Could there finally be something resembling a solution to MLB.tv’s blackout issues before the 2015 season? Well…maybe.
During an interview this week, MLBAM head Bob Bowman said that he is “optimistic” that a deal could be reached soon to allow fans to watch in-market games on MLB.tv. However, as always, there’s a catch – users would need a cable/satellite subscription to watch those games, so cord cutters would still be out of luck.
The situation seems similar to WatchESPN, NBC Live Extra, and Fox Sports Go, where you can only watch with a valid provider login. However, there’s another catch to Bowman’s plans – not all providers and RSNs are immediately willing to cut a deal, meaning that there’s a possible circumstance where a user in say, New York, would be able to stream the Mets on MLB.tv but not the Yankees.
If the antiquated blackout rules aren’t killed, adding in-market streaming would be the next best thing. Where I live in central Pennsylvania, I’m in the markets of the Phillies, Pirates, Nationals, and Orioles, and I’m lucky enough to receive CSN Philadelphia, Root Sports Pittsburgh, and MASN on my cable package, meaning that unnecessary blackouts aren’t a major issue for me…unless I want to watch multiple games on at once, meaning that I need to constantly be working my remote instead of simply logging in through MLB.tv with my provider’s information and being able to watch multiple in-market games at once.
As I said, it’s not ideal, but barring a massive overhaul of the territories established years ago (which won’t be done overnight), I think it’s the best we can do right now.