Home Apps MLB Blackouts Will Disappear in 2017

MLB Blackouts Will Disappear in 2017

Blackouts are really annoying, but they exist in nearly every sports live streaming service. However, MLB blackouts will finally be on the way out starting in 2017.

We’ve talked about how to bypass MLB.TV and MLB At Bat blackout restrictions. It’s actually fairly easy to do if you have the time and patience, but it’s annoying to do simply because blackouts are annoying in the first place.

Blackouts are when a sports live streaming service blocks access to your local sports team, which means if you live in or near Chicago, you won’t be able to watch your favorite Chicago sports team play on a live streaming service.

In the case of MLB.TV and MLB At Bat, you wouldn’t be able to watch the Cubs or White Sox play. Some blackout areas extend farther out than just the big city. For instance, I live about three hours away from Chicago in neighboring Indiana, but Cubs and White Sox games are blacked out for me.

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This gets really annoying and I end up having to apply some tricks in order to bypass the blackouts.

However, starting in 2017, MLB.TV will no longer have blackouts, but there are a couple of caveats to be aware of.

For starters, you’ll need a cable subscription in order to watch in-market games, and any games broadcasted on MLB and any local sports channels that are owned by DirecTV, Comcast, or FOX will allow for in-market streaming. So you not only have to be a cable subscriber, but your cable provider must provide the channels that the games are broadcasted on.

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Still, that’s a way better deal than other sports streaming services, which have blackout restrictions even if they require a cable subscription, so MLB is definitely moving in the right direction as far as providing a great service to consumers.

Aside from this change, MLB will also be making some changes for this upcoming season later this year. For starters, MLB.TV will offer single-team streaming options for $85 per year, which is around $50 off the cost of the full MLB.TV service price.

This means that if you’re just interested in watching San Francisco Giants games, you can opt for this cheaper package. However, these games will be blacked out in 2016 for those living near San Francisco.

Overall, MLB.TV will be getting much better for consumers over the next couple of years. The MLB has always been far and away one of the best media teams in all of sports, so we’re not too surprised by this, but nonetheless it’s great to see.

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21 Comments

  1. Barbaraltrask

    01/21/2016 at 5:28 pm

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    Reply

  2. DodgersGuy

    04/03/2016 at 2:31 am

    I buy MLB.tv and bypass the blackouts every year with this guide: http://mlbtvblackout.blogspot.com/2009/07/mlbtv-blackout-workaround-bypass.html

    Reply

  3. fan

    10/07/2016 at 6:51 am

    So MLB.tv will continue to have blackouts.

    Reply

  4. No longer a fan

    10/07/2016 at 5:53 pm

    This is why I am no longer a fan of major sports teams.
    They blatantly abuse the fans.
    I remember being able to watch baseball on Saturday/Sundays over the air, now it $$$$$ to make it happen.

    I do hope baseball disappears 30 years from now.

    This is the real reason attendance/viewership is dropping, there is no chance to experience watching the game with your parents, building memories.

    MLB.TV is such a joke.

    Reply

    • Bob D

      04/11/2017 at 6:43 pm

      Baseball teams generally don’t control TV stations who broadcast them, save a few big market teams such as the NY baseball teams. Most times, a local provider buys rights to broadcast games at a ridiculous price. TV has gone the way of pay to watch, and it isn’t baseball doing it, it’s cable providers.

      Reply

  5. cheryl

    10/08/2016 at 11:34 am

    I live in Tulsa, OK – 275 miles from the Texas Rangers, 494 miles from the Houston Astros and 395 miles from the St. Louis Cardinals. All of these teams are blacked out here. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    Reply

  6. cheryl

    10/08/2016 at 11:39 am

    Oops, submitted that comment before I was finished.

    I was able to watch all teams when I had cable, but I dropped that this year. It sounds like the “new” rules won’t really apply to me…I’ll still have to have cable.

    Reply

  7. Lou

    02/02/2017 at 11:28 am

    I live in the Charlotte, NC area and am a Mets fan so I can watch their games…Unless…They are playing the Nats (400mi away), the Braves (252mi away), the Orioles (434mi away) or the Reds (450mi away). Makes it totally not worth it. There is no sense to these rules

    Reply

    • Debbie

      02/19/2017 at 2:15 pm

      Like Lou I live in Charlotte, NC and a Pirates fan. I paid for the Pirates last year only to find out I couldn’t watch the games against the Nationals, the Braves, the Orioles or the Reds. I complained and actually told them I wouldn’t renew for this year and nobody said anything about stopping the blackouts. I’m debating Unlocator after I talk to a tech guy at work I trust and see what he says. I’m not afraid to change settings and if it will allow me to watch the Pirates games I still have a week to purchase a subscription.

      Reply

  8. James

    03/03/2017 at 7:23 am

    I was raised in Northern Calif and of course my team is the SF Giants. But 8 years ago I got married and moved to the middle of South Carolina some 2500 miles from my normal seat at the Yard … 2nd row 3rd base side directly opposite the bullpen. saw many a game from that spot. So you can tell how attached I am to the team and the park. so Now, I purchased MLB Extra Innings so I could watch my Giants, right? I mean hey I am not out of area. Dogers and Giants at ATT! Wow… nope it was blacked out, in So Carolina? every game that the Dodgers and Giants played whether it was at Dodger Stadium or ATT park.. was blocked.. Now the original Blackout dreason was to draw folks back into the stadiums because they wanted to watch the games on TV. so if the game wasnt soldout they would block it. not so says MLB guru.. you see The Ginats have had over 400 continous sellouts in a row! so why were they blacked out? $$$$ GREERD on the part of The Dodgers, DTV and MLB. the players have an association to represent them, the Teams have an association to represent them and the Cable Industry has one to represent them… but who is represendting the poor baseball fans that are paying for it all? yeah Hello?

    Reply

  9. James

    03/03/2017 at 7:32 am

    Where’s the edit button? This is the edited version… Im 70 wheelchair bound disabled…….
    I was raised in Northern Calif and of course my team is the SF Giants. But 10 years ago I got married and moved to the middle of South Carolina some 2500 miles from my normal seat at the Yard … 2nd row 3rd base side directly opposite the bullpen. saw many a game from that spot. So you can tell how attached I am to the team and the park. so Now, I purchased MLB Extra Innings so I could watch my Giants, right? I mean hey I am out of area. Dodgers and Giants at ATT! Wow… nope it was blacked out, in So Carolina? every game that the Dodgers and Giants played whether it was at Dodger Stadium or ATT Park.. was blocked.. Now the original Blackout reason was to draw folks back into the stadiums because they wanted to watch the games on TV. so if the game wasnt soldout they would block it. not so says MLB guru.. you see The Giants have had over 400 continuous sellouts in a row! so why were they blacked out? $$$$ GREED on the part of The Dodgers, DTV and MLB. the players have an association to represent them, the Teams have an association to represent them and the Cable Industry has one to represent them… but who is represendting the poor baseball fans that are paying for it all? yeah Hello? I guess they want me to drive 2500 miles to ATT Park to see the games huh?

    Reply

  10. cindy

    04/04/2017 at 10:20 pm

    Debbie, Mlb tv has rolled out a feature to help, its called follow your team feature, for an extra 10 dollars as long as you have an authenticated cable subs in charlotte. You will be able to watch any pirates games against nationals, braves , orioles and reds without being blacked out.http://www.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/index.jsp?content=followyourteam

    Reply

  11. Tim Fisher

    04/09/2017 at 2:29 pm

    MLB.TV … I’m in Tucson … Giants are in San Diego … no competing broadcast on COX … WAKE UP … UNBLOCK THE GAME … Saturday & today.

    Reply

  12. Craig

    04/09/2017 at 4:16 pm

    What a misleading article. The title should have been “MLB Blackouts will Continue to Plague Baseball Fans Everywhere in 2017”. I would pay $200 per year for the ability to watch my favorite team anywhere on the planet on any device that I have, but MLB’s short-sighted focus on maintaining exclusive TV deals with cable companies continues to make that impossible. Every year, MLB.TV adds some new obfuscated verbiage to their advertising that tries to fool people into buying their service only to find that home games are still blacked out. The writer of this article should be ashamed of themselves for propagating the myth that blackout rules are somehow going away.

    Reply

    • Jim Bryant

      04/19/2017 at 6:42 pm

      I totally agree! If the Orioles are on the opposite side of the country, the game is still blacked out for me in Baltimore. Who makes the stupid arcane blackout rules? Do I have to move to Montana to watch every game? I’m sure there’s at least one team blacked out there, too.

      Reply

  13. Tony

    04/11/2017 at 5:12 pm

    I have Directv. I have had MLB Extra Innings since 2015; that year I got both the home and road feeds of the Phillies (my local team). Last year I got the road feeds. This year all games are blacked out. I do not understand how you can pay $175 for the season and not get all the games. Does anyone have a solution?

    Reply

  14. Bob D

    04/11/2017 at 6:48 pm

    Any idea HOW this is supposed to work. I’m a Mets fan in the Phillies market, they are on Comcast Sports Net as I type and the game is blacked out in mlb.tv. The Phillies announce team is probably second to only the National as the worst announce team in baseball, but I’d settle for being able to watch even them when mobile.

    Reply

    • Bob D

      04/11/2017 at 6:49 pm

      Also note I do have a cable subscription…the game is on CSN and I can watch it on that station now.

      Reply

      • Bob D

        04/11/2017 at 6:56 pm

        Oh nevermind, I see it’s only select TV providers, which is garbage since it doesn’t include a major one in Verizon Fios. Just AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, Dish and DirecTV. Boooooooo! TBH, it really shouldn’t matter. Pipe through the local TV commercials to me if you want. I pay a premium price for a premium service, I should be able to watch whatever I want without blackouts.

        Reply

  15. Jason Weatherholtz

    04/23/2017 at 7:01 am

    As a Nationals fan, I don’t understand how Winston Salem, NC can be a local market. I cannot even purchase the Nats package here. Direct TV is the only provider in the area for MASN, and to boot, they only have it available on ONE of their packages: Their ultimate package which costs $175 per month…
    We have complained to no avail. Furthermore, when games are broadcast on other channels such as Fox, we don’t necessarily receive the Nats games. We also had a few games blacked out last year when they were on other channels.
    The weird thing is that we are in network for the Nats, Braves, and the Reds…the Reds? Really? We’re 4.5 hours drive to Atlanta, 6 hours to DC, and about 9 hours to Cincy…how can ANY of those teams be in network for us? It’s ridiculous!

    Reply

  16. Kevin

    06/18/2017 at 7:32 am

    If you live within your favorite teams broadcast area and want to ‘cut’ the cord to DTV, DISH, or Cable .. there really is no reason to subscribe to MLB.TV because you won’t see your favorite team’s games anyway. There should be a rule of some sort that limits the in-market area to about 300 miles. … … … … Also, if team is playing an away game that is more than 300 miles away .. it should not be blacked out.
    Baseball is BIG business .. thus, they make the rules to further pad their own pockets.

    Reply

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