Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has come under fire -- from, of all places, Congress, which clearly has nothing else to worry about -- for Major League Baseball's $700-mil deal with DirecTV, which airs the league's "Extra Innings" package that lets viewers get about 60 outta-town games every week for $160, more or less. Selig wants cable companies to match the deal and to carry the Baseball Network, expected to launch in a couple of years; so far they've all balked, heh. Anyway, Selig defended his stance yesterday during a roundtable discussion at a meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington, D.C. But that's not important.
What is important is the fact that also sitting at that table was National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. And, according to an Associated Press story I didn't see in Dallas' Only Daily today, Stern offered Jones "a bit of unsolicited advice" about the Cowboys' billion-dollar stadium under construction in Arlington -- and it involved plans for Jones to hang a giant high-definition television screen above the field that's damned near as long as the entire field:
Jones talked about the need for the stadium experience to attract fans who might be tempted to stay home and watch the game on a fancy home entertainment system with high-definition television. As a result, the Cowboys plan to include a massive video screen that will hang high above the field, stretching 180 feet between the 20-yard lines.
Jones said the screen will help fans in the upper decks feel engaged in the game, but Stern warned that such video screens "are so beguiling the fans are just going to sit there and watch the board."
He described a similar circumstance at an NBA game in Cleveland where he found himself constantly watching on the video screen even though he had some of the best seats in the house.
"I said (to myself), 'What am I doing?' ... It really is a phenomenal thing," Stern said.
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So, Jerry's building a billion-dollar home theater. Yeah, sounds about right. --Robert Wilonsky