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MLB: Time Out on VOD

Major League Baseball officials advised teams throughout the country not to follow the lead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and enter any video-on-demand deals with local cable systems.

MLB oversees team communications -- such as team Web sites and "interactive applications" -- but officials have yet to complete an analysis of VOD and how it fits into an overall rights picture.

The Dodgers launched a VOD platform Aug. 8 with Time Warner Cable, reaching 2 million cable homes. After that launch, Bob DuPuy, chief operating officer of the league, sent an e-mail to teams Aug. 11 advising them not to enter into VOD pacts until the league has completed its review.

League spokesman Rich Levin said he anticipates that a committee on new-media applications should made a decision on VOD deals "within a reasonable amount of time." The Dodgers will be among organizations notified of the league's decision, he said, adding, "We won't let this drag on.”

Time Warner spokeswoman Patti Rockenwagner said the dispute is between the team and the league. The MSO anticipates expanding the amount of content available at the Dodgers site, she added.