As part of a recent upgrade in its video system, Major League Baseball (MLB) forgot about the most important factor for their continued success: rabid fans!
A megafan (why is this term only acceptable for sports fans?) complained about how the online games he bought were lost under the new DRM system. This would be the equivalent of buying DVDs and being unable to play them anywhere — and being told to watch them they need to be repurchased.
The fan complaints and publicity did make a difference. As Stacy Kramer reports in the New York Times “fans who purchased games with the now-broken licenses will be able to get every game replaced free of charge by versions with the right license.”
But fans have long memories. Adding this situation to MLB’s position on the Slingbox (MLB: its use is not fair use) and Wendy Seltzer’s NFL copyright statement fair use experiment, sports fans do not have much room to call “their game” theirs, regardless of the huge amounts of money fans spend for being part of “we won!”