Still Ranting About MLB.tv Blackout Policy

As Carson noted over at NotGraphs yesterday, MLB.tv is set to begin broadcasting actual baseball games this weekend, with three match-ups on the docket for Saturday. And, as they mention on the subscription page, there will be 150 spring training games available with “NO BLACKOUTS” (emphasis theirs). That brings me to my annual rant about a product that I can’t live without, but is so deeply flawed as to frustrate me to no end. MLB.tv could be the greatest thing ever invented, but the insane MLB blackout policies are simply mind-bogglingly stupid.

Everyone has their own personal horror story about the blackout rules. Living in North Carolina, I know that I don’t have it as bad as others – the poor people in Iowa are blacked out from watching the Twins, Royals, White Sox, Brewers, Cubs, and Cardinals – but the story here shows just how ridiculous Major League Baseball’s rules are. I am in the “local” market for four teams – the Braves, Reds, Nationals, and Orioles. The Braves are at least somewhat understandable, as I’m “only” about five hours from Atlanta and their games are readily available on cable networks in my area.

The other three, however, are essentially out of my reach. I’m 430 miles from Cincinnati, and no television carrier in my area offers Fox Sports Ohio. Why would they? It’s not like there’s much demand for Ohio area sports down here. Interestingly, I’m not blacked out from the Pirates, who are only 409 miles away, or the Indians, who are 476 miles away. I can’t explain the Pirates/Reds thing, and as for Cleveland, I guess that extra 50 miles makes all the difference in the world, despite the fact that it is more accessible via major interstates and it would actually take me less time to drive there than to get to Cincinnati.

The largest annoyance, however, is the situation with the Nationals and Orioles. Both team’s games are broadcast by MASN, who own the channel together. Time Warner – my cable provider – does not offer MASN as an option despite being ordered to do so in 2008 via binding arbitration, which they had agreed to enter as part of their acquisition of Adelphia in 2006. In January, May, and October of 2008, independent arbiters found that Time Warner discriminated against MASN, and ordered them to add the network to their list of channel offerings. Time Warner has simply appealed every ruling to date, and the case is now waiting to be heard by the FCC. Time Warner is still refusing to carry MASN, and as such, none of their subscribers in North Carolina are able to watch any Orioles or Nationals games.

Now, you could suggest that I switch cable providers, which would be a legitimate option, except that Time Warner has a monopoly in my area. They are the only game in town. I could switch to either Dish Network (sacrificing the MLB Network in the process, as DISH is still fighting with MLB and refuses to carry their channel) or DirecTV and get MASN through a satellite connection, but that presents a whole host of other problems, and for many people, satellite is not an option due to the technical restrictions of having to mount a dish with a “clear line of sight” of the satellite. Live in an apartment building or have some big trees in your yard? You’re out of luck.

What we’re left with is a situation where it is essentially impossible for me to watch any game involving the Orioles, Nationals, or Reds from my house. These games are not offered in my area, and yet, MLB has decided that I’m still in their local market and is enforcing blackout rules that prevent the product I have paid them significant money for to provide me access to games I cannot watch any other way.

It’s not like this is a recent issue. Time Warner and MASN have been fighting for three and a half years now, so MLB has had ample time to adjust their “local market” criteria and provide access to fans in my area. Instead, every year, we get the same hollow statements that it’s being looked into, and every year, we get nothing. Major League Baseball simply does not care enough about this issue to take any action, and it’s a black mark against everyone in the commissioner’s office that they continue to actively discourage people from being able to enjoy a significant portion of their product.

On many nights, I don’t have access to 20 percent of the games being played. For the poor people in Iowa, that is often as high as 40 percent. At the very least, MLB should be discounting the price of MLB.tv by the same proportion of games that users will not be allowed to watch. If being able to watch “every live out of market game” is worth $100 (or $120 for the premium subscription) per year, than being able to watch less than every game is reasonably less value, and should be priced accordingly.

Or, you know, MLB could actually fix these anti-fan, anti-growth-of-the-sport, anti-revenue-production, anti-logic rules once and for all. We want to watch baseball. We will pay for the right to do so. Just let us.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


221 Responses to “Still Ranting About MLB.tv Blackout Policy”

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  1. peter says:

    yeah, that would be quite nice.

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  2. mickmickmick says:

    I would gladly pay double the going MLB.TV rate for blackout-free service. And I’m broke.

    +36 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Skrymir2000 says:

      Sign up for a vpn service like hidemyass.com.

      I live in San Diego and its an easy way to get around Charger blackouts on the sunday ticket to go package. I’ve also used them to be able to watch hockey online from the CBC, Sportsnet & TSN in Canada.

      The only blackouts we get here for mlb.tv is the Padres who I dont’ care to watch anyhow but I have tested MLB.tv through the vpn and it works pretty good.

      Should you have to pay for a vpn service (~$78/year)? No, but it is a solution until sports realizes these stupid blackouts are detrimental.

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  3. Brad Johnson says:

    As I said in the past, why can’t Blacked Out games be replaced with the local broadcast? Is it that hard to figure out bandwidth issues for commercials? No, it’s not.

    I live in Northern VA so I’m only blacked out from the Nats and Orioles. Unfortunately, since cable/satellite is virtually useless these days aside from watching high quality NFL games, I can’t reconcile spending a boatload of money on it. Why should I pay a cable operator when 98% of what I watch is available either on netflix, mlb.tv, or for free over the internet.

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  4. byron says:

    This sucks. Potential workaround: iPhone. Jailbreak. Location Faker. Never tried it though.

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    • andrew says:

      MLB.tv uses the billing zip code of your credit card to decide what games to black out.

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      • Nats Fan In TX says:

        Not true, when I travel back to DC from Texas I am blocked from watching the Nats, yet at home I can watch them just. I think it’s done by IP address.

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      • vivalajeter says:

        Nats Fan is correct. I live in SF, but my company is based in MN. I tried watching a twins game from work and it was blacked out because our network was saying we were in MN.

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      • Fieryfurnaces says:

        I had the great fortune of having my ip address being misread (no action of my own) for almost the whole season last year. Instead of having both NY teams( I live 4 hrs out) blocked, they showed me living a little north of Atlanta! I had changed carriers but this was not a reasonable attribution. They figured it out when post season came along. If anyone knows why this ping would have happened, I’d love to recreate it and pass along.

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      • David in FL says:

        I believe that is incorrect it uses the IP address of the computer when you go to stream the feed.

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      • Bruce says:

        You’re wrong they use the ip address on your pc, and the built in location detector on your ipod, both of which can be worked around with a proxy server, and an app called location spoofer respectively.

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    • CG says:

      worked perfectly for me all of last year, until around September.

      FakeLocation just changes the GPS coordinates on the phone, which is what MLB app went by, but they must have changed it, because it suddenly stopped working for me.

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  5. Patrick says:

    Thank you for this article. I recently moved to San Antonio and don’t have cable. Figured MLB TV was worth it to watch the Astros (yeah, I know) and get all the other games I wanted. I had no idea blackouts would have prevented that. Saved me 120 bucks. Or I may just get it to enjoy baseball anyway….

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  6. ChipJack says:

    One option is going kind of “old school” and subscribing to XM Radio. You get the “home team” broadcast on all the games, as well as the MLB Channel audio feed. It’s interesting to hear the “homer” broadcasters talk about their favorite players instead of your team’s favorite players… I still think that Baseball is almost made for radio, so having every game on XM (or the Best of XM if you have Sirius) is an excellent option, especially for those of us that are constantly in our vehicles. I even will turn down the volume on my TV at home and listen to the broadcast from XM. The static that sometimes comes across reminds me of the old transister AM radios!

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    • Aaron says:

      I’m a big proponent of baseball on the radio, or iPhone app which is pretty awesome, but just because radio is a great option doesn’t mean mlb should be off the hook for its stupid tv blackout policy.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Francis says:

    I really wish MLB would get in the 21st century on this issue. Like a growing number of people, I don’t even own a TV anymore (why bother when I have Netflix, MLB.tv and Hulu) so I have no way to watch the blacked-out broadcasts. Fortunately, I live in the DC area and am a Reds fan, so I only miss their games when they play the Nats, but I wouldn’t mind following the Nationals as well since I live here. But alas, I’ll never really become a Nats fan since I can’t actually watch them play.

    A related story: Recently I was looking into a job in Nashville, TN and was horrified (and flabbergasted) when I realized that the Reds are blacked-out there. I was actually relieved when I didn’t get the job, even though it would have been much better than my current one in DC. I know, I’m pathetic.

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  8. The_Beard says:

    I live in NC and have been an MLB.tv subsriber for 3 years…so I feel you Dave!

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    • gorillagogo says:

      I hope Dave doesn’t mind being felt.

      +28 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • walkoffblast says:

        We all need to be held after dealing with the insanity of this ridiculous situation for years. Be thankful your favorite team isn’t in the AL east Dave. Just another reason to hate the unbalanced schedule.

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    • Bon says:

      I agree. Moved to NC, only 2 miles from SC border, from Baltimore only to find out that MASN and MLB blackout the Orioles. I’ve been a fan since 1954 and can’t believe that I can’t watch them. Gave up on MLB network my second year here. Not worth the money.

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  9. Neil says:

    Suddenlink doesn’t carry MASN in NC either. It’s not just an MLB issue in Greenville, NC since MASN is the exclusive carrier of several ECU events nd Suddenlink is the only cable company for most of the town. It’s downright disgraceful.

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  10. Rick says:

    It’s a shame the only way to get real movement on issues like this is through the media. Because when the media is the problem, then what do you do? It would be pretty sweet if the blogosphere could get together and really lay it on MLB thick.

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  11. thegeniusking says:

    Looking back, one of the best decisions I ever made was to move from Missouri to Chicago, thus allowing me to be out of the blackout zone for Cardinals games.

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  12. DWrek says:

    Do they stil have that stupid “no day games available on Saturday” b/c fox has games at 2:30? What about the noon games man, what about the nooners?!?!?

    ** time above are CST

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • sgolder06 says:

      Last year they changed it to any game starting before…1:15ish? could be watched on mlb.tv, as well as any game starting after 6 or 7. It was an improvement for those noon games, like you mentioned.

      The TV package still didn’t show any Saturday games until 7 though. And only had 1 HD channel, for ~$200 a year.

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  13. Joe says:

    I think the Reds are also blocked out in Iowa. At least they were last time I checked a couple years ago.

    I can sometimes get Reds games on the radio here so maybe that’s why.

    But yeah, I don’t think mlb.tv sells to well here in Iowa.

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    • RedStalk says:

      Reds aren’t blocked out in Iowa. Only the White Sox, Cubs, Royals, Cardinals, Brewers and Twins.

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      • ihuntduck says:

        Only??? I bought this stupid package to watch the Tigers, which I can watch unless they are playing in KC, Minn, Chicago, St Louis, or Milwaukee. I live in the middle of a cornfield and the closest I am to any of these is Minn at 4 hrs away. 7 to Mil or StL. And I can’t get any of the broadcasts from these markets where I live. I am going to be a one season user. I am absolutly disgusted with the attitude of MLB over this issue.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. nobigdeal says:

    when i found out about blackout rules i was pissed for about 5 minutes, then set up dummy account and accessed it through a proxy. that was 6 years ago, haven’t thought about it since.

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  15. Gorlak357 says:

    I got MLB tv only to find out that toronto’s blackout area is Canada.

    +64 Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Tim says:

    The fact that all of Canada is blacked out of Blue Jays games is ridiculous. Late last season, when a bunch of games were moved to the new Sportsnet One channel, I had no way of watching them as my cable provider (and many others) hadn’t added the channel to their line-up. I had MLB.TV, but it was useless unless I wanted to wait 3 hours (or whatever) after the game had ended and watch it from the archive.

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  17. ritz says:

    Living in VA only blacks me out from games when the Mets play the Nats, so I’m forced to watch MASN. Thank God Dibble is gone because now I may actually be able to enjoy a game.

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  18. theperfectgame says:

    Certainly a rant-worthy topic. Have you ever tried using atdhe.net? They stream every sporting event I’ve ever been looking for online for free. The quality isn’t always great but it’s better than nothing. Plus, you get that warm, fuzzy feeling of giving a giant middle finger to “the man”.

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  19. mikecarlucci says:

    MLB should at least compromise and lift the blackouts for away games. If the team is out of town, that game should be watchable.

    Living in Red Sox territory [http://www.bizofbaseball.com/images/MLB_Blackout_Map1000x733.gif] I should be blacked out for Yankee games too, given the geography they use for other teams.

    A few years ago Bud Selig himself had a game blacked out and was pretty upset. Sadly not upset enough to fix this.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Herb says:

      agree with that…what the hell sense does it make to blackout road games?

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      • JB says:

        It has to do with TV rights, and nothing to do whether you’re close enough to go to the game. Which is why Jays games are blacked out across Canada. Not because someone in Vancouver could drive to a game, but because the sports channel in Vancouver has paid for the exclusive broadcast rights.

        So your team being on the road doesn’t make the slightest difference. Offering the game on MLB.tv robs your local station of advertising revenue.

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  20. Casadilla says:

    Like the commenter above, thanks for saving me money Dave. I’m an O’s in NoVA and was interested in cancelling cable and subscribing to the MLB.TV package to save money while getting to watch my favorite team. I had no idea about such BLACKOUTS as MLB actually put it. But to force someone to buy an expensive product (about $75/month) they don’t want (700 useless channels I never watch) just to have two channels I do enjoy (MLBNetwork and MASN) is ludicrous.

    Of course, this problem would all disappear if cable did a la carte packages. Alas, such companies are not interested empowering consumers with a choice, as much as they are interested in having direct access to our bank accounts.

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  21. delv says:

    Those poor people in Iowa…

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Dodger says:

    The Blackouts in the US is maybe one of the small advantage to follow baseball in France. No blackout at all.

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    • JohnnyK says:

      Yeah, I’ved had MLB.tv for the past 3 years and am blacked out from 0 games here in Austria. Apart from a German Pay-TV channel which broadcasts 1 or 2 games a week it is the only (legitimate) way to watch baseball here.

      OTOH the time difference basically eliminates anything but day games (EST+6).

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    • CG says:

      That is funny, last season I used FakeLoacation on my iPad to watch all my home teams games. I set my location to Paris :)

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      • B N says:

        MLB.tv is going to take your fakery as a sign that their product is really catching on worldwide. Moral of the story: they’ll start running French ads in the breaks.

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  23. RollBravesRoll says:

    This is the biggest beef I have with almost anything in sports today. It blows my mind that MLB would actually RESTRICT fans from watching a sport that is just continuously decreasing in attention by fans, on a yearly basis, while the NFL, which is far & away the biggest sporting attraction in the world right now, is finding more & more ways to GIVE fans different forms of being able to watch the game they’re wanting to watch, which is usually the team closest to where they live, & doing it on a multitude of different platforms.

    Sure, they black out people on forms of internet streaming, who are actually living in a fairly close perimeter to that team, which is generally the state the team they’re trying to follow is actually located in, but they’re not blacking out the 10 states closest to that team, which is close to what MLB is doing. I live 5 hours from Atlanta, & can’t access the Braves through MLB.tv. Yet, if I drive 35 minutes south, to the Florida state line, I’m good to go. What a joke.

    Which is why, every year, I purchase one of the IP scramblers, usually Hide My IP, but lately it’s been Easy Hide IP, or possibly even Real Hide IP this year (which I’ve read good reviews on), run the program all the way until the mlb.tv program clears through it’s checkpoint, then turn the IP scrambler off & watch the game in the highest definition possible because it quickly goes back to my regular internet connection speeds, without any issues.

    Now, if I can only find an app to use for my Android device, which is supposed to be able to use At Bat 11 to stream live games, similar to the one iPhone has out, or if I can find a way to scramble my IP on a Roku player, or something else that streams baseball in high def, since my podunk cable operator STILL doesn’t carry any of the Braves games not on Network Fox in HD.

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    • Deelron says:

      “while the NFL, which is far & away the biggest sporting attraction in the world right now, is finding more & more ways to GIVE fans different forms of being able to watch the game they’re wanting to watch, which is usually the team closest to where they live, & doing it on a multitude of different platforms. ”

      How exactly do I watch live, out of market games if they’re not televised locally and I’m not a customer of Direct TV? That’s right, move outside the US or Mexico.

      I’m not sure the NFL is a whole lot better.

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. bpdelia says:

    I have one other, slightly unrelated, thing to add here.
    \MLB.com has the potential to be unbelievable bUT i AM GETTING REALLY SICK of the issues EVERY YEAR. Every season teh first week is just chock full of glitches. Games that won’t load, HD sliders that don’t work.
    I always but the premium and every year at least 30% of the time the HD crashes and I watch the basic format.

    LIkewise go to the forums and you will find hundreds of people complaining about non functioning games adn over and over the response form tech will be about “installing drivers, or clearing cache” etc. Despite the fact that the avg person is pretty internet savy now and of course the fact that all of us are saying “WE’VE ALREADY DONT THAT”.

    Mlb.coms policy seems to be to NEVER admit there is an issue ever. All I want is a statement saying “we are still working on some issues”. What I loathe is the attitude “everything is fine, you are just a complaining idiot.”

    I’m seriously considering forgoing it this year and only using the illegal P2P sites to watch any game I want for free. It’s not HD but they actually work.

    I’ve had it every year since it’s inception and nothing ever changes or gets fixed.

    IF CBS, TNT and hosts of others can have perfectly functioning FREE access to streaming video a high priced pay outlet like MLB.com should be able to figure it out.

    +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mario Mendoza says:

      Concur. With. Everything.

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    • Black Swan says:

      I will give a third to that motion. I will not purchase the premium product and will not download whatever thingy it is that is supposed to give you an enhanced performance as it makes games unloadable. Basic is the only thing that worked well for me.

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  25. Mike says:

    This got me fired up, though I have a pretty good situation. I’m a Yankees fan living in Boston, so I only miss out on 19 games a year. These are generally the best 19 games, though. To echo what others have said, I do not own a TV (Netflix and Hulu make it only necessary for sports). This is becoming more and more common among people in their 20′s. I hope MLB will catch up. I go to bars now for Red Sox/Yankee games. Baseball is a shitty sport to watch at a bar.

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  26. sgolder06 says:

    Living in Boston, I never realized how good I had it. I’ve been an mlb.tv subscriber going on my 9th year, and have been consistently annoyed at the Fox Saturday blackouts. I never thought of the hell that midwesterners must go through. Missing 40% of games? Disgusting.

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  27. Expos67 says:

    I wonder if the Expos would have been blacked out in Canada, as they had no TV Channel at all following them in the end. RDS(in french) was covering something like 20 games per season, including the ones in Puerto Rico lol

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  28. nobigdeal says:

    haven’t had to use them in a while but do tvants, sopcast, synacst, afreeca, or tvu still work?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brad Johnson says:

      I tried a couple of them recently when desperate but haven’t had any success.

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    • bpdelia says:

      use channelsurf.net. Has every single sporting event and they all work 95% of the time. Likewise
      MyP2P.eu works perfectly and has every sport every game. I discovered these because now living in Miami I am unable to get the Giants on Fox ever. But now I’ve been using those two sites for the KNicks and the Rangers. THis year because MLB.Com has pushed me over the edge with lousy service, crappy tech, and constant crashes I’m going to be using these for baseball also. I jsut can’t deal with the agita this year and my wife will throw me out if I spend any more nights cursing at the computer

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    • bpdelia says:

      in fact just checked (on myp2p.eu you can search forward by sport) and tommorows yanks phils ST game will be available.

      Only thing i like about MLB.Com is the archive (although thats CRAZY bug ridden too).

      I’ll probably end up buying it again but I’ll be pissed.

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  29. Llewdor says:

    Sometimes the blackout ruiles work quite well.

    I can drive from my home to Safeco Field in 2.5 hours, and that includes a border crossing. And yet, MLB.tv only blacks out Blue Jays games, because I’m in Canada.

    But, it’s the Toronto games that are available on television, so that makes sense, and it’s actually quite difficult to see Mariners games, but basically every baseball fan I know in the area is a Mariners fan.

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  30. Rick says:

    What’s sad about this is that we figured out 50 years ago that TV coverage increases attendance, not decreases it. MLB cant’ seem to figure that out.

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    • AJS says:

      It’s not about attendance. It’s about forcing someone to watch (i.e. provide commercial eyeballs for) the games on regular cable/over-the-air TV.

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      • JR says:

        But that’s what is ridiculous about much of the blackout restrictions– in Iowa, most Royals, White Sox, Brewers, and Cubs games aren’t on cable/OTA tv where I live… for some reason the Cards games are always on, but I don’t really know anyone that is a Cardinals fan around here. Instead of blacking out the entire state, it would maybe make more sense to split up Iowa into sections– the north could still black out the Twins, the east could black out the Sox and Cubs, the south could black out he Cards, whatever.

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  31. Vod Kanockers says:

    It is VERY easy to circumvent the MLB.tv blackout rules. VERY easy.

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  32. Matt Defalco says:

    QUICK QUESTION:

    I live near Toronto – what blackouts apply to me? Any beside the Jays? All of the blackout maps I’ve found don’t include info on the Jays or Toronto on the map.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      At the bottom of the subscription page they have a check-tool that will estimate your location from your IP address and tell you what blackouts apply to you.

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    • peteypuck says:

      I’m in SW Ontario, here is the best sports streamer that I have found, and I’ve seen most of them.

      http://vodkasports.com/

      I run oodles of firewalls, my rig is the Fort Knox of desktops. I’ve had lots of blocks and picked up junk on the scans, from various sites, this one seems to be clean.
      This is all NA pro sports, not just baseball. Picture quality is better than most steams, audio is good. Obviously free, with the 30 second ad when you first log on to whicher game stream.

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  33. Jeff says:

    Watching in Argentina I’ll be subscribing for my third season. The first two years I was a little worried early on, but the day after the money back guarantee expires, the quality amazingly goes way up. I don’t know anyone else down here who pays for it, but when Strasburg was pitching I had two guys asking for my password to watch it. Also, I can confirm it’s done by IP. I never get blacked out down here, but while I’m in the states I see the same things you all do.

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  34. Jon E says:

    I’m a Tigers’ fan living in Iowa. Horrible situation for me in particular. The AL Central is a dead zone here in IA. All Twins games, all Royals games, and all White Sox games are on the blackout list….fully a third of the Tigers’schedule I can’t get on MLB.tv. I certainly don’t get a 33% discount! LOL

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  35. Philadelphiandy says:

    Dave, I’m a Phillies fan living just outside Burlington, NC (Elon University, if you’re familiar with it), and I’ve been ranting about this exact same thing for 2 years now. With both the Nationals and Braves blacked out I have to miss 40% of my favorite team’s divisional games- although I can usually catch the Braves’ broadcast through Time Warner* if I’m in my apartment and my suite mate hasn’t laid claim to our TV. It’s insanely frustrating to be blocked from viewing games against teams that are located hundreds of miles away, especially when these teams are a chief divisional threat.

    *Time Warner deserves their own, separate rant.

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  36. Chops says:

    Yankee fan living in Delaware. I don’t get blacked out from Yankee games, but I don’t get CSN-Philly, MASN, or MASN2 on TV and MLB.tv is blacked out for Washington/Philadelphia/Baltimore games. Therefore, the only way I could watch the Orioles, Nationals, or Phillies is if they are playing a national game.

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  37. jrdo410 says:

    I don’t see why MLB.tv can’t just charge $20-$50 bucks extra if you want home team games, and kick that over to FSNW or whoever. More people would subscribe and the networks get their money. Win-Win-Win. d-bags.

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    • Zach says:

      Done. Problem solved. Now let the 5-10 year “Bud-Selig-waiting-to-respond-to-any-problem-including-steroids-ruining-your-sport” waiting period commence.

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  38. mlb rep says:

    if a game is blacked out on mlb.tv, you could still listen to the live home/away radio feeds, right?

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    • jeffn411 says:

      Yes you can, at least on MLB at Bat for the iPhone and Android. I think the same goes for the web based radio package you can buy from MLB as well.

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    • Herb says:

      i wouldn’t pay for MLB.radio unless you have to…check your team’s radio affiliate network and often some of the smaller and far away affiliates will stream and forget to turn it off during the game…this worked for me during most of the playoffs and WS last year…

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  39. Aaron says:

    Agree with jrdo410. Didn’t the Yankees do something like that last year? Charge a bit extra to lift blackouts on their games? The NBA has a system in which you can choose certain teams to follow, including local teams. Why MLB is so insane on this issue is mind boggling. I guess they care more about their buddies at the cable companies than fans of their sport. Even if that’s true, though, why not compete with the cable companies by offering the best possible product at MLB.tv? Insane and insulting.

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    • Joncarlos says:

      yeah, I don’t live in NY, but I saw a lot of commercials watching the Yankees on Extra Innings that seemed to imply that if you had a NY cable subscription you could pay $60 to watch the local games on your computer.

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    • Zach says:

      The only catch is that they depend on the cable channels (FSN, etc.) to provide the resources for the broadcast. There has to be some kickback for the networks for any deal to work. There wouldn’t be MLB.TV without the broadcast networks

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  40. JBrown says:

    The whole system is screwy and doesn’t make sense. I pay $ to go to games, but can’t afford to go to every game. Seems like some type of system where you buy X number of tickets for games and you get no blackouts would also work for some people.

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  41. Dan says:

    Has anyone tried getting a slingbox and linking it up with a friend’s tv for local games?

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  42. Matt says:

    Has anyone tried using a proxy? I did it about 5 years ago to avoid the blackout restrictions, but haven’t tried it recently.

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  43. cass says:

    Nats fan here. Don’t really watch any TV other than baseball, so cable isn’t really worth it to me and their cheap packages don’t even have MASN. I’d happily get mlb.tv (or a similar plan that just covers Nats games), but the blackout prevents it. So MASN and MLB are leaving a lot of money on the table. I guess they don’t want my money. Oh well. At least I can get a $5 ticket to Nats Park and sit in great seats since no one else is there.

    Although the video quality wasn’t great, at least I was able to watch pretty much all of Stephen Strasburg’s AAA games last year on milb.tv, including his no-hitter. Thankfully there were no blackouts even when MASN also picked up the games.

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  44. skyjo says:

    We should stage a protest. Everyone flood the twitter/facebook/whatever else of MLB/Bud Selig/whoever else and complain about the blackouts. Use the tag #BudSeligHatesIowans. GO FORTH!

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  45. Carts13 says:

    Wow, I never realised it was that bad! Being from London I always bemoan the fact that I usually only get over to the US for games once a year. I suppose at least I can take solace from the fact I get no blackouts from MLB.tv, even if it does mean 4 hours sleep each night in summer

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  46. johndango says:

    I am in Redmond and (obviously) get blocked from Mariners games. I would LOVE to watch day (and away) games while I’m at work. At home it’s no big deal because my wife would die if I tried to cancel cable, I just want to watch the few games I’m not at home for. Usually I do the GameDay Audio but I think I’m gonna give http://atdhe.me/ a whirl this year. Though, is it safe to use on a work computer do you think? I work for, ahem, a big Redmond based software company…

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  47. The blackout situation is ridiculous and thank you for again bringing it to light. Being an A’s fan in Columbus, OH I tend to do alright. I get the Indians games on SportstimeOhio via my cable so I am fine there. But, here we are somehow inexplicably in the Pirates home area so the rare time (last year) that Oakland played Pittsburgh, I got blacked out. I feel bad for those in Iowa, and Las Vegas is another place where theyre blacked out insanely, I think in Vegas they lose the A’s, Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Padres and Diamondbacks and at one point I think the Rockies too?

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  48. Griggs says:

    Is it true that only LIVE broadcasts are blackedout? Can you watch them all after 2 hours from an archive?

    TIA

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  49. razor says:

    I’m just outside the Omaha area. Would I be in much the same situation as those in Iowa?

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    • ElJosharino says:

      Nope, I’m an Omaha resident and we have it way better off than does Iowa. The only team blacked out for us is the Royals, which I think actually increases the value of the product.

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  50. bSpittle says:

    I wasted money last year on MLB.tv only to find out later the two teams I care about are blacked out.

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  51. Chris says:

    My top 3 grievances with this “should be the greatest thing in the world”:
    1). black out rules
    2). MLB.tv customer (dis)service – “I came here for an argument, NOT abuse”
    3). The between innings commercials – not the current standings or league leaders… no something from the MLB channel relevant to either of the two teams playing… no, we get the same Yahoo spots for the Kardashians t*ts over and over and over… oh, and at a volume that’s randomly set to between twice and ten times as loud as your broadcast…

    *whew* I now surrender the soapbox.

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  52. JW says:

    A fellow NC resident IN SOLIDARITY. Thanks for a well-written rant.

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  53. bluejaysstatsgeek says:

    I listen to games on the radio. I’d only consider MLB-TV if it was blackout-free. Occasionally, it isn’t convenient for me to have a radio with me, and MLB forces my local Blue Jays broadcaster – which also owns the team – to stop their “listen online” feature during games. Total piss-off.

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    • siggian says:

      Agreed. Where I work, my radio won’t pick up the AM signal. I’d love to have the internet stream of their broadcast, but there are stupid rules that prevent it. Absolutely stupid. Not everyone at work can listen to the radio. Why not have the stream as an alternative?

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  54. Chris says:

    I was raised an Indians fan and moved to NM in 2003 and lost a lot of interest in the sport because the only team I could watch were the Rangers and I had little interest in them. In 2007 I moved to UT (right as the Rockies were clinching their playoff berth) and have been hooked on the Rockies since. In 2008 I moved to Denver and my fandom grew exponentially as I was able to see baseball in a stadium for the first time in six years.

    Now I’m in Northern Virginia and would like to start following the O’s and Nats, as well as keep up with my Rockies and develop a connection to my original team, the Indians outside of fantasy baseball. Paying for cable here is already expensive, is it worth the extra cash for MLB.tv? Would I be best served making an HTPC to be able to record and watch the games available only through MLB.tv this way? The cost of a new TV, HTPC, MLB.tv, plus cable seems to be an awful lot when combined. Wasn’t there a subscription based TV network that you could get to watch whatever team you wanted (if I remember correctly it was pay-per-team) or was I confused? Right now I really only care enough to watch up to four teams, the rest of the games I’m fine with getting via highlight reals, online analysis and fantasy notes.

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  55. I absolutely love MLB.TV but the blackout restrictions are awful. Especially when you consider as a Yankee fan I have to listen to Michael Kay.

    The worst is actually Sundays (or is it Sat?) when FOX has dibs on a handful of games. It literally blacks out half of the action in the afternoon.

    I stream MLB.tv through my PS3 and it’s fantastic. Cool, simple interface, good pic quality. And everything is archived.

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  56. Evan says:

    I own a television, and I subscribe to Cable. But I spend so little time in front of the TV, and so much time in front of the computer. Please, please, please let me pay you watch local Giants games! If you need to verify my cable subscription, do it. If you want to charge me extra to watch blacked out games, do it. Just let me pay you to watch baseball! I don’t understand why they make it so difficult.

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  57. mike wants wins says:

    I’m shocked MLB even knows what the internet is……

    I will not buy mlb.tv until there are no blackout rules. I want to watch the games I want to watch, that’s why I would pay for it.

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  58. marshen says:

    No wonder why the proliferation of “pirate channels” like atdhe.net and others streaming the games for free. I think MLB is really the pirate here and the pirate websites are Robin Hood.

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  59. OTerry says:

    The entire Canadian nation is blacked out from Blue Jays broadcasts on MLB.tv. Although they have a national TV deal with Rogers Sportsnet, sometimes it’s so much more convenient to watch games on a mobile device, computer, whatever. Especially considering how many timezones there are across Canada, people can’t always park themselves in front of a regular TV.

    These blackout policies are just so idiotic. There are thousands of people who want to watch commercials and are willing to spend money on this service… why do they not want viewers and associated revenue!

    On the bright side, at least games aren’t blacked out on local TV if tickets fail to sell out like in the NFL. That is a special type of lunacy.

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  60. cs3 says:

    my question is, why hasnt anyone started a class action lawsuit?
    that might get MLB’s attention

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    • Anon21 says:

      I don’t know, what’s your cause of action? Suck ass broadcasting rights system that works terribly for millions of your customers? Not illegal. Some kind of antitrust violation? MLB and its affiliated operations are exempted.

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  61. joe says:

    I live in F’ville NC and here is more insanity. I got MASN and Fox Sport South. However, every National game is blacked and so are the O’s. But the Fox Sports channel is the one that carries only the Sunday Braves game. But with MLB.tv every braves game with the nats is blacked. MLB will be ruined if Selig has his way

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  62. RoyalWatcher says:

    Dunno if it’s been suggested, but a simple VPN would solve alot of your problems… it basically masks your ip and lets you get an address from another location. Changing your ip to say the UK or Canada will remove all your blackouts.

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  63. Anon21 says:

    I haven’t bought MLB.tv before, but I probably will for this coming season. I’m in pretty good shape, I think. I’m in Connecticut, where Red Sox, Yankees, and Mets games get blacked out. I’m a Braves fan, so I lose about 15 games or so to their season series with the Mets, but they don’t play the Yanks or Red Sox this year, so I’m set to get all the other games with no blackouts.

    I do feel for people in situations like the one Dave is in: no realistic TV option, but still considered part of the “local market.” I don’t think this level of service is going to work going forward. Carving the country up into little fiefdoms is just not in line with customer expectations in the digital age.

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  64. CubsFan says:

    As a Cubs fan living in Arkansas I find it hard to believe how annoying MLB’s blackout policy is. The four teams that are blacked out in my area are the Rangers, Astros, Royals and Cardinals. If i were to subscribe to MLB.tv I would miss every Cubs vs Cardinals game (arch rival), all Cubs vs Astros games (division games against a team that my squad is likely to have a winning record against), all Rangers games (my favorite AL team) and all Royals games. That last one sucks because my house is a 20 minute drive from the stadium where the Royals AA affiliate plays. I’m getting an up close and personal look at all of the players in their loaded farm system but the blackout restrictions will prevent me from following them as closely when they reach the bigs.

    Why would I pay for this? I love watching baseball and would get more than my money’s worth from watching the games that are available but as a consumer I can’t justify spending money on a product that looks like it was designed to piss me off. Like an increasing number of people, I don’t have cable or satellite television service. Thanks to Netflix, Hulu & a wide variety of less-than-legal options available across the web I have no use for traditional TV. Wouldn’t it be in MLB’s best interest to allow me unrestricted access to their product? Without the blackout policy I would drop $120 on MLB.tv without a second thought. As it stands right now I will just find another way to see the games that I want to watch. I don’t think that you need to have attended the Harvard school of business or possess a degree in rocket science to be able to see that MLB is hurting itself with this arcane policy.

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  65. Steroid Shuffle says:

    Live in Salt Lake City, and am blacked out from Phoenix games 700 miles away. Do I get FSN Arizona? Not a chance in hell.

    BTW, 700 milies is also the distance from New York to Indianapolis…

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  66. CubsFan says:

    cs3

    Re: your idea for a class action suit

    Unfortunately MLB’s blackout policy isn’t illegal, it’s just stupid. Even more unfortunately, you can’t litigate stupid.

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  67. ralf says:

    Most ridiculous blackout location: American Samoa. MLBtv blacks out Angels and (I think) A’s games. No other CA teams. We have no access to regional sports channels here. We’ve only had ESPN for a few years and just got Fox for the first time right before the Super Bowl. Someone had to make a conscious decision that the people of American Samoa (99% of whom don’t care about baseball anyway) will never, ever be able to watch the games of two random teams.

    It’s all moot, though, since the internet here is too slow for MLBtv. At least it’s fast enough for streaming radio broadcasts, which don’t have any blackout restrictions.

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  68. Mr.MojoRisin says:

    I never felt so lucky to live in CT!
    I get SNY-Mets, YES-Yanks, & NESN-Red Sox on Comcast’s expanded basic package and I have sometimes ordered the 2nd half package. (If I have a lot of west coast players on my fantasy teams!) The only games I miss are the Fox Saturday games when the Sox or Yanks cover up the Mets, Sox, or Yanks, as the case may be.
    The only other issue I have here is like once a month the local network channel doesn’t carry the weekly local network Met game, but it’s generally a Friday night game anyway, and I miss those a lot anyway! LOL!

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  69. Mike says:

    I rarely think this, but being a baseball fan in Australia actually has some perks. No blackouts being the obvious one.

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  70. sleepingcobra says:

    Bud Selig has to go. He’s a tweed jacket dinosaur living in a monochrome greed-dream.

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  71. Daven says:

    I posted this in the other thread, but here it is again for those it will help:

    Pro-tip: All you have to do is, in your browser settings, set to route your connection through some free proxy server in japan or china or the like, then load the game you want to watch that is normally blacked out for you. This tends to make it really crappy quality, but then all you have to do is turn off the proxy. MLB.com doesn’t check after the initial load. After the proxy is turned off, the quality goes back to what your full internet speed can handle. I use this to watch the Mariner games which are blacked out in my area.

    I can only assume MLB is completley aware of this flaw in their system because it’s pretty widely talked about and known, but don’t really care because they want more subscribers (they could easily just continually check location with a very minor software update, but they chose not too).

    Their affiliates are happy because MLB appears to have the requested black outs, and MLB is happy because people can easily get around the blackout restriction so long as MLB’s software doesn’t continually check location throughout the broadcast, which they don’t; so they get more subscribers like me, who otherwise wouldn’t sign up.

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  72. DC says:

    As a twins fan living in VA, got tired of having my games blacked out because the Twins were playing the O’s….in Minnesota. Cancelled cable and MLB.tv and bought a slingbox for my sister in Minneapolis. Get my twins, vikes, t’wolves (yes, there’s a downside) and gophers. MLB.tv truly sucks, and the customer service is as bad as I’ve ever experienced.

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  73. bmac says:

    I’m in the NY area, and the REPLAY(!) of last night’s Rangers/Capitals game on NHL network is blacked out here right now. Never knew replays could be blacked out. HIGHlarious…. and annoying.

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  74. colin says:

    maybe ATDHE will carry baseball

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  75. PhillR says:

    For those that want a work around to geographic blocks by IP address:

    http://www.strongvpn.com/

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  76. R M says:

    What is the rationale behind this? I don’t even watch baseball anymore–satellite or cable is way too expensive, and I’m not paying for a service that doesn’t allow me to watch my own team. I listen to games on the radio.

    Why do you all keep paying for it? Maybe the MLB would get the message if people simply stopped using it.

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  77. scott says:

    whoa whoa whoa, say whaaaaat?

    I just purchased MLB.tv for the first time and am a Braves fan living on the NC coast. I bought it ENTIRELY to get the Braves games, which aren’t broadcast on my apartment’s standard cable package. I thought I thoroughly read the legal jargon. So you forreal cannot get any Braves games in North Carolina? Well life just got a little shittier.

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  78. Matt says:

    I’ve had MLB.TV for years now here in Phoenix and the only problem I have is at home there are no blackouts (except locally). But at work or a couple other locations I go to often the Padres games are blacked out. This makes no sense to me whatsoever. Has anyone else in Phoenix had this issue? It is annoying.

    As for anyone looking to purchase MLB.TV for first time, don’t bother with the Premium service that gives you HD quality. The Nexdef add-on is a joke. It just completely screws up your feed and ends up reverting back to basic quality automatically if you don’t do it yourself after 3 minutes of frustration. Not worth it. Though, I think you need to be a Premium member to use MLB.TV on mobile devices like the iPad. So, you would need it for that.

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  79. Hotel Guy says:

    Or… you could just watch it online for free via one of the many online websites which offer the games.

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  80. Kell Varnson says:

    Unfortunately, Time Warner’s appeal was actually upheld by the FCC … which, inexplicably, reversed all previous arbitrator decisions. No doubt, TWC and their lobbyists have stuffed the pockets of the FCC and got a sweetheart ruling.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/12/24/879956/fcc-rules-for-time-warner.html

    Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable has recently spent $3 billion (that’s right, billions) on an exclusive network with the LA Lakers. Hope you enjoy what your monthly payments are paying for … oh, that’s right– we won’t see any O’s or Nats games because of our friends at Time Warner.

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    • danh says:

      this blog finally answered my long-standing question, who is responsible for the obnoxious NC cable blackouts. time warner always said, it’s not us. today i had an online chat with them, and was promised a reply from a “higher department.” wish me luck, friends.

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  81. dhalk says:

    Don’t forget Canada where the entire country (2nd biggest by area in world) is blacked out from Toronto games. Now, just as a bonus f*** you, Rogers is starting to allocate games to a premium channel that must be ordered separately. Oh, and if you’re not within 40 km of a major city don’t even bother trying to find a game on the radio, and the online radio is also blacked out. Can’t they just detect my IP and let me listen online? Whaaaa???

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  82. peteypuck says:

    I’m in SW Ontario, Canada, here is the best sports streamer that I have found, and I’ve seen most of them.

    http://vodkasports.com/

    I run oodles of firewalls, my rig is the Fort Knox of desktops. I’ve had lots of blocks and picked up junk on the scans, from various sites, this one seems to be clean.
    This is all NA pro sports, not just baseball. Picture quality is better than most steams, audio is good. Obviously free, with the 30 second ad when you first log on to whicher game stream.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  83. peteypuck says:

    Oh yeah, here is a link to a Nova Scotia station that streams the Jay’s audio live. I guess they didn’t get the memo from the “Evil Empire.”

    http://player.rogersradio.ca/cjni/on_air

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  84. josh says:

    …and the entire country of Canada is a ‘local market’ for the bluejays, meaning no one can watch a jays game online. :(

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  85. Charlie says:

    On a jailbroken iPhone (iPad or iPod touch) you can use a location faker to get rid of blackouts.

    It is very handy.

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  86. Brian says:

    Thank you for this. I was more understanding when I thought my situation was rare. Given how widespread the problem is, there’s no excuse for it to continue.

    Here in North Georgia (too far from the stadium to attend more than a few games a year), I did get most Braves games through DirecTV. However, I couldn’t get games broadcast on Peachtree TV (and other local stations throughout the region) over the air or with any cable/satellite package. Despite the fact that watching on Peachtree TV isn’t an option at all for me, those games are blacked out on ESPN, Extra Innings, and MLB.tv. What good does that do? Here you have someone that would pay good money to see his local team and is completely prohibited from doing so.

    Now that I’ve canceled my satellite service, I suppose I will be going to bars, even though I’d pay quite a bit to get the Braves on MLB.tv. This is a terrible way to treat fans. I understand business, but it doesn’t even make business sense – short-term or long-term.

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  87. VM says:

    Amen.

    I choose not to have a television. I am a big Rangers fan and live in Austin.

    I would happily pay for online access to the Rangers… but, of course, such a thing is not available.

    So, instead, I follow the team a little less closely or listen to the radio. The MLB is missing out on this fan’s revenue.

    And, more importantly, they’re probably missing out on the potential fandom of my children, as I doubt they’ll be enticed by Gameday and radio…

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  88. Ike says:

    As a fan in Oklahoma, the blackout policy is the primary reason I won’t get MLB.tv. Texas, Houston, KC, and St. Louis are all blacked out. The coverage of these 4 teams over my cable subscription could be rated as “sometimes, we’ll show one of them on the TeeVee, but if there is a game you want to watch, it won’t be on. Why don’t you become a Cubs fan instead. We carry WGN.”

    Oh, and forget radio. Even during the playoffs, I couldn’t find a baseball game on the radio here. The so-called “sports networks” on the radio here thought more asinine call-in shows about college football were more important. Oh wait, no, I did find coverage of one playoff game last year on the radio. In Spanish. Yes, I listened to it on my one hour drive home from work.

    I’m going to be looking into XM this year.

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  89. Matt says:

    Mlb.tv is supposed to have “free” spring training games on the iphone app. Except they don’t work. And customer service offers no solutions. It’s the worst company in the history of the world in terms of misleading customers and providing horrendous customer support. They straight up lie and deny. It’s too bad they are the only ones offering this service because I have no choice but to fork over cash to a company that really doesn’t deserve a penny from anyone!

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  90. Dylan says:

    Blue Jays fan living in Ottawa, in the past year our radio station has dropped Jays coverage and much of our national coverage has moved to a premium television station. The difficulty in accessing baseball is killing my interest in the sport and I am a tremendously loyal fan! I will pay for MLBTV if, and when there are no blackouts. Otherwise it just makes no sense. Why I can’t just pay more for a blackout free service is beyond me.

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  91. CT says:

    I agree, the situation is beyond ridiculous. I would happily pay for the service and have canceled cable because like others here I am sick of paying $60/month or more for 95 channels of cooking shows. The blackouts are idiotic and the owners need to get with the times.

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  92. MC says:

    Just wanted to note that sometimes on Fox Sport South will show Reds games in the Charlotte market at least 2-3 times a week (not always, especially if conflict with Braves game on same channel).

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  93. John says:

    Hi Guys,
    You might want to try clearwire wireless internet (www.clear.com) as an ISP. Their IP addresses are not always geolocated to where you hook up to it. So if you are in DC, the IP geotag may say TX. Not foolproof, but if it does not work they offer a 30-day money back.

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  94. Kevin says:

    My condolences to all of you who cannot watch your favorite team play. It is beyond absurd and makes absolutely no sense.

    I am going to subscribe this year, but only because I have a very lucky situation: I’m a Mets fan living in New Jersey. You would think that I would be blacked out for all Mets games, but I guess due to population density, I am in the Phillies market, and not either NY team, so, fortunately, I will be able to watch my team! I don’t mean to rub it in…

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  95. Jeff says:

    Being a consumer in the United States really sux. Greed rules above all else, *especially* common sense. I will never again subscribe to a cable/dish type TV service and pay for the junk they ‘offer’ you. I get a perfectly clear HD signal over the air for local broadcasts and am happy with the signal – far superior to that sent by any supplier. The only thing I miss is my Oakland A’s – and I miss them terribly. I was hoping mlb.tv could fill that need but no. There is no reason why this should not be offered to consumers. It makes me sad.

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  96. JimCrikket says:

    A fellow Twins blogger referred me to your excellent post via a comment following my own rant at Knuckleballsblog.com, which I posted in the wee hours this morning. I’m one of those Iowans being screwed over and I’ve finally had enough.I’m not only dropping my subscription to mlb.tv package (as you correctly mentioned, close to half the games on any given day are blacked out in Iowa… and I believe Las Vegas has a similar issue), but I’m also entering my 51st and final year as a Twins fan. After this season, I will no longer support an organization that takes proactive steps to assure that I DON’T watch their team’s games. My son has grown up in Iowa to be an Orioles fan… I think I’ll join him.

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  97. sw says:

    At least usa is blocked by states but im a blue jays fan who lives in vancouver and jays games are blocked out from entire country. fml

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  98. E says:

    Still can’t believe that Brewers games are blocked out in Iowa….they is no local broadcast of the games here

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  99. Jess says:

    I live in Texas and am restricted by blackouts of all California markets. The reason for that is still unclear.

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  100. mk says:

    Count me another optimistic fool who thought the point of mlb.tv was to let fans watch their favorite teams. I’m in Indianapolis and discovered that I can’t get the Cubs games (what I really wanted), or the Sox or Reds. I could even live with the games carried on WGN or the regional Fox station being blacked out, but all games? I am going to try the work-around ideas suggested, though they may be out of league computer-literacy wise. Next year I think I’ll skip it entirely and spend the subscription money on tickets to the triple A Indianapolis Indians.

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  101. Jvizzle says:

    I’m in Philly and was incorrectly blacked out of a Mets-Nats game today. I called their 800 number and they fixed it over the phone….5 min tops. I know this might not work for everyone but you can see they are trying. f

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  102. bp says:

    I recently subscribed without doing any research, what a waste this product is! Any nationaly broadcast game is blacked out, playoffs, etc. The video quality is pretty poor too, some games are unwatchable. If you don’t mind paying 20+ dollars to watch a replay then go ahead and waste your money. And of course all my local teams are blacked out, so I can only watch a replay long after the fact. Kinda like seeing a new movie after someone tells you the plot and ending. If it was 5 bucks a month, fine, but as it is, not a value on any level. Pretty poor product in general, and just showcases MLBs general greed.

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  103. kick me in the GO NATS says:

    I really wish some outlet would allow me to buy only one teams games for the season for less than buying every game. I catch maybe 4-5 games a week on TV and I wish they were all Nats games. I no longer live in the DC area, so I have to spend $200 to directtv to get a season of baseball games, or I can watch them on my laptop (hugely inferior because my job is done via laptop) for $99 for a season from MLB.tv.

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  104. J. says:

    I think MLB.tv uses your internet/cable provider’s IP address… I can’t think of any other explanation. For example, I’m a Tigers fan in Central Illinois, so I subscribed to it so I could watch the games on my Roku and I have no complaints.

    But living down here for about three years has turned me into something of a Cardinals fan, too, so I like to follow them to be able to have chitchat with my coworkers (maybe 60 percent Cards fans). I wasn’t expecting to be able to watch the Cardinals games, because my location (80 miles from STL) should mean that they’re blacked out. It even says so when I enter my ZIP on the MLB.tv page — I SHOULD be blacked out of the Cards, Cubs and White Sox. But I’ve been able to watch EVERY Cardinals game but NO Sox or Cubs games (even though I would have liked to see them).

    My theory is that because my internet provider is HQ’d in suburban Chicago it uses that IP rather than my actual location downstate. I’m guessing that’s how the MLB.tv system works. Which makes absolutely NO sense. I mean, I won’t complain…. I get to watch the Tigers and the Cards. But if the system is that easily fooled then there are obviously still problems over at MLB.com that they need to fix.

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  105. John Feet says:

    Ditto to all. Absolutely insane. But what about the kids, who can potentially pump future dollars into MLB? They are throwing them away and that WILL KILL Baseball. You go to as many games as you can to cheer on your home team. Maybe you even by the 11game Sunday plan for you and the kids in the nosebleed seats. But you want to watch your heros play when you can’t get to the park. Too F***ing bad young fan and dad. Because you can do anything but ever get interested and follow your own home team. That is the moron moment of the century. Bud Selig is a moron and has no idea how unique and inextricably tied to America Baseball really is. What a fool to throw away fans who are willing to spend their money on MLB. Idiot!

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  106. PissedinTahoe says:

    Just to add to the frustration, was about to sit down and watch the A’s vs. Angels game on ESPN this evening. Can’t watch because they are blacked out…Can’t believe this is such a huge issue that goes unfixed. Why would I want to subscribe to MLB.tv if I can’t watch my “home” team play? I don’t even think the A’s have a local channel anymore, used to get a few games a year, but haven’t seen them on any channel for the past couple years. Ridiculous…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  107. Mei Shayne says:

    Hello People! Just wanted to tell you that I bought tickets to the Jersey Boys concert on Jun 08th. In this place you can find tickets for other dates too. It’s amazing their performance on stage, this is my third time and I’m still so excited about listening them live! On this page you can see the section where you’re buying the ticket, so it’s very recommended!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  108. Patrick O'Mahony says:

    As long as we keep sending MLB money, we keep rewarding them for screwing us over. XM’s service is great, and no blackouts ever. You can watch along on some gameday device or other if you need a visual.

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  109. Jeremy says:

    What a crock! Now that Fox decided to switch their broadcasts mid season to night games, the blackout is being enforced during the evening games. with no notice to anyone. This is the posted policy …

    We’re sorry. Due to Major League Baseball exclusivities, live games occurring each Saturday with a scheduled start time after 1:10 PM ET or before 7:05 PM ET and each Sunday with a scheduled start time after 5:00 PM ET will be blacked out in the United States (including the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Live Audio of this game is available as part of your MLB.TV subscription.

    … and yet for some reason today’s sox/yanks game at 7:10 PM EST is not shown. Someone tell me we can sue them.

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  110. Abe says:

    I’m on board for a lawsuit. MLB is taking our money and refusing to deliver the promised service. This is outright fraud.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  111. Hal says:

    Perhaps MLB.tv is not totally to blame. MLB is stupid and a patsy, taking orders from BIG TV. And who supports BIG TV? Sponsors, that’s who. This Saturday, May 21, 2011, FOX carved up most of the US into 4 huge districts (West, NE, SE and SW), causing most of us to be blacked out from MLB.tv.. Who sponsored this? LOWES and BUDWEISER. Who supports LOWES and BUDWEISER? We do!
    So instead of talking about lawsuits, what about a consumers’ revolt. I shall tell this to LOWES in person next time I’m in their store, probably this coming week. I don’t know contact for Bud, but I’m sure there is one. How about your local bar or liquor store?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bSpittle says:

      I stopped drinking a while back (less money to waste, didn’t need the liver problems), but bud, bud light and coors were always tasteless in my opinion.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  112. george says:

    I have totally had it with MLB’s blackout rules more so tonight than before tonite. I live in Buffalo, NY. No major league team here just a triple a team. we have been blacked out from Yanks, Mets, Bluejays, Indians and Pirates. I thought that was all, however tonites games on MLBTV are Texas vs Atlanta and Milwaukee vs Boston and both games are blacked out why oh why is that so ? just which viewing area have we moved into this year(was not aware I moved) ?!?! I’d be perfectly happy if MLBTV would air one east coast match-up and one west-coast match-up this way I’d get to watch a game anyway even if it ain’t my team !!!!!!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  113. Jesse says:

    If you’re interested in streaming mlb.tv on your computer (Windows Only) without blackouts you have to check out this gig on fiverr.

    http://fiverr.com/users/baseballfan/gigs/show-you-how-to-stream-live-mlb-games-on-your-pc-without-blackouts

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  114. rotocub says:

    752 miles from Charlotte, NC to Wrigley Field, but today’s game (Reds AT Cubs) is blacked out. WTF?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  115. Law clerk says:

    Those calling for a class action lawsuit are spot on. It’s not illegal to have a stupid blackout system, but you can definitely be held liable nonetheless for false advertising and for contractual liability.

    If MLB leads you to believe you are paying for something, but then fails to deliver, you can absolutely sue.

    “Fine print” is not sufficient if it is unintelligible. MLB.com should have to clearly advise people what they are paying for before talking their money.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  116. rk says:

    My wife and I are from Iowa and will eventually move back there, but I had to tell her that this is one of the big reasons I’m in no hurry to do so – how sad is that? A policy that serves no real purpose is restricting peoples’ ability to relocate.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  117. Go For $5 Gigs – What would you do for $5? Place for people to share Services Offered for $5 & premium online gigs.

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  118. Patsy Carnie says:

    It was determined that €5 would be the optimum price, offering gigs at nab5.

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  119. Brenton Sennott says:

    They offer one of those online resources where you can get outsourcing jobs cheaply.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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  121. Rocket says:

    If you need to watch US games from abroad online try this:
    http://www.sunvpn.com/watch-tv-from-abroad.aspx

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  122. Rick says:

    Instead of bitchin’ about it, be proactive and take a little action so you can see the games on MLB.TV free from blackout restrictions legally no matter where you live.

    Sign up for a VPN (Virtual Private Network) such as HideMyAss (Yes, that’s their real name) that allows you to change your IP address to any geographic location you want it to be domestically or internationally. Go to HideMyAss Pro VPN Service here: http://hidemyass.com/vpn/r3747/

    HIdeMyAss is both secure and encrypted, so you don’t have to worry about your employer, wife, girlfriend, mistress, or anyone else finding out about your browsing habits. Check it out, you can’t go wrong, and you will also be safe and secure on the internet, in addition to enjoying all the games on MLB.TV free of blackout restriction. HideMyAss Pro VPN Service, sign up today: http://hidemyass.com/vpn/r3747/

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  123. Dick says:

    With the Fox Saturday blackouts, I’ll bet if thousands of fans write down the names of the advertisers who place their commercials during the Fox Saturday games, and then write to those advertisers and complain about Fox’s anti-fan practices and tell them that we’re going to boycott their products, we’d see the Fox Saturday blackouts go away. We just need some organizers who have the time to work on this.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  124. Antonio Bananas says:

    Hate the blackouts. I live in an apartment, shit mediacom has a monopoly on cable in the area so it costs like 75 dollars a month for their basic 50 channel cable. In Springfield, MO, I’m blacked out from the Cards and Royals. Both are 3 hours away. So either I pay 75 a month for essentially 5 channels I might want that usually cut out (mediacom sucks).

    Also, anyone else have MLB.tv for the playoffs and NOT be able to watch? It told me they were blacked out. I was so pissed.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  125. Blackout BS says:

    So I’m giving mlb tv a try this year. The season hasn’t started yet so I’m sitting here trying to carefully parse the language regarding the blackouts. I’m left, however, confused about what games will be blacked out in my region.

    Let me illustrate with an hypothetical. I’m a Dodger* fan living in the SF Bay area. As such, the teams that will be blacked out for me are the Giants and A’s. Will I then be unable to watch the Dodgers feed when they play the Giants or will I be able to watch the out-of-region feed of the game? If so I should be satisfied, especially so if I’m able to play the home region audio as an overlay to the game. If not, Mr. Allen Selig I’m speaking to you, I will cancel the MLB tv service because it doesn’t fulfill a need for me.

    *This is purely hypothetical… the Dodgers are evil.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Pam says:

      DON’T EXPECT A REFUND!!!!! No partial refunds are available from MLB.TV. You bought the year my friend, regardless of your inability to watch your Dodgers play my Giants when they play in SF

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  126. Dick says:

    We are planning on fighting the blackouts this summer. See:
    http://tinyurl.com/723d3q4

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  127. I hate blackouts says:

    I hate the local blackout policy. I got mlb.tv because we don’t have cable or satelite at my house and do not get the phillies games. I made it through the pre season and loved watching all the games and did not miss one. But today I tried to watch the game and it says that the game was blacked out it the local market. I was furious I will continue useing it during this season since I used the yearly subscription but next year I will probabelly look for a preseason only subscription.
    I hate you anti customer blackout people.

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  128. Pam says:

    I just ordered MLB.TV. I especiallyl iked the CANCEL AT ANYTIME feature…well, I suppose I should’ve read the fine print. Sure I can cancel, for the 2013 season…no partial refunds for the 2012 season I just ordered only to discover that I can not watch a single game of my beloved SF Giants since I live in the SF Giants blackout area. WHAT KIND OF SERVICE ADVERTISES “WATCH YOUR HOME TEAM” When they know DAMN WELL that I will not be able to do so!!!!! I am beyond pissed off….MLB.TV can shove it!!!! What a rip off!!!

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  129. Adam_J says:

    I ordered MLB.tv sometime during the middle of last season and was extremely disappointed at the blackouts (4 teams in the Buffalo NY region, including my Pirates), and the quality of the feed. Somehow i was automatically renewed for the entire 2012 season. I immediately cancelled and they said sure… for 2013. So i referred it to AMEX, my credit card company and certainly a more influential party than me, citing unauthorized transaction, and they had my money back to me in less than 10 days.

    I don’t understand what reason MLB can have for blacking out teams people cannot get through basic cable, extended cable, or any premium sports tier. And why would Time Warner ever offer Root Sports Pittsburgh or SportsTime Ohio anywhere in NY? The customer service at MLB.tv are a bunch of clueless idiots. They would have to be idiots to continually defend such a flawed system. I can actually see the CN Tower/Skydome on a clear day while driving but Toronto isnt blacked out.

    MLB.tv will keep taking your money until you stop paying for such an inferior, dated product.

    SiriusXM radio offers all games and now they are streamed ONLINE in addition to your automobile, which is a huge step forward for SiriusXM! Combine that with the various games on MLB network and the two regional networks received (YES, SNY), and i’ll save my $120 bucks until MLB fixes their product.

    I’ve read alot of comments saying just use a proxy. If someone wants to take screenshots of their computer and walk the rest of us thru step by step and then post the link, that would be most helpful.

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  130. Robert L says:

    I call this fraudulent advertising at the least.

    From the MLB.TV web page

    Best Value
    NEW FOR 2012: MLB.TV Premium now includes a FREE subscription to At Bat 12 (the top ranked sports app of all time). Watch LIVE games in HD on your favorite mobile and connected devices including iPhone, iPad, select Android phones and tablets. Plus, MLB TV Premium is now on Xbox 360.* Choice of Home or Away broadcasts.

    Maybe my state’s attorney general’s office should give this a look.

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  131. Joel S. says:

    This works for PC but not PS3. I’m still looking for a workaround for that.

    http://mlbtvblackout.blogspot.com/2009/07/mlbtv-blackout-workaround-bypass.html

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  132. James L says:

    I just don’t understand the blackout restrictions? I am willing to pay to watch my local team through MLB.TV but it is blacked out! The Reds broadcasters are always promoting MLB.TV but they fail to tell you that you can’t watch the Reds if you live in the Cincinnati area or “blacked out” area for the Reds. I don’t want to pay for cable tv or satellite. I don’t watch that much tv. I am perfectly happy with the local broadcasts but I would like to be able watch the Reds.

    It seems with all of the high salaries of major league players these days more revenue would help. And just think of the increase in fan base if we could watch the games. I would even go to more games because I would be more familiar with the players.

    Makes absolutely no sense!

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  133. Leonard says:

    If you’re willing to pay a monthly fee you can be on a VPN network (https://overplay.net). I just did this and now I have not blackout in my area. You can change your ip to somewhere other than where you live. I know we shouldn’t have to pay extra money for this blackout stupidity but I’m glad I have a solution and now I can go through ps3, xbox36, computer, phone, whatever.

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  134. Angelo says:

    Oh. My. God. Wow. I could not agree more here. Yankee fan from PA. Yes Network isnt provided locally even though we are in the Yankees market. So if i were to subscribe to mlb.tv, all the yankee games would be blacked out. The blackout policies are truly a joke and it just goes to show you the greediness of the mlb.

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  135. Vee says:

    A simply VPN from anonymous-proxies.net works like a charm. You can’t fix stupid, wait, maybe sometimes…

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  136. I have private proxies which are designed specifically to get around the MLB.tv blackout issue. Cost is $2.50 month only within instant activation. USAProxies.net.

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  137. Kodo93 says:

    Try UnoTelly.com . It lets you get around the MLB blackout so you can watch your home team.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  138. TG says:

    Try a vpn like bestukvpn.com. The bandwidth isn’t great, but after the game is trying to load, disconnect the vpn and refresh the screen. This usually works.

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  139. Past Fan says:

    I gave up watching baseball thanks to these stupid blackouts. NCAA March Madness online was awesome! MLB is anti-fan. Bye.

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    • Former Fan says:

      This right here. I haven’t watched a MLB game in 2 years now. And I saved money by not making the 6 hr drive to go to the games a dozen times a year. I would love to raise my kids with MLB but those greedy bad words can keep their game.

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  140. Mega says:

    The only VPN provider that is built for Morocco is http://www.primovpn.net . It has Japan and HK servers. And the owner of primovpn.net is in Morocco himself. This means if you are down, they are down with you. It’s very easy to use.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  141. Mega says:

    The only VPN provider that is built for Morocco is http://www.primovpn.net . It has Japan and HK servers. And the owner of primovpn.net is in Morocco himself. This means if you are down, they are down with you. It’s very easy to use.Its more secure than other options.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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