Chicago (and Houston, and Cleveland, and . . . ) we have an agreement! I’m certain many Cubs fans breathed a monstrous sigh of relief when the word came down last week that the league and the MLBPA had come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.
If you, like me, have watched the discussion of various ‘livestream’ services with trepidation, you are probably considering this question: “Yeah, baseball is back – but at what cost to me?”
The same is true of the new agreement. I think it is a fait accompli that the owners of the various clubs are not going to absorb the increased demand on their profit margins. No, that is going to flow—as has been suggested with other distasteful materials—downhill.
The working slub, making enough to make do while scrambling every spring to gather enough cash together to afford his season tickets, is going to take a hit. The occasional visitor to the Friendly Confines will feel his wallet lighten a little more than it has in the past. And the inveterate TV watching fan, while perusing his mail from his recliner, will read that the cost of his viewing hobby is going up.
Will streaming services be a factor for Cubs fans moving forward?
The specter of adding another layer of cost to the enjoyment of this pastime with ‘livestream’ is daunting. I currently watch University of Arizona baseball and softball games on the Pac12 livestream service (such as it is) that comes with my cable, but I am not naïve enough to expect an MLB streaming service to be provided gratis.
Don’t get me wrong. I laud the efforts of the Players Association to try and protect their investments in minor leaguers and improve their own lot in life. Hey, get it while you can. But I worry that the general public, seeing someone make more in a year than they will ever see in their lifetime, will wonder if it is all worth it?
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Baseball has enjoyed a renewed popularity of late. As one of those who cheers his favorite players on from the comfort of his La-Z-Boy, I can only hope our national sport can survive the latest hit.