MLB-TV: what's the point?

I was considering getting MLB-TV, thinking I could spend less money on beer and nachos by watching baseball at home. It's $29.95 for the whole season. I poked around, and I found that they black out all Red Sox games in my ZIP code. What's the point then? Sure, there are still games I'd want to watch, but it's hardly worth it without Sox games.

Damn you, you stinkin baseball in-charge people who went and put the games on cable. Isn't baseball supposed to be the great American pastime? It should be freely broadcast over the airwaves, dammit.


Eric Jay said...

These blackout restrictions really are total BS. Aren't they supposed to protect the club's ability to sell tickets? Last time I checked, there was a 10 year waiting list for Red Sox season tickets.

As terrible as it is that Boston residents can't watch the Sox on MLB-TV, some places have it worse.

Try putting in a Las Vegas zip code into the MLB-TV Blackout Restriction Finder (I used 89103). They're not allowed to watch the Padres, A's, Angels, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, or Giants! Also, give the zip code for Des Moines, Iowa (50301) a try. You'll find that Iowans can't watch the Twins, White Sox, Cardinals, Royals, Cubs, or Brewers on MLB-TV.

That makes TWELVE teams (or 40%) that those people can't watch on any given game day.

Oh, and NOBODY can watch Saturday day or Sunday night games using the service.

eeka said...

Whoa, that really sucks in those cities!

Yes, I had thought the blackout stuff was because of ticket sales. Blacking out games locally when the game isn't sold out, etc. But why can people with cable watch the Sox, but people can't watch it over MLB-TV? Some sort of loyalty to cable companies? Guh.

Any idea how they know where you are? Do you know if it works to have someone in another city buy it for you?

eric jay said...

Loyalty to cable companies... that's an interesting way to look at it. The Red Sox own 80% of NESN. The Yankees own ALL of YES (the Yankees cable network).

Lots of people use friends/family addresses to beat the system... I suppose they could require the address match your credit card billing address though?

Dante Mills said...

@eric jay

"Oh, and NOBODY can watch Saturday day or Sunday night games using the service."

Nobody is a pretty strong word. Actually quite a few people have been watching all the blacked out games for some time on MLB is looking at the location that your IP address is registered under. So the loophole around this is to use a proxy server. You send out your request (the game you want to watch) to the proxy server and the proxy server sends out the actual request to MLB. Look into it. I've been watching all the Saturday day games that are supposed to be blacked out and have been watching my Rockies over and I live in Denver.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more that it is total BS but I thought I would share my experience with MLB TV. I live in central IL and am a diehard Cubs fan but live too close to St. Louis so all I get is Cardinals games on my locals and only every other Cubs game on WGN (which I am so thankful for). I subscribed to MLB TV halfway through the last season for half price, figuring what the heck. I was so happy! The problem? I have satellite internet which limits how many MBs I can use a day. I have the largest package at 500 MBs and a whole game takes at least that.

But if you have the option of high speed internet with no restrictions, aren't blacked out from the games you want, and can't afford Direct TV's Extra Innings, it's a great option.

I think it is despicable that they make it so hard to watch baseball.