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MLB Needs to Lift All TV Restrictions, Make Viewing Options Free for 2020 Season: TRAINA THOUGHTS

1. Okay, MLB, you've screwed up a lot of things lately, but there is one simple thing you can do right now to get back in the good graces of some fans: Lift all TV/radio/app restrictions and make everything free for this fake season.

The Extra Innings package should be free. MLB.tv should be free. The blackout rules should be lifted. This is the least you can do for fans of your sport, and it's a very easy way to throw an olive branch to your customers, who are not exactly happy right now. Not to mention, you have a massive number of people who are unemployed right now. Take all the positive PR you can get and do this.

The 2020 season is not a real season. Only 60 regular-season games. Insane extra-innings rules. And who knows what impact coronavirus will have on the players and the game? Don't charge full price–or any price–for access to these games.

People won't be able to go to games this season. Their only way of consuming your product will be TV, radio and streaming. Give everyone the chance to watch so some of the bad taste you've created in recent weeks can dissipate. 

Give as many people a chance to watch your sport as possible since you'll be competing with the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs and NFL. 

Don't worry about losing whatever money you'd lose on making everything free for these 60 games. Despite the river you've cried the past few weeks, we all know the league and owners have made tons of money every single year except this one. You can take the hit.

2. ESPN will air Backstory: The Decision this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET. Investigative reporter Don Van Natta will host the show that examines all aspects of the LeBron James–ESPN made-for-TV special that took place 10 years ago.

Van Natta is the guest on this week's Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, and he previewed the special, revealed some interesting nuggets about how The Decision came about, discussed ESPN's role in the show and more. 

We also talked about how coronavirus is impacting sports, Bubba Wallace, Dr. Fauci and more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

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3. Best wishes to one of our favorite people in the media business, a great Twitter and Instagram follow, and a one-time SI Media Podcast guest, WWE announcer/host Renee Young.

I never understood how the WWE thought it was totally okay to keep producing live TV each week in Florida, with talent literally on top of each other, during a pandemic. But here we are with numerous people in the company now testing positive for the coronavirus.

4. This video of Jay Cutler detailing his problems with a chicken "serial killer" has me convinced he'd be a good NFL broadcaster.

5. On the latest SI Media Podcast, I talked to Don Van Natta about how the NFL has been able to fly under the coronavirus radar, minus the NFL draft going virtual. But now it looks like the league is finally having to deal with issues from the pandemic. First, the league will not have fans in the lower part of stadium, so it can sell ads where the empty seats would be.

And the Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Steelers, scheduled for Aug. 6, has been canceled.

Forget MLB, the NBA and all the other sports. It's going to be FASCINATING to see how the NFL handles things going forward with the coronavirus spreading again.

6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were reunited on the Late Show on Wednesday night.

7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Vince Carter over Fredrick Weis, 2000 Summer Olympics. Enjoy.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.