Chicago Cubs fans have been waiting 108 years to watch their team win the World Series. For at least one portion of that playoff push, they might not actually be able to watch what happens.
While game one of the NLDS series between the Cubs and San Francisco Giants was televised on FS1, tonight’s game two will be broadcast by the MLB Network. That’s a problem for some because many cable providers consider the network a premium channel that requires an extra fee.
Realizing the outrage that would likely be coming their way, MLB Network is considering tonight a “free preview” so fans whose provider carries the network will be able to watch without having to fork over extra money.
The problem, however, is that not all cable providers/Pay TV systems offer MLB Network. And if that’s the case for you, you’re out of luck.
Mediacom, a cable provider who serves markets such as Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines in Iowa, as well as the Quad Cities on the Iowa/Illinois border, does not offer the network at all. So any Cubs fans that are also Mediacom customers will have to find other means to watch their beloved team’s playoff game.
MTCO Communications, which serves a large swatch of Central Illinois, also does not carry the MLB Network and will not have access to the game.
How come the providers don’t carry MLB Network? It comes down to the usual argument. The provider thinks the channel should be a premium offering while the network wants the media company to eat the costs and offer it to everyone. Don’t expect that battle to end by tonight.
For Cubs fans looking for ways to watch the game, they’ll have to turn to AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish Network, Frontier and RCN, where the MLB Network free preview will be in effect. A full list of cable and TV providers who are carrying MLB Network in the region is available here.
UPDATE: A super zealous spokesman for MLB Network has issued the following “It’s definitely not our fault” statement in regards to Mediacom and MTCO not carrying MLBN:
Since 2009, Mediacom and MTCO have been offered the same terms to carry MLB Network that every one of the top cable/satellite/telco TV providers and more than 200 others have accepted. Thanks to the free preview being offered by many of MLB Network’s distributors, MLB Network’s two Postseason game telecasts will be available to more viewers than ever before, in more than 90 million homes nationwide.