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View Full Version : End MLB.TV blackouts


thechico
07-31-2012, 12:20 PM
Hope I posted this in the right place. Just wrote a letter to Mr. Selig and the owners.

https://www.facebook.com/EndMlbtvBlackouts

voodoochile
07-31-2012, 02:13 PM
It's not going to happen. FOX and ESPN pay MLB WAY too much money for the policy to change. You want to change things contact those companies and urge them to allow the competing broadcasts to happen.

SephClone89
07-31-2012, 02:54 PM
It's not going to happen. FOX and ESPN pay MLB WAY too much money for the policy to change. You want to change things contact those companies and urge them to allow the competing broadcasts to happen.

He's not talking about the exclusivity windows, though. He's talking about regional mlb.tv blackouts.

voodoochile
07-31-2012, 03:29 PM
Think you'd have to go to the clubs. Those contracts are deals the clubs negotiate to allow their broadcast partners exclusive rights to given areas. MLB works with the clubs to follow those guidelines. I agree some of them make no sense - like the local Jacsonville, NC FSN network being a part of the Orioles broadcast area - and then almost never showing games - man did that suck when the Sox were playing the Orioles. I contacted MLB about it but got no reply.

russ99
07-31-2012, 04:17 PM
There will need to be a sea change in how people watch broadcasts for this to be any different.

Cable broadcasters, both local and national pay large rights fees, and the blackout rule keeps them from being undercut and MLB from not missing out on that revenue.

If somehow there were a web enabled box that a large percentage of people used and MLB were paid directly for viewing broadcasts either pay per view or monthly/season packages, that would be the only way they forsake the cable middlemen and their massive TV deals.

asindc
07-31-2012, 04:24 PM
There will need to be a sea change in how people watch broadcasts for this to be any different.

Cable broadcasters, both local and national pay large rights fees, and the blackout rule keeps them from being undercut and MLB from not missing out on that revenue.

If somehow there were a web enabled box that a large percentage of people used and MLB were paid directly for viewing broadcasts either pay per view or monthly/season packages, that would be the only way they forsake the cable middlemen and their massive TV deals.

Doesn't always work. MLB.tv subscribers are still blacked out of certain games, which makes no sense whatsoever.

thechico
07-31-2012, 04:37 PM
It's not going to happen. FOX and ESPN pay MLB WAY too much money for the policy to change. You want to change things contact those companies and urge them to allow the competing broadcasts to happen.

Hey, I'm fine with watching the CSN, FOX, ESPN or anyone else's broadcast WITH commercials as a stream, so long as I get to see the game. Higher viewership for them = increased ad revenye,

thechico
07-31-2012, 04:40 PM
There will need to be a sea change in how people watch broadcasts for this to be any different.


Seems very chicken and egg to me. People won't watch online because they can't. Broadcasters won't allow the streams because people aren't watching online.

Slowly but surely, MLB will lose fans as they fail to influence the up and coming young fans who prefer to watch EVERYTHING online.

DSpivack
07-31-2012, 04:56 PM
Hey, I'm fine with watching the CSN, FOX, ESPN or anyone else's broadcast WITH commercials as a stream, so long as I get to see the game. Higher viewership for them = increased ad revenye,

Viewership may be higher, but ratings wouldn't be.

Seems very chicken and egg to me. People won't watch online because they can't. Broadcasters won't allow the streams because people aren't watching online.

Slowly but surely, MLB will lose fans as they fail to influence the up and coming young fans who prefer to watch EVERYTHING online.

I seriously doubt MLB is losing fans because local games can't be seen online.

Taliesinrk
07-31-2012, 10:11 PM
I seriously doubt MLB is losing fans because local games can't be seen online.

You may not think so, but I wouldn't be surprised. Where I live now (Indianapolis), for example, blacks us out of all White Sox games. The ironic part is that even if I'm willing to pay extra on cable to watch them, I can't. Our cable territory does not allow Comcast to provide service, and Brighthouse (competitor) will not carry Comcast channels. Therefore, I'm damned either way. I'd be willing to pay for a sports package OR for mlb.tv, but either way, I can't watch Sox games. It's terribly stupid.

johnnyg83
07-31-2012, 10:14 PM
Viewership may be higher, but ratings wouldn't be.



I seriously doubt MLB is losing fans because local games can't be seen online.

Agreed. Most teams have the regional cable/satellite companies at their mercy. They can charge comcast or time Warner or whomever $3 a month for the YES channel in NYC and surrounding per subscriber PER MONTH even in the off season. Think about that ... If there are nine million cable/satellite households in the NYC metro. That's $27 million per month! $325 million a year.

Not to mention the Yankees get to sell their own advertising on their station. That's why the valuation of those teams with their own station's is going up so much.

lpneck
08-01-2012, 10:51 AM
You may not think so, but I wouldn't be surprised. Where I live now (Indianapolis), for example, blacks us out of all White Sox games. The ironic part is that even if I'm willing to pay extra on cable to watch them, I can't. Our cable territory does not allow Comcast to provide service, and Brighthouse (competitor) will not carry Comcast channels. Therefore, I'm damned either way. I'd be willing to pay for a sports package OR for mlb.tv, but either way, I can't watch Sox games. It's terribly stupid.

Change to DirecTV- CSN Chicago will be part of your basic package and the only games you will miss are those on WCIU.

russ99
08-01-2012, 01:46 PM
Doesn't always work. MLB.tv subscribers are still blacked out of certain games, which makes no sense whatsoever.

That's kind of my point. There would have to be a different service in the future that deals directly with content providers and that have a large enough user base where MLB would be forced to deal with because of declining cable subscribers. Something akin to Google TV, Roku, or Apple TV but vastly better and appeals to a more general audience,

I have to wonder if one of the big cable companies isn't working on something like this. They have to know that the old school cable distribution method won't last forever...

RowanDye
08-01-2012, 02:49 PM
You may not think so, but I wouldn't be surprised. Where I live now (Indianapolis), for example, blacks us out of all White Sox games. The ironic part is that even if I'm willing to pay extra on cable to watch them, I can't. Our cable territory does not allow Comcast to provide service, and Brighthouse (competitor) will not carry Comcast channels. Therefore, I'm damned either way. I'd be willing to pay for a sports package OR for mlb.tv, but either way, I can't watch Sox games. It's terribly stupid.

Ding! Ding! Ding! This is the point that some of you are missing.

There are "black holes" in the system where MLB.TV is blacked out (presumably because of CSN) and yet the local cable packages don't have CSN. It's ****ing asinine!

Change to DirecTV- CSN Chicago will be part of your basic package and the only games you will miss are those on WCIU.

You're right, and for some of us, this is the only way to legally watch Sox games. Does anyone know, is the availability of CSN through the DirecTV the reason for the MLB.TV blackout?


Unfortunately it doesn't matter for me anyways, because I rent and do not have the option of installing a dish. :(:

RowanDye
08-01-2012, 02:55 PM
That's kind of my point. There would have to be a different service in the future that deals directly with content providers and that have a large enough user base where MLB would be forced to deal with because of declining cable subscribers. Something akin to Google TV, Roku, or Apple TV but vastly better and appeals to a more general audience,

I have to wonder if one of the big cable companies isn't working on something like this. They have to know that the old school cable distribution method won't last forever...

I think you're making this too hard. When MLB.TV software blacks me out, why can't I just pay a fee to unlock it?

A large percentage of this fee will compensate the cable company for any perceived loss of revenue and the rest will go to MLB.

lpneck
08-01-2012, 04:35 PM
You're right, and for some of us, this is the only way to legally watch Sox games. Does anyone know, is the availability of CSN through the DirecTV the reason for the MLB.TV blackout?

It is, essentially, two different issues. MLB teams are allowed to determine the zip codes that they claim as their local market rights for blackouts on MLB.TV and MLB Extra Innings. That is not the same thing as what cable and satellite companies decide they want to include in their programming packages.

About 10 years ago the Chicago regional sports channel (back then it was Fox Sports Net Chicago) was not included in the Indianapolis area- I had to pay $10/month to have it added in as part of their "sports pack," which is normally worthless. I complained to Directv alot about the inconsistency between the MLB local markets and the regional sports channels they offered, so helpfully that was part of the reason they fixed it.

Mingo
08-02-2012, 06:27 PM
I'm surprised no one mentioned that MLB advertises on the basis of seeing ALL of MLB games in the package- it is not true.

On the other hand - I wish pro football would have the games live this way - they are even stupider - if you ask me.

SephClone89
08-02-2012, 06:31 PM
I'm surprised no one mentioned that MLB advertises on the basis of seeing ALL of MLB games in the package- it is not true.

They haven't been lately:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/index.jsp?product=mlbtv&affiliateId=MLBTVREDIRECT

Lately I've seen them emphasize "out of market."

voodoochile
08-02-2012, 07:12 PM
You can watch every game if you are willing to watch some on tape delay.

BringBackBlkJack
08-03-2012, 11:23 AM
They haven't been lately:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/index.jsp?product=mlbtv&affiliateId=MLBTVREDIRECT

Lately I've seen them emphasize "out of market."

True, they have done a lot better job at emphasizing that blackouts still apply as of the last year or two. I remember when MLB.tv first came out a few years back they either didn't disclose the blackouts or buried it in fine print while blasting their ads with "EVERY MLB GAME" in 80-point font. I'm surprised the FTC didn't take a big bite out of their asses.

RowanDye
08-03-2012, 01:16 PM
It is, essentially, two different issues. MLB teams are allowed to determine the zip codes that they claim as their local market rights for blackouts on MLB.TV and MLB Extra Innings. That is not the same thing as what cable and satellite companies decide they want to include in their programming packages.


Yes, and I think someone with oversight needs to help the fans by preventing these "two different issues" from conspiring to create black holes in coverage!

If the cable company doesn't offer a package, and I live >150 miles from the ballpark -- why will someone not take my money and give me White Sox?

I've bitched endlessly to Comcast for this oversight and actually cancelled my subscription to both Comcast and MLB.TV.

<crawls back into closet to listen to radio broadcasts>

FoulTerritory
08-03-2012, 02:54 PM
I'd like to explain what believe is the strangest blackout situation I've ever encountered.

I live in Albuquerque, which is about 400 miles from Phoenix. If I try to watch the Diamondbacks on MLB.tv, it is blacked out. But what is really weird is that when I turn to watch the Diamondbacks on Fox Sports Arizona, which is their flagship station and a station that I get in my DirecTV package, it is also blacked out! I can watch everything on FSA except the Diamondbacks. I can even watch the Coyotes games on it!

Of course, this is really only a problem for me when the Sox play the rare series against the Diamondbacks, but the reasoning behind this double blackout is elusive to me. I certainly got no rational answer from DirecTV. And I emailed FSA about the issue, but they didn't respond.

I do believe that I get Rockies games on ROOT, so maybe its a matter of MLB giving the Rockies sole broadcasting rights to Albuquerque, which is about the same distance from Denver as it is to Phoenix. But if I get the Diamondback's channel in my cable package, then shouldn't I get to watch the games? So strange.