I’ve heard a lot of people complain about MLB.TV’s blackout policies.
I’m first and foremost a baseball fan. Everyone at this blog likes the Astros, but if you didn’t have them, you’d probably still be following a team somewhere. Baseball is “America’s Sport,” after all...
So why is it that Major League Baseball makes it so hard to watch their games? In some parts of the country, as many as six teams are blacked out due to broadcast exclusivity deals, arrangements, and other archaic reasons. I’m over 400 miles away from any team’s home stadium, but I can’t watch Astros baseball if they play against the Washington Nationals or the Baltimore Orioles.
As a cord cutter, I like my baseball a la carte. I pay for the subscriptions I want without being beholden to a one-size-fits-all service. I pay for Netflix, MLB, Hulu, and HBO Max happily. I simply deal with the Orioles/Nationals problem by listening to the games on the radio feed. Some use a different, less legal solution.
But it shouldn’t have to come to that. MLB.TV’s regular season blackout policy becomes a lot worse once the regular season ended. I didn’t pay it much thought until the day of the game, because the viewing guides all said yesterday’s games would be on ABC, ESPN, and MLB.TV. I figured I’d just continue watching as I always had. Imagine my shock and disappointment when I tried to watch and the website told me I had to verify that I had cable of some sort in order to enjoy. After all, I already pay a fee to watch as much as I want to.
Eventually, I signed up for YouTube.tv through their free trial in order to watch. I intend to cancel my service before they charge me and find another free trial with a different service for the second part of the postseason. Forgive my rant, but I’m sure it’s not just me that’s frustrated. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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