Comcast has revealed at its web site that it will charge $155 for this season’s MLB Extra Innings plan.
That’s $9 lower than what the cable operator charged for last year’s package of out-of-market games. And it’s nearly $18 less than what DIRECTV is charging for the 2017 plan ($172.74.)
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However, there are a few catches.
First, Comcast’s MLB Extra Innings plan will include up to 80 games per week while DIRECTV and Dish (which is charging $165) will offer up to 100 games.
Second, both DIRECTV and Dish are including the MLB.TV service for free with their Extra Innings plans. MLB.TV, which starts at $112.99 this season, allows subscribers to watch the games over the Internet on connected devices.
And third, Comcast has yet to officially say it will offer all of its Extra Innings games in High-Definition while DIRECTV already does.
However, there is a caveat to catch number three.
Comcast has revealed on its Xfinity subscriber forum that it will offer all MLB Extra Innings games in 2017 in High-Definition for the first time ever. That is, if you have an X1 set-top.
“I can tell you that every single NHL Center Ice game is now available in HD in all Comcast households that have X1 (and also subscribe to NHL Center Ice). We expect to offer the same experience for MLB Extra Innings this season. More information to come very soon. Thank you for your patience,” ‘ComcastTeds,’ a Comcast employee and forum moderator, wrote last week on the forum.
‘ComcastTeds’ adds that the HD games on the NHL Center Ice plan currently do not include pause, rewind or fast-forward, and that the HD ‘channel’ for the MLB Extra Innings plan will have the same omissions at launch.
That suggests the MLB HD games are likely to be delivered using Comcast’s X1 “platform,” which is the company’s terminology for IPTV (Internet Television Protocol).
IPTV is the delivery of programming to the set-top using streaming instead of a traditional cable or satellite signal.
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I will have more details on Comcast’s MLB Extra Innings plan when they become available.
Final note: Under the terms of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by fans, Comcast and DIRECTV are required this year (and last year) to offer the MLB plan at a 12.5 percent discount over its regular price of $197. (Both DIRECTV and Comcast are offering prices lower than then 12.5 percent discount.)
— Phillip Swann