This morning, MLB Network aired the 2012 regular season opener from Japan on tape delay, this after viewers in the Pacific Northwest and certain areas around the country could see it live through Root Sports Northwest. Fans hoping to wake up to see the Seattle Mariners’ 3-1 win over the Oakland A’s in 11 innings had to wait until 9 a.m. East, three hours after it began in Tokyo to see the game.
Fang’s Bites sent an e-mail to MLB Network this morning asking the reason behind the tape delay and a spokesperson said it wanted to “maximize audience reach across the country, including in the A’s home TV territory, at 9am ET/6am PT and 10pm ET/7pm PT.” This sounds strikingly familiar to NBC’s reasoning for tape delaying the Olympics and Wimbledon.
After receiving criticism from blogs and social networks, MLB Network has heard the complaints from fans and decided to air Thursday’s second game from the Tokyo Dome between the M’s and A’s live at 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT.
It should not have come down to receiving complaints, MLB Network should have aired the game live today in the first place, but I give the network credit for reversing its decision for tomorrow.
MLB Network will have a replay of Thursday’s game immediately following its conclusion and then again at 10 p.m. ET.
As it did today, MLB Network will take the Root Sports Northwest feed. While the MLB Network simulcast will be blacked out in the Pacific Northwest, it will be available in the Bay Area as Comcast SportsNet California did not send a crew nor is it airing the games from Tokyo.