Major League Baseball has decided that even though the Washington Nationals are playing in their first playoff game in DC since 1933 and even though the Nationals are playing in a publicly subsidized $600+ million stadium, the game will only be shown on MLB Network, meaning that fans will have to have cable or satellite service with the MLB Network.

Of course, this is tremendously unethical and unfair to the thousands of DC residents who are unable to afford to attend the game or afford the high cost of cable and satellite service (not to mention the additional costs for MLB Network).

This migration of sports to pay TV is particularly troubling given the massive public subsidies, tax exemptions and antitrust exemptions we’ve given the leagues. By moving games — particularly playoff games — to pay TV packages and forcing fans to spend even more money to watch games, the leagues are abusing that relationship.

MLB should allow DC 50 or one of the local stations to retransmit the MLB Network feed of tomorrow’s game immediately.

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