In Minneapolis, Neal Justin notes MLB Network has "exclusive rights" to Twins-Yankees ALDS Game 1, which "could be frustrating to fans who usually rely" on FS North for Twins coverage. Comcast only provides MLB Net to "those who pay for the Sports Entertainment package or are part of the service's Preferred Digital tier or higher." Several providers are "offering MLB Network for free" from Oct. 1-11, but Minneapolis' Comcast operator "isn't one of them" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/2).
NOT CUTTING IT: Kansas State fans' complaints about the KSU-Oklahoma State football game that was carried exclusively on ESPN+ and Big 12 Now "ranged from blurry picture quality to poor camera angles and unprepared announcers." KSU AD Gene Taylor said, "Those things just wouldn't happen if the game was on ESPN or ESPN2. We were told any conference game on ESPN+ would be produced at that level and it clearly wasn't. ... We do a better production job when we do games in house" (WICHITA EAGLE, 10/2).
STILL SORTING THINGS OUT: The "new version" of NBC Sports Chicago launched yesterday, and the White Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls have "agreed to put all the games they control on NBC Sports Chicago and its digital platforms, such as the MyTeams app." In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal notes that exclusivity is "presented as simplifying fans' search for what outlet is televising a given game." But it is also "intended to give NBC Sports Chicago leverage as the teams and Comcast's NBCUniversal, their equity partner in the channel, seek to secure" carriage-fee deals with TV providers (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/2).