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MLB Strikes Back At ESPN


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Major League Baseball has limited ESPN's access to Tuesday night's All-Star Game after the network broke an embargo and broadcast news of the players' selections a few minutes after an exclusive, rain-delayed telecast on TBS.

 

Baseball executives told ESPN that it must pare its broadcast efforts from AT&T Park in San Francisco, where the All-Star Game is being held. So, most coverage will be done out of ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Conn., rather than having "Baseball Tonight" and a portion of "SportsCenter" originate from California as planned.

 

ESPN doesn't have the rights to carry the All-Star Game -- those are Fox Sports' -- and didn't have the rights to carry an All-Star selection show, with those going to TBS as part of the new rights deal with Turner Broadcasting. ESPN had previously done the selection show.

 

Sources said MLB was angered after ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Sunday reported the National League rosters using an Associated Press story and the entire NL and American League rosters a few minutes after they were unveiled on TBS. No one was allowed to disclose the names until after the Turner show. Fans pick the starting players through a weekslong voting process.

 

Baseball executives have told ESPN that it cannot telecast from AT&T Park beyond an hour on Monday (not including the network's coverage of the Home Run Derby) and limited access to hours before Tuesday's game.

 

The decision spiked ESPN's plans to telecast several hours of programming from San Francisco. The ESPN set was taken down Thursday from AT&T Park.

 

"ESPN viewers will receive the same complete, in-depth All-Star coverage they have come to expect," ESPN said in a statement Friday. "We have a long and productive relationship with MLB that we value."

 

Representatives for Turner Broadcasting and MLB declined comment.

 

NBC also was in apparent violation of the embargo, mentioning during a 5:46 p.m. sports news update during the women's U.S. Open golf tournament that Barry Bonds of the Giants had been voted in by the fans.

 

TBS had scheduled its All-Star selection show for between 4 and 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday, following the Atlanta Braves-Florida Marlins telecast. But the game was delayed 85 minutes by rain, then went into extra innings, so the All-Star show did not start until after 6 p.m.

 

Sources said ESPN had scheduled a selection show for between 5 and 6 p.m., after the scheduled end of the TBS telecast. It filled that airtime with other baseball news. But just after 6 p.m., "SportsCenter" announced the names of the All-Stars, only a few minutes after they were unveiled by Turner.

 

That drew the ire of MLB, even without Turner having to say anything, sources said. MLB took the unusual step of telling ESPN that because it didn't respect the embargo of the rights holder, it would be treated like a non-rights holder for the All-Star Game and not given special treatment.

 

"It broke the spirit of the agreement," a source said Friday.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/conten...165dfae65c9791c

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Well, first of all, I don't really think restricting access to the All-Star game is a tremendous deal. It's not like viewers see the set from San Francisco and decide it's worth watching a highlight show. Hell, I don't think many want to watch highlights of the All-Star game, let alone the regular game, all that badly judging by the ratings.

 

Also, I have to say that I don't think ESPN did anything wrong. TBS got to break the story, ESPN ran an AP report. If it's an AP report, it's common knowledge and I think, if anything, ESPN was doing MLB a service by reporting news that was badly badly botched by a rain storm.

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Guest Festa

Well, first of all, I don't really think restricting access to the All-Star game is a tremendous deal. It's not like viewers see the set from San Francisco and decide it's worth watching a highlight show. Hell, I don't think many want to watch highlights of the All-Star game, let alone the regular game, all that badly judging by the ratings.

 

Also, I have to say that I don't think ESPN did anything wrong. TBS got to break the story, ESPN ran an AP report. If it's an AP report, it's common knowledge and I think, if anything, ESPN was doing MLB a service by reporting news that was badly badly botched by a rain storm.

 

Ratings for what? SC or the ASG/regular season.

 

Because the ratings for regular season games are at all-time highs on every network. Not by a small margin either.

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Guest Festa

Tough situation because of the rain delay, but they should have known better. It really can't be that hard to fill that time with some other crap. Nice work ESPN.

If we had a retractable roof this wouldn't be a problem...

 

Another one of those 'Who's Now?' segments.

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actually, i would take one more step and have their bbtn rights given to tbs to do a nightly highlight show starting next year. please tbs, pull this off!! no more nespn biased coverage.

:banghead

 

That has a lot to do with this article/issue.

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Well, first of all, I don't really think restricting access to the All-Star game is a tremendous deal. It's not like viewers see the set from San Francisco and decide it's worth watching a highlight show. Hell, I don't think many want to watch highlights of the All-Star game, let alone the regular game, all that badly judging by the ratings.

 

Also, I have to say that I don't think ESPN did anything wrong. TBS got to break the story, ESPN ran an AP report. If it's an AP report, it's common knowledge and I think, if anything, ESPN was doing MLB a service by reporting news that was badly badly botched by a rain storm.

 

Ratings for what? SC or the ASG/regular season.

 

Because the ratings for regular season games are at all-time highs on every network. Not by a small margin either.

 

The All Star Game itself.

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