Anyone interested/agonized by the deal should read this. Here's the nutshell version: MLB knows that going to DirecTV may decrease the number of Extra Innings subscriptions. However, that will increase the number of MLB.TV subscriptions. I read previously that mlb.com is one of the most valuable commodities they have. The owners previously thought about going public with the site, but they didn't want a bunch of money coming in while they negotiated for a new labor deal. Now that they have the five-year deal, that frees up a public offering, and the more MLB.TV subscriptions, the more mlb.com is worth.
So MLB is actually trying to screw over the fans by forcing them to buy MLB.TV subscriptions so they can make more money when mlb.com goes public.
Here everyone thought the owners were being greedy by wanting DirecTV's $700 million, and all along we hadn't even fathomed their greed. Enron would be too ashamed to do this. Gordon Gecko would blush.