinding of the exclusivity of cable TV for sports broadcasting.
—Linked by Jason Snell