Assorted Notes on MLB.TV for 2012

Gerald Laird not included.

I was surprised to find, this afternoon, that the $119.99 I’d been saving for really expensive drinks tonight at a really exclusive club had been removed from my PayPal account, courtesy MLB Advanced Media. This maneuver is one that (a) I find slightly irksome and (b) is probably, at some level, technically my fault, owing to how there’s undoubtedly a box I’ve left checked somewhere in my account that gives MLBAM the right not only to withdraw funds from my PayPal account, but also to perform all manner of experimental medical procedures on my person.

Some cursory research on the product having been conducted, here are some other statements about this year’s iteration of MLB.TV that are probably not not true:

• MLB.TV Premium is listed at $124.99 per annum (with the basic MLB.TV package costing $109.99).

• This year, a subscription to MLB.TV Premium includes the At Bat app for iPhone. (Said app cost $14.99 last year.) This ensures that you can watch baseball even as your — or somebody else’s, if you’re into that — wife lay sleeping beside you.

• The spring training schedule for MLB.TV — which starts March 3rd and is available here — seems considerably more robust this season. In fact, I don’t know that there were any spring training games available via MLB.TV last year.

• A subscription to MLB.TV is required to view games on connected devices (i.e. PS3, Xbox 360, Roku, etc.).

• There actually is some (literally) fine print regarding the autorenewal process, to this effect: “Your yearly subscription to MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium will automatically renew annually on or about March 1 each year at the prior year’s regular full yearly price.”

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

28 Responses to “Assorted Notes on MLB.TV for 2012”

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  1. John says:

    Yes, indeed in my eagerness (or rather sudden decision) to re-up yesterday, they actually went ahead and charged me twice. Thanks, guys!

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  2. Steven says:

    I will never buy MLB TV even though I really want to because as an Iowan, I am blacked out of Brewers, Cardinals, Royals, Twins, White Sox, and Cubs games. That’s 20% of Baseball!

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    • ElJosharino says:

      Hop over the Missouri River and connect from Nebraka! I’m in Omaha and blacked out of only the Royals.

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    • d_i says:

      1. that’s 20% assuming each of those teams is playing each other. It’s actually 40% if they’re not.
      2. don’t tell my wife, but that ridiculous policy is one of the main reasons I don’t want to move back to Iowa. I read recently that congress may be addressing that situation, but it’s simply idiotic. They’re blacked out of places where they aren’t even availlable on regular cable (not that that is an excuse either because those people are double charged anyway). I really don’t understand how it’s in the best interest of clubs to enforce these anti-logically policies anway – would hate to develop a fan base.

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    • china_dave says:

      yeesh, iowa not the baseball heaven field of dreams would have us believe. sorry to hear that.

      not quite the same thing, but the $20 radio package has no “blackouts”, or whatever one would call the radio equivalent

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  3. MikeS says:

    You’d be surprised what Bud and his cronies can do to you. For instance, you, Carson are now the property of Major League Baseball. Any rebroadcast, retransmission, or other use of the pictures or descriptions of Mr Cistulli without the express written consent of Major League Baseball is prohibited.

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  4. Chris says:

    I can 100% confirm spring training games were available last year & the year before. This is my 3rd year & I love the product. I am a twins fan & from Canada so the only games blacked out are Blue Jays however if you subscribe to which can be used from USA as well that eliminated 100% of the blackouts so i can watch Jays games if chosen to.

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  5. Josh A says:

    During the checkout process I also added the MiLB (please note the “i”) subscription package which, if I remember correctly, was only an additional $20. As my free time is already quite limited, I may not get much use out of this additional $20, but I couldn’t resist.

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  6. Transmission says:

    I guess I’m a lucky one – I got an email announcing they were going to auto-bill me in a few days. I emailed them demanding they cancel me before I complained to the feds about the practice. Since then I’ve received four emails from four different mlb accounts telling me they’ve cancelled my subscription.

    It’s quite the shitty thing they’re doing with that. And on top of it, I live 400 -550 miles away from four different teams, and am blacked out for all four of them. I don’t own a TV, and now can’t bring myself to renew my account if they’re going to try to auto-bill me.

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    • davisnc says:

      The email they sent out contained very clear and easy directions to stop the auto-renewal, by either going to the website or emailing. So I’m sure your big scary threat of complaining to the feds about a perfectly legal practice left them shaking in their boots. It’s kind of like when I go the grocery store and say “You better not force me to buy this milk at the listed price or I’ll let the air out of your tires.” They say, “Um, okay” every single time.

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  7. SAmmy says:

    They oughta throw in Minor League streams to sweeten the deal.

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  8. I’m from Chile so…
    MLB.TV is the best invention, ever!
    no blackouts (being from Chile has it’s cool perks) and picking the “channel” is also an awesome characteristic.
    so… that :)

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  9. Donut3 says:

    I have a slightly unreasonable demand. I don’t want to get cable just to watch my Yankees. But as I live in NYC, they’re blacked out on MLB.TV for me in the regular season. So I would be willing to buy MLB.TV if they find an arrangement where there are no blackouts, period. I’m not sure how much extra it would be to throw the subscriber fee to YES and SNY for a whole year’s worth and actually show me ads instead of the MLB.TV screen during ad breaks to make more money. Basically the model I’d want is when purchasing MLB.TV you have an option to add in games for your market at an extra cost of whatever the subscriber fee for the networks required would be for a whole year. That way, I get all MLB games, and SNY and YES still get paid. Feel free to massacre in the comments.

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  10. Jeremy Singer says:

    Anyone have any idea if Spring Training games on MLB.TV will be available on Roku? Last year I could not watch MLB.TV-broadcasted spring games on my Roku…they were not available on my Roku.

    I love MLB.TV and my Roku app for it…it would just be nice if MLB didn’t try so hard to give its customers as little as possible while unapologetically taking as much money as possible from its customers for pretty much any reason imaginable…at least that is my perception. The business model seems to work for the, however: I continue to fork over my money for a streaming product that is not nearly as comprehensive or user-friendly as it could be (ie: no Spring Training games on Roku last year, illogical blackout restrictions for some customers, such as the person from IA who wrote a comment, etc).

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  11. TK says:

    Does anyone know why the spring training games can’t be viewed using Roku, etc.?

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  12. ajra21 says:

    have had for around four seasons now, maybe longer. it’s great but as i’m in the UK, i don’t have blackouts. last year i managed to connect via my PS3 giving me the opportunity to watch on a TV which is awesome in comparison to a small PC screen.

    each year there are a few bugs and i have a big problem that you often can’t speak to a person if you are having issues during a game. in 2009, my feed died on me during a playoff game. very annoying.

    however, given what i pay to watch these games, i can’t really complain. if i could ask for a new addition to i’d like the away commentary added to the standard package. having to listen to the hawk a handful of times each year when we go on the road is enough to make me blow my brains out.

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  13. ajra21 says:

    also, what is roku?

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  14. Nu? Billy Baroo says:

    can I have someone’s username & password so I dont have to pay into Bud’s $20 Million salary?

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  15. MikeM says:

    I saw something on one of the emails MLB.TV sent me alluding to an option to “play stadium noise” instead of hear announcers. If this is true, then my prayers (incessant griping) have been answered.

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    • Brian says:

      Was an option last year through the PS3 at least – some glitches where it would switch back to the announcers, but definitely a very cool way to watch a game – you can practice your own broadcasting.

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  16. deadhead says: sucks. They do send you an email telling you they are going to charge you and letting you opt out. I’m going with extra innings this year.

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  17. Cliff says:

    Had MLB At Bat 11 on my iPhone last year and loved it. This year was autorenewed via PayPal for the regular package – realized later that I need the premium package to watch games on my iPhone.
    Now the fun begins. The MLB site has a link under the premium option ‘already a subscriber’ – that link gets you to sign in but it has NO PayPal option – credit cards only (and credit gift-cards not accepted).
    I have e-mailed them three times over the last two weeks and received zero help – gotta love it when I have to beg them to take my money. I do not have a normal credit card – anyone have any ideas – really beginning to get frustrated with opening day approaching.

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