updated 04:29 pm EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
League likely trying to control usage of team names
Major League Baseball has asked Apple to pull a number of team-based podcasts from iTunes, reports say. These include shows like Pirates Prospects, Mets Musings, It's About the Yankees Stupid, and two Twins podcasts, Talk to Contact and Gleeman and the Geek. The latter, significantly, is hosted by NBC Sports' Aaron Gleeman.
Many of the affected podcasts have been around for years, making their removal from iTunes unexpected. In an official letter sent to Apple, the MLB suggests that Apple overreacted to trademark complaints.
"As we have done in the past, yesterday we notified Apple (see below) about certain podcasts on the iTunes Store whose titles and/or thumbnails include infringing uses of trademarks of Major League Baseball and certain Clubs," the letter reads. "And, as we have done in the past, we asked Apple to have these trademarks removed from the podcast titles and thumbnails. Although we did not ask for or seek to have any podcast removed from the Store, it has come to our attention that Apple removed them. Given our many years of experience in notifying Apple about trademark issues on the Store, we trust that removing the podcasts was an oversight, and ask that you please look into this matter as soon as possible."
The MLB has taken a strict approach to podcasts in the past. In 2010 it sent a cease-and-desist letter to a show called CubsCast, forcing it off the air.