I just received a telephone call from Ashley at EastLink. She says they have worked out an arrangement whereby we will now be able to watch Toronto Blue Jays games on the MLB extra-innings package (channel 456 in our area) for the duration of the Memorial Cup hockey play-offs. I hope so; we'll find out tonight.
I gather this plan required some fairly quick negotiations on their part. Surely in the long-run it would have been (or would be) preferable for them just to carry the Alternate Sportsnet channel. Also, channel 456 is not in high definition (I don't know whether the Alternative Sportsnet channel is available in hi-def).
She was also quite apologetic about the inability to provide feedback to them via their website and said she had sent a note to their IT folks asking them to work on it.
Earlier today, I received e-mail from Sportsnet confirming that indeed they do NOT charge service providers to carry the Alternative Sportsnet channel.
Finally (full disclosure), to compensate me for my angst and hassles, EastLink is providing us with a month of no-charge for the sports package.