We’ve been reading economist Andrew Zimbalist’s enlightening new book “May the Best Team Win,” which sheds a revealing light on many of the issues we’ve been discussing on this site over the past few months, competitive balance in particular. I expect we’ll turn to such matters in greater depth once the postseason is post, but for the moment I can’t help but think back to a missive from SF a few weeks ago regarding MLB’s new policy of streaming games live over its website for a fee, a policy hailed by SF. What we’ve learned from Prof. Zimbalist, and I’m sure SF was unaware of this as he made his post, is that such fee-based transmissions violate the 1961 Federal Sports Broadcasting Act, which specifically precludes all telecasting of league-packaged games on pay services. Only MLB’s presumed antitrust exemption protects it from a court challenge to this behavior. So the reality here is that MLB’s putatively enlightened policy is, instead, just another example of consumer exploitation.
Posted by YF on 10/3/2003 10:37:41 AM