Mediacom catches heat for not carrying MLB Network in Chicago during Cubs playoff drive

Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs. Image: Rdikeman/CC BY-SA 3.0

Baseball has been the area where cable operators have tended to draw hard lines on programming cost increases of late, but the strategy seems to have backfired on Mediacom over the weekend. 

The MSO doesn’t have a deal with Major League Baseball’s MLB Network and thus was not able to show Saturday’s Chicago Cubs 5-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the National League Divisional Series playoffs. 

“We regret our customers cannot see the game,” Phyllis Peters, communications director for Mediacom, told the Quad City Times. “We’ve been assured all the rest of the games in the playoff series will be available on our family cable channels.”

Mowing through the playoffs so far with the best record and baseball, the Cubs are looking to break a century-old World Series drought. Mediacom and MLB Network have not been able to come to terms, with the network unwilling to be cast into an add-on tier 

Of course, other pay-TV operators – bigger ones than Mediacom – are forsaking Major League Baseball today. DirectTV, for example, has shown no interest after three seasons in licensing SportsNet LA, the exclusive home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, now managed by Charter Communications.

And out east, Comcast has shunned the Fox-controlled YES Network, home of the New York Yankees.

But those are regional sports networks, which only have exclusive rights to regular season games. Dodgers fans in Southern California have been able to catch every playoff game so far. 

“We’ve never had this situation until now,” Peters said. “It’s not a bad situation given they’re in the playoffs.”

For more:
- read this Quad City Times story

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