January 23rd, 2007

Extra Innings package only on DirecTV

Considering how many emails I’ve received about the Tigers radio broadcasts over the years, especially recently, I was surprised I didn’t see more in my inbox about Major League Baseball’s deal with DirecTV to show Extra Innings exclusively on their service. Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus put in his two cents about it the other day.

One thing I learned from last season is how surprisingly nationwide the Tigers fan base is. I’m guessing that many former Michiganders used the package to watch the Tigers, including some who can’t get satellite TV. How does this affect you? Even if it doesn’t, what’s your feeling on it?

For what it’s worth, I don’t have satellite TV where I live. So it affects me, but it’s not going to be a huge loss from a selfish standpoint. I used to subscribe through cable but gave that up last year and went with the MLB.TV package only, since I was traveling so much during the season that I wasn’t home watching enough games to justify it. It was an adjustment, but watching the games online turned out OK. I didn’t appreciate when they tried to show some HD broadcasts on a mis-sized screen, leaving the whole picture stretched out vertically, but that seemed to happen less often as the season went on. It’s not as quick switching from game to game, since the broadcast has to be buffered on the online player.

When everything works (and mind you, I’m somewhat biased here), it’s pretty good, and it was the way I kept up with the AL Central race down the stretch. I’m hoping they come up with a way to put the broadcasts in the corner of the screen and leave them on top of other applications so you can multi-task while you’re watching.