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Tag Archives: MLB Extra Innings

Big series this past weekend for the Dodgers. Fortunes turned up well for the Dodgers, who took two out of three from the reeling Giants.

The not-so-great part? Trying to watch the games on the blasted television. The Friday and Saturday games were carried nationally in HD on the MLB Network, and were carried locally (in the Giants’ market) in HD and over-the-air on NBC 14 (KNTV).

Sacramento also appears to have access to Giants’ broadcasts on KNTV via their CW affiliate, KMAX. Oddly, KMAX/CW is a duopoly belonging to CBS affiliate KOVR. KMAX, and thus CBS, carries the Giants’ broadcast unedited. This means that KNTV (NBC) logos are all over the graphics, and KNTV’s sports director (who works a sideline reporter during Giants’ broadcasts) Raj Mathai appears on their network.

No idea if KMAX comes in HD, but I’d have to assume yes since the locals broadcast in HD in Sacramento. WTF?!?

So let’s summarize:

Live in the San Francisco viewing market: watch on KNTV (NBC)
Live in the Sacramento viewing market: watch on KMAX (CW/CBS)
Live anywhere outside of Los Angeles/San Francisco/Sacramento: watch on MLB Network.

Live elsewhere, but still in Giants’ viewing territory (e.g. southern Oregon, northern Nevada): watch on a regional sports network that your cable/satellite provider presumably carries. If the game is OTA, or your provider doesn’t/can’t carry the correct RSN? You’re SOL.

Confusing enough for you? It gets better. I have access to MLB.TV, but not MLB Extra Innings. Not that either would matter — since I live in Giants territory, I’m blacked out in both instances.

I have DirecTV, which doesn’t carry our locals in HD. It also doesn’t carry our local My Network affiliate, which carries certain Giants games — using the OTA KNTV feed (which originates in San Jose). Instead, DirecTV provides our market with CW/My Network programming via Sacramento’s KMAX. KMAX, again, carries Giants games in Sacramento using the KNTV feed.

And of course, although DirecTV has access to not only an HD feed via KNTV, but also presumably carries KMAX in HD as well. Yet, locally, here, they provide viewers with an SD feed of the game. I suppose this is understandable, given that officially, DirecTV doesn’t broadcast our locals in HD — the locals do broadcast in HD, DirecTV just hasn’t added them.

But what’s infuriating is that KMAX ISN’T a local here. Although it isn’t a local, it plays the part of one. And even though they (presumably) broadcast in HD, DirecTV doesn’t carry our locals in HD. Does any of this begin to make any sense?

Fortunately, since Comcast SN-Bay Area (which is available here) carried Sunday’s game in HD, so we were at least able to watch that. I assume we would’ve also been blacked out of the national TBS HD broadcast of the same game.

Even better? Since we’re also blacked out of A’s games, you’d assume DirecTV would provide Comcast SN-California, right? No such luck. So even living in A’s territory, and thus blacked out via MLB.TV/EI, there is no local broadcast of A’s games here.

Of course, this hasn’t even touched on the lunacy of Comcast SN-Northwest also not being carried by DirecTV locally, thus locking out most of the state from viewing UO and Blazer games.

As has been touched on in so many other places, MLB’s blackout rules are beyond archaic. They’re just flat-out stupid. Since your typical MLB owner is obviously focused on increasing revenue, you’d think they’d follow a simple maxim of making sure as many viewers as possible are watching your team.

I live in Giants territory, yet I don’t have access to all of the best feeds available for this team. Often, I’m forced to relinquish better national feeds in favor of worse local feeds. How does this make any sense, for either DirecTV or MLB?

I was watching KCAL’s miserable — kept dropping in and out of HD — feed this weekend, and I saw this come up:

mlbtv

On the lower half of the screen is the same “searching for signal” pop-up that shows up on the DirecTV in our living room. So is MLB.TV using DirecTV’s video feeds, streaming sattelite TV online?

On that note, DirecTV’s insane when it comes to pricing their incarnation of MLB Extra Innings. As noted by the Biz of Baseball, MLB-EI was $179 prior to the season, and is now $191 (four payments of $47.75), and $191 afterwards. When I called two weeks ago, intending to purchase the package at mid-season, DirecTV did NOT offer a pro-rated price for the remainder of the season. So even with half of the season already in the books, DirecTV still wants the full-season price. That made the decision to subscribe to MLB.TV pretty easy at that point.

MLB.TV is fine, and offers HD-quality (don’t know the exact resolution) video. It also helps that the monitor is a 20-inch widescreen, so the picture is pretty comparable to the 27-inch SD set in the living room.

The Good: Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Andre Ethier all had a great series against the Padres. Eric Stults getting another chance to start.

The Bad: Russell Martin, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal, and Orlando Hudson didn’t. Hiroki Kuroda getting injured.

The Ugly: Good grief! I know young pitchers struggle with their control, but to see Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, and James McDonald do what they did three games in a row was excruciating. Granted, I figure Billingsley will get it going sooner or later. But as for Kershaw and McDonald? Not the greatest way to start the season.

At some point, both of these guys simply need to trust their ability to pitch and not worry so much. McDonald’s body language belied that of a confident pitcher. He was fidgety, and his mechanics appeared off after he loaded the bases the first time. At some point, you wish Brad Ausmus would’ve gone out there to tell him to slow down, go back to a windup, and just pitch. After all, isn’t his handling of pitchers the reason the Dodgers went with him and not Danny Ardoin as a backup catcher?

It was nice to be able to actually see all of this week’s games, less the the two we missed while on the road. I love it when DirecTV offers a free preview of MLB Extra Innings, and I love it even more when they don’t block you from recording any of the preview games, as they did last year.

Things to look forward to — or should I say, eventual eBay purchases?

How about a Russell Martin MacFarlane figure, and a Manny Ramirez bobblehead.

martin

mannyEven though Manny’s been here less than a year, and probably won’t be here longer than a year and a half, clearly he would get his own bobblehead — not just from the Dodgers but from the Albuquerque Isotopes as well. But Casey Blake? Really, the Dodgers marketing department thought better of giving Blake a bobblehead before, I don’t know, Billingsley, Kemp, Ethier, or Broxton?

Finally, thoughts and prayers to the Adenhart family and the Anaheim Angels. What made that particular tragedy strike particularly close to home was the fact that I had traveled that particular intersection (where Adenhart’s vehicle was struck) many, many times at that same hour, and I still have family in the area that do as well.

Hundreds, if not thousands (sadly) of people die yearly at the hands of such wildly irresponsible drivers such as Andrew Gallo, and we never hear about it. It’s sad and unfortunate that it takes a (semi) celebrity to die for us to even consider talking about the senselessness of not only drunk driving, but a legal system powerless to do anything more than slap a repeat offender on the wrist — which ultimately, what license suspension amounts to.

How ought we fix it? I don’t know, but I wish it didn’t require innocent people dying for the issue to come to the forefront.