Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The trouble with MLB.tv

To start, I guess I should confess something. I am a huge Yankee fan. I know, I know, they're the evil empire, I'm such a frontrunner, etc. I've heard it all. I've also been a fan forever, just like any good Jersey girl. I can remember the 1996 World Series vividly, sitting about 5 inches away from our 12" TV in the kitchen (why I wasn't in the living room, I'll never know) absolutely convinced that Derek Jeter was my soul mate.

Was! Not is! I swear!

Anyway, after moving to Texas, I realized that I couldn't make it the rest of the season without the ability to watch my boys play ball. Not only that, but the Yankees were playing horribly, and when I watch, they win. Therefore, for the good of the team (and with some persuasion from my Red Sox fan boyfriend), we got MLB.tv.

It sucks.

The audio cuts in and out. The high quality video doesn't work and the low quality skips. It constantly says we're logged in on multiple machines. I even broke down tonight and called technical support. They recommended I empty my trash. What?!

That's not the biggest issue. As a marketing geek, I grimace every time there's what MLB calls a "break in the action", a time when cable stations are showing commercials to pay the bills. MLB.tv splits this time 3 ways:

1. Inanely repetitive commercials for the MLB.com store with horribly messed up audio levels
2. Inanely repetitive commercials for Sony starring a Dane Cook lookalike and a scary pale physics professor
3. A graphic that for some reason says "Break in the action", superimposed over the text "134 RBI", which I imagine must be some magic number in the mind of MLB.

I know this is a paid service and MLB might get some flack for selling commercials, but what if those spots had a significant effect on the price of the service? Not only that, but when I subscribed I handed over all sorts of demographic info - info that certainly showed that I'm not in the market for a Sony TV sold by Professor Creepy. Why not put up ads that are targeted to me?

Fine, fine. If MLB wants to avoid the whole paid advertising during a paid service issue, at least put some highlights or anything with audio in there. The same Sony ad 3 times in a row followed by a jarring silence for 45 seconds or more is really throwing me (and thus, the Yankees) off our game.

What's your solution to the MLB.tv quandary?

1 comment:

BS I Am Anonymous said...

both mlb and nfl have serious issues when it comes to displaying their product on alternate media

mostly this is because in baseball each team controls its broadcast rights and this complicates national out of market broadcasts

in the nfl its similar too but since there are only 2 (3 if you count NFL net) networks and they have their associate deals with teams for broadcast - basically for both sports they dont really want you to watch MLB.tv or NFL sunday kickoff and whatnot - they want you to watch the market games and that is why there is such poor execution for these media

as to your advertising question...well...thats just dumb...yah...