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Wait, Mariners games are blacked out in Alaska?

Jan 12, 2012, 10:33 AM EDT


There are baseball fans in Alaska. It’s true!  And until this year they were able to see 150 Mariners games a year on the Root Sports cable network.  The big cable operator up there just dropped Root Sports, however, and added MLB Network.  Which led to this:

The switch, though, means GCI customers will no longer be able to view Seattle Mariners games on Root Sports, which televises the club’s games and is the designated RSN for Alaska, despite being 1,700 miles from Washington state. Mariners games are blacked out in Alaska on MLB Network.

So there it is, Alaska baseball fans. If you want to see the Mariners, just pop on down to Seattle.  Depending on which style projection map you use, it doesn’t look all that far.

  1. kopy - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Do they get WGN in Alaska? Looks like the Cubs are the 2nd choice (bottom of page):

  2. easports82 - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    When Fielder signs somewhere else, Boras will cite this as the Seattle market not being large enough to for his clients.

  3. hushbrother - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    This would never have happened if Ted Stevens was still alive

    • Old Gator - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Or Ernest Gruening. At least, Prince Fielder would never be sent to Vietnam.

  4. Francisco (FC) - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Did I miss the part where the Mariners have territorial rights in Alaska?

  5. dwrek5 - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Restricting customers from your product… I guess I skipped class the day they covered that one.

  6. Jonny 5 - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Sarah Palin can see the games from her house I heard.

    • Kyle - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      You sir, are the winner.

      Back on topic, the Mariners seem to have a pretty large fanbase in Alaska and this is a total bummer. Yet another example of how amazingly tone deaf MLB is when it comes to this stuff.

      • seattlej - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

        Yes. Having grown up there, I would guess that the majority of MLB fans in the state are Mariner fans. In fact, my parents are quite pissed about this.

    • Old Gator - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      I would think Sarah Palin would be more concerned about being able to watch NBA games….

  7. Gamera the Brave - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    “Depending on which style projection map you use, it doesn’t look all that far.”

    Wow – not one Gerardus Mercator joke?…

    • dluxxx - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      I’m more of a Dymaxion guy myself…

    • Old Gator - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      A Gerardus Mercator Projection and a salesman meet at a bar….

  8. thefalcon123 - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Don’t black out games in Alaska! I was there last year on vacation. The cable in our hotel near Denali National Park had 10 channels. Repeat: 10 Channels on CABLE! Don’t deprive all those poor souls living in the frozen, empty wilderness the one thing to do in the entire state besides hike.

    • seattlej - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      We actually have plenty of other activities… Fishing, hunting, trapping, drinking…

      • cur68 - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        Judging women’s leg hair…

      • scapistron - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        I thought all you had to do was play hockey, get drunk, and fornicate.

      • cur68 - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        Most Canadians get by on similar.

      • - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        While we’re making suggestions about changes to blackout rules. I think if a team loses 90 games, that the next season the blackout rules do not apply to their territory.

  9. calmincali - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I live outside of LA and always have all kinds of weird blackout restrictions on MLB Network. East coast games like Phillies-Marlins or Orioles-Red Sox. Have yet to figure out a pattern.

  10. istillbelieveinblue - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    I live in Indianapolis, and Cubs games are blacked on ESPN (except the game or two each year on Sunday Night Baseball or Fox’s game of the week) and MLB Network. Basically MLB makes me watch the Cubs’ broadcast of the game on either WGN or CSN instead of the national one. Since I’m a Cubs fan this really doesn’t bother me (usually enjoy listening to Casper and Brenly, or Hughes on the radio). If I was Cardinals fan, and the Cubs-Cards were playing on ESPN on a Tuesday night, I would probably be pretty annoyed.

  11. yahmule - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    MLB loves to treat their fans like garbage. I pay DirecTV for the Extra Innings package every year. Since I live in Las Vegas, my “home teams” include the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks and A’s. Fully one fifth (including some of my favorite) teams are blacked out due to various TV contracts and MLB’s ineffectual and fan unfriendly attitude.

  12. Lukehart80 - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    With such a large territory, there’s no explaining why the Mariners don’t have a $300M payroll.

    • nategearhart - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      Territory size only does you any good if people live in your territory.

  13. Bill - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Last I looked at this, the whole state of Iowa was blacked out from seeing, I think, at least five different teams — the Twins, Cubs, Sox, Brewers, and Cardinals. All of those teams are between a 5 and 7 hours’ drive from Des Moines. It’s just amazing how little sense it makes, and for how long it’s persisted.

    • tacklemeelmo - Jan 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Found this out the hard way after moving from Minnesota to Iowa for school. So glad I had so I could be blacked out of all of these teams. On top of that I only get Cardinals on TV and it was a struggle to find a place that actually had the teams I wanted to see on. I dug around and found the territory map and it is interesting to say the least. There are a few places where this happens, most notably Las Vegas.

    • tazftw - Jan 12, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      The last I heard, Hawaii is blacked out by all the west coast teams except the Padres (I think it was the Padres). Obviously it is TV that is preventing fans in Hawaii from attending games.

  14. Kevin S. - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Must have come to that decision after consulting the Peters Projection. Commies.

  15. spudatx - Jan 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    MLB needs to modernize their distribution to stop alientating fans and potential fans. Even if you pay for streaming service, you can be subject to black out. Ridiculous.

  16. skipperxc - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Comments like these are a big part of why I keep coming back to HBT — emulating Deadspin is never a bad thing. God bless you all.

  17. glink123 - Jan 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I live in Iowa, and these blackout rules are the very reason I haven’t watched a single inning of baseball in 15 years. Blacked me out from watching my favorite team enough times that I literally lost interest and quit following the sport altogether. Brilliant marketing move.

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