Rant of the Week

Baseball Stats

Major League Baseball Advanced Media is not making a copyright claim to the statistics themselves; a 1997 decision in the United States Court of Appeals involving the National Basketball Association ruled sports statistics to be public-domain facts that do not belong to the leagues.  Ny Times, May 15, 2006

This is very interesting.

I didn't know this, but several sports websites, including CBS Sports and ESPN pay Major League Baseball millions of dollars for permission--- permission!!-- to promote their product.  Okay-- baseball, sees them as exploiting baseball's already fabulously valuable product for their own purposes.  I see it as asking the customer to pay for the advertising. 

The NY Times article wasn't completely clear about it, but I think it's reasonable to assume that the payments are for use of the images and names in rotisserie leagues run by those websites, wherein fans can choose a roster of players who then "perform" as they do in real life for the virtual team.

I've got an idea for CBS and ABC and FOX and ESPN: go to Major League Baseball and announce to them that you can't afford to pay them to advertise their game so, from now on, they will not pay and simply never again mention Major League Baseball or Barry Bonds or Ken Griffey or anything else about their product at all.

It would be very helpful if all the sports media outlets did this at the same time.

Does Sports Illustrated pay to write an article about the World Series?   Do they pay to interview Barry Bonds?

This is nuts.  Just say no.  No more publicity for baseball.  Promote something else--  go to FIFA and ask if they would like it if they devoted all of that space to them instead. 

What do you think?

All contents © 2006 Bill Van Dyk