Monday, September 24, 2007
You may remember back to the little All Star Game incident where ESPN angered MLB by releasing the ASG lineups ahead of the official unveiling on TBS. MLB told Baseball Tonight they couldn't be on location and ESPN seemed pretty bitter. Well the two are at it again. Via John Ourand and SBJ....
The current dispute centers on ESPN’s refusal to run on-air spots promoting postseason telecasts on Fox and TBS. This is the first time in years that ESPN will not run ads promoting playoff games on other networks, and, not coincidentally, also marks the first time since 1996 that ESPN will not have postseason baseball on its schedule.Wow. That's a tough spot to be in if you're ESPN. I know you don't want to promote the competition, but this seems like a lose-lose for the "Leader". They have run the "Dane Cook" spots but the had no reference to FOX or TBS and were just generic Playoff commercials.
Citing network policy, ESPN says it does not accept advertising that promotes competitive programming on other networks unless it is contractually obligated to do so — and it states that it’s not obligated to under its new media deal with MLB. It says other networks have similar policies.
ESPN’s decision greatly upset MLB executives, who are considering banning ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and “Baseball Tonight” studio sets from postseason venues if ESPN does not run the spots, network sources said.
Here's the question though. Do you think ESPN loses credibility if they aren't on location for any of the playoff games/series? To me it loses some allure, but not all that much. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
ESPN, MLB spar again (Sports Business Journal)