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Cord Cutting Astros Fans, Rejoice! No more skirting the terms of service

Cord cutting baseball fans have suffered through workarounds and skirted the terms of service to watch their local team, but a new deal means relief is on the way.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Today is a bit brighter, a bit more optimistic and a bit happier. All of that is because now you'll be able to stream in-market MLB games and watch your favorite team without skirting the terms of service or using a workaround that isn't always dependable.

If you're like me and you ditched cable long ago, sports have always been the downside. All MLB games are available to stream, but in-market games? They've been blacked out. As a result, many fans either kept cable just for sports viewing, headed to a local bar to catch their favorite nine, or found proxy servers to trick the technology into thinking they were in a city or state other than where they were.

A 2012 lawsuit challenging the practice of assigning TV rights of a game to geographic territories, blacking out local games for a geographic region, was all set to head to court with MLB, Direct TV and Comcast all on the hook, but yesterday the parties settled. This was thanks in large part to an earlier ruling that Major League Baseball's anti-trust protection relates only to the game itself, not the business deals surrounding the game like television -- reported by Bloomberg News.

MLB will now allow streaming of all games, provided you pay the piper. Those with Direct TV and Comcast subscriptions will have streaming options for local games. If you are not a Direct TV or Comcast subscriber, never fear - MLB will sell you a streaming package for all of your local team's games for the season for $84.99. If you want all of MLB to stream, it's going to cost you $109.99 (+10.99 to add on in-market games for your local team).

UPDATE 1:28pm 2/20/16: The final details of this settlement are not currently available and the comments within this article are based on currently known information.