MLB mum on Vegas TV blackout

Dec 6, 2008 8:20 PM
by Mark Mayer | "It’s great that the Hilton and Las Vegas are hosts to the Winter Meetings, but I think the time has come to revisit the blackout rules regarding games televised here in the sports books," said Jay Kornegay, race and sports supervisor for the Hilton SuperBook. "I don’t see how Las Vegas can be considered a home team for six major league clubs (Dodgers, Angels, Giants, D’backs, Padres, A’s) and we not be able to show the games that are not part of the cable package.

"If say Los Angeles is playing Colorado and the game is being aired on the local Los Angeles station, we can’t see it," Kornegay said. "The same holds true for an Arizona game in San Francisco. It’s a bad policy that needs to be addressed."

Major league baseball is the only one of the major sports leagues that has a blackout policy for Las Vegas. The NFL, NBA and NHL all allow regular season and playoff games from every member franchise to be shown in Las Vegas books.

"We get a lot of legitimate complaints from guests here who want to see their team play and are not given the opportunity due to the blackout rule," Kornegay said. "East Coast cities are allowed to see all the games and there’s more betting done there than here."

Kornegay added that it’s unfair for Las Vegas to be considered a home venue for Los Angeles, Anaheim, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Phoenix when those cities are anywhere from 4½ to eight hours away by car.

"This is a great opportunity for a review of that blackout policy," Kornegay said. "I hope that major league baseball officials would be open to hearing our side of the issue. So many great fans either living in Las Vegas or visiting are denied a chance to see their team play on selected nights. It hurts baseball and it’s very disappointing for us in the sports book industry."

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