Free baseball for satellite dish owners will become a thing of the past. General Instrument Corp. of San Diego plans to announce it has agreed to scramble the signals of all major league baseball games this season, according to Associated Press.

Those who have used satellite dishes to watch baseball will have to buy a decoder and possibly pay rights' fees to the baseball commissioner's office. That includes everyone from homeowners to the major networks.

Hughes Television Network of New York, which will handle transmission of TV signals for the 26 teams, last month signed a contract with the commissioner's office to scramble the signals. General Instrument will handle the technology of doing so, said AP . . . , a source who spoke on condition of anonymity told the AP . . .

The Orange Bowl gave Miami a national championship, and it also topped the Nielsen ratings for bowl games with a 20.8 rating and 35 share. Second was the Rose Bowl, with a 16.5 rating and 30 share. The Cotton Bowl was third with a 10 and 22,, then the Hall of Fame Bowl (9.3, 26), the Fiesta Bowl (8.7, 19), the Florida Citrus Bowl (8.2, 17) and the Sugar Bowl (7.9, 16).