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MLB Throws Out In Demand’s Offer

New York — Major League Baseball said Wednesday that it has declined In Demand’s offer to carry the MLB Extra Innings out-of-market television package because the cable TV programmer’s offer did not match the letter of the conditions met by DirecTV.

“Today Major League Baseball received communication from In Demand,” MLB president and COO Bob DuPuy said in a statement. “The offer to match the terms of the agreement reached by MLB and DirecTV remains open to In Demand and DISH until the deadline of March 31, 2007. The communication sent to our office today by In Demand is not responsive to that offer.”

Earlier, In Demand announced through an AP story that it would match the terms of DirecTV’s reported seven-year, $700 million deal. As part of the offer, In Demand also said it would carry The Baseball Channel slated to launch in 2009 to at least the same number of households as DirecTV.

“In spite of their public comments, the response falls short of nearly all of the material conditions (among them requirements for carriage of The Baseball Channel and their share of the rights fees for Extra Innings) set forth in the Major League Baseball offer made to them on March 9,” DuPuy stated.

The DirecTV agreement will make the satellite TV service the exclusive provider of the Extra Innings package if another service fails to match all of the conditions of the DirecTV agreement by April 1.

The deal requires that The Baseball Channel be made available to all of the service’s customers, but In Demand offered only to match the same number of subscribers as DirecTV.