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Off the Air in the Dominican
2004-03-04 08:16
by Jon Weisman

More interesting news out of Raul Tavares' Dominican Players. In recent years, Major League Baseball game telecasts have been an almost nightly event on free Domincan Republic television, according to Tavares, but now those broadcasts have been suspended, because:

"...the company that had purchased the rights owes US$2.0 (million) to MLB. The biggest bank here tried to negotiate a deal but the price was to high.

So now, if you don't have cable, (and by the way, (we) only have METS, BRAVES and CUBS games) or satellite, you will have to go to a Sport bar to see the games.

In a subsequent e-mail, Tavares writes:

The former company that held rights to MLB games in DR was "Deportes en la Cumbre." This company also had NBA TV games. Deportes en la Cumbre belongs to Baninter, one of the major banks here. Last March, this bank and his owner, Ramon Baez Figueroa, were accused of having two banks, one for the public records and the other for money laundry, so all the companies belonging to this group were closed or managed by the goverment, and the owner of the bank and two others were in jail.

So back to baseball: Since they had a big debt with MLB, the rights for TV were cancelled. Other companies tried to buy the rights, but an agreement has not been reached yet, so no MLB games are going to be televised on open TV here.

A different entry by Tavares offers excerpts from an El Caribe interview with Dodger third baseman Adrian Beltre, an interview perhaps most noteworthy for the fact that the interviewer is beloved Dodger coach Manny Mota. (Translate the entire interview using Systran, but be afraid, because the site translates "Manny Mota" into "Manny Speck.")

(Update: James Flanigan recommends

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