Email after email from Major League Baseball last week touted the MLB Network's first exclusive playoff games, as if it was good for fans.
But when officials announced the first game A's at Tigers on Sunday at 9:07 a.m. they made it clear they were not putting the interests of fans first.
We'd understand a bit if there had been a conflict Sunday, if two games were scheduled at the same time. But that wasn't the case, so there was no reason to push the A's from TBS, which is part of most basic TV packages, to the MLB Network other than greed.
It was a ploy by Major League Baseball and its MLB Network partners (DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner and Cox) to make folks ante up to their TV providers (likely one of these partners) for a premium package that includes the network.
For most baseball fans, the MLB Network has never been must-buy TV until now.
During the regular season, games carried by local networks CSNCA for the A's, CSNBA for the Giants, for example aren't knocked off the air by the MLB Network. In local markets, the MLB Network airs an alternate, out-of-town game.
In the playoffs, the local networks don't have rights to any games; the only way to watch the A's on Sunday was to pay for the MLB Network.
There was nothing exclusive about Sunday's A's-Tigers game, other than it was too "exclusive" for fans who were unable to watch it.
And be warned: The MLB Network announced that Washington-St. Louis will be its "exclusive" game Wednesday.
What to watch
Baseball, Giants at Cincinnati, 2:37 p.m., and Detroit at A's, 6:07 p.m., TBS: Can the area teams extend their seasons?
Do you get MLB Network?
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