The beauty of the MLB Network (STILL MORE UPDATES)
by Bob Timmermann
Despite advertising its spot on my cable system (Channel 276 or 470), here is what the MLB Network looked like to me on those two channels.
So I decided to take up Time Warner on their offer of 24/7 tech support. Eventually, a guy got on the phone and told me, "Well, most people got it today. Some get it next week. As for you, you'll get it on February 10."
"Or the 11th."
According to MLB.com's chief propaganda writer, Barry Bloom, the MLB Network is a big hit. Apparently some people can see it. They likely aren't Time Warner customers.
I know it was tough for Time Warner to make room on its cable systems for a channel it owns a stake in. And had well over a year to plan for.
It really makes me want to go back and get all my news via telegraph.
MLB Network hit the ground running yesterday, with Commissioner Bud Selig addressing fans two-minutes before 6pm ET (watch Selig's address), and then airing MLB Hot Stove, a show dedicated to the action in baseball’s off-season. But some of the approximately 50 million subscribers expecting to see the new channel were met with blank screens, a product of service level requirements, possible hardware issues, and in at least one instance, a local cable company not having digital service up and running by launch time.
The largest factor, for those that may be expecting to have access to MLB Network, revolves around what is deemed to be the “basic” package. A key point for distribution of MLB Network stemmed from negotiations in April of 2007 for MLB’s out of market package, Extra Innings. While Extra Innings was initially going to be granted to DirecTV as a monopoly, eventually the cable consortium of iNDemand was able to broker a deal to continue to gain access to Extra Innings, but it was stipulated by MLB that MLB Network would also have to be carried, and on the basic tier, the most widely available. According to MLB Network, the distribution deal brokered with all carriers is that all must broadcast on the digital basic, or the carrier’s equivalent, a key difference from early reports. Those that have analog service, no matter the carrier, will need to upgrade.
I'm referenced later in Maury's post and I think the problem that my system has hardware problems. This could be why channels like FSN Prime and AMC show up on my system as if I'm looking at them on a set borrowed from Philo T. Farnsworth.
UPDATE 2 - The MLB Network disappeared from the onscreen guide on my cable system. I'm glad I got photographic evidence. The obelisk awaits....