Major League Baseball will feature a shortened 60-game season in 2020, as well as empty (or at least mostly empty) stadiums, if they’re even able to complete the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
You may have thought that this situation would lead to MLB.TV the being a bargain for the 2020 season (and that would certainly be a way to attract fans in these difficult times), but that’s not the case.
MLB.TV has set its price at $59.99 for its main package, featuring every team’s out-of-market games. Before everything was shut down in March, the streaming service was listed at $121.99 for the 162-game season (there was a monthly option for $24.99/month).
So, do the per-game math, and the new MLB.TV price is actually a worse value. Keep in mind that this is during a pandemic, and for a bizarre season that will be hard for many people to take as seriously, so it’s really not a great look.
There’s a single-team MLB.TV option available, for $49.99. But for fans that care about more than just the team they root for, this single-team choice is even a worse value. You’re paying $49.99 for only 60 games (vs $10 more for *every team’s* games), and not even 60 games if the team is part of ESPN’s exclusive Sunday Night Baseball schedule.
That’s Mike Trout pictured, and he may not even play in the 2020 MLB season.
It’s also important to note that (the ridiculous) blackout restrictions still apply, and MLB.TV subscribers can only see out-of-market games.
All live games streamed within any MLB.TV product and available through the MLB App and any other location or device where MLB.TV is sold or available are subject to local and national blackouts. If a game is blacked out in an area, it is not available for live game viewing through MLB.TV. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber within an area subject to blackout, the applicable game will be available as an archived game approximately 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game.
Now, it appears that T-Mobile subscribers will still have free access to MLB.TV (via the T-Mobile Tuesdays app), as has been the case over the last few years. T-Mobile was set to offer free MLB.TV to subscribers on March 24, but the pandemic of course prevented that. T-Mobile’s customer service Twitter account told a fan on Monday, “When baseball is back, so will MLB.TV for free.”
When baseball is back, so will https://t.co/BQYg1SBebu for free. At T-Mobile we love baseball as much as you do. And the second it’s back, we’ll be on deck with free https://t.co/BQYg1SBebu for our customers! ^KevinWatts
— T-Mobile Help (@TMobileHelp) July 6, 2020
As for MLB Extra Innings in the 60-game season, The TV Answer Man reports that DirecTV is charging $90 for the package. The original MLB Extra Innings price was $183 on DirecTV for the 162-game season.
UPDATE: Those who subscribed to MLB.TV before the season and already paid for a full year are receiving emails offering a prorated refund or credit for the 2021 season. The refund will be $76.81 for those who paid the original price of $121.99, meaning that the prorated cost of the season will be $45.18.