Remember back in July when ESPN was punished by MLB for breaking the embargo on the All Star game announcements? The announcements were supposed to be made by TBS on its own exclusive program and ESPN was to wait until everything was done, but instead, the Alleged Worldwide Leader made them as the TBS program was ongoing. So MLB punished ESPN by not allowing Baseball Tonight to have a set at Pac Bell Park during All Star Weekend. In fact, Neil Best of Newsday was among the first reporters to break the story.
Today, Best points to a Sports Business Journal story, written by John Ourand, that says ESPN and MLB are fighting again, this time over postseason promos that the league feels the network is supposed to air. MLB says the promos are supposed to say Fox and TBS are carrying the playoffs, but ESPN argues its policy prevents it from promoting other networks. MLB states ESPN carries promos for the NBA playoffs on TNT, but ESPN counters saying its NBA contract requires cross-promotion and its current contract with MLB does not. ESPN’s contract with MLB runs until 2013 and does not include any postseason coverage.
We’ll see how this plays out. Regular readers know how much I enjoy conflicts involving ESPN.