Major League Baseball's Blackout Policy Under Fire
Major League Baseball defends itself against accusations that its lucrative broadcast policies violate federal antitrust laws.
What's the Latest?
Major League Baseball defended its controversial television broadcasting policies earlier this week and requested a judge throw out a lawsuit brought against it by an angry group of fans. The league, in filing a motion for summary judgment, argues that the plaintiff's claims are unsound, unsupportable, and a big waste of time for everyone involved. The claims are such a waste of time, says Major League Baseball, that a trial would be inadvisable and unnecessary (if not to mention extremely troubling for a league currently swimming in Scrooge McDuckian amounts of TV cash). The wonderful Fangraphs.com, whose Wendy Thurm has written extensively on this subject, has made MLB's motion available here.
What's the Big Idea?
The plaintiffs in the case against MLB claim the league's blackout rules and policies (of which there are many, adequately listed here on Wikipedia) violate federal antitrust laws. Major League Baseball has for 92 years enjoyed an antitrust exemption that has been challenged again and again on matters ranging from the doling out of suspensions to territory disputes related to teams seeking to relocate. MLB and its All-Star team of lawyers tend to come out on these challenges fairly unscathed.
Territory rights and blackout policies are understandably frustrating to many people. The natural counter-argument in defense of MLB is that the league provides a unique, in-demand product and has the right to distribute said product in any way it sees fit. These broadcasting deals are a huge source of income for the league and contribute to its continuing growth.
Yet these clashes between broadcasters and viewers feel like the beginnings of a larger battle to be fought over the consumption of media in a rapidly changing nation growing accustomed to more choice and less hassle. How much longer will customers put up with having to buy 195 channels they don't want in order to watch the five they do? A lot depends on whether the blackout policies of Major League Baseball and the other major sports leagues are ever put on trial. With billions upon billions of dollars on the line, you can be sure the leagues and their broadcasters will step up to the plate intent on protecting their interests.
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.
- The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
- Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
- Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.