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MLB.tv’s blackout restrictions could be over in 2015

Aug 22, 2014, 11:05 PM EST

At Forbes, Maury Brown writes that MLB Advanced Media could relax blackout restrictions for games streamed to computers and mobile devices as early as 2015. “Everyone’s trying to solve it,” MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman said. Brown adds that the blackout restrictions are the number one subject in customer complaints.

More, from Brown on Twitter:

  1. rbts2014 - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    sweet, even wtih modified blackout rules, I’m still blacked out! (sarcasm)

    I’m blacked out from 2 teams – each are 8 hours driving distance from me. One is on cable/satellite, the other isn’t. So with my pay-tv package, I’d get to see one team streamed on mlb.tv since it’s in my pay package, I would still not get to see the other one due to blackout with no way to get that RSN added to my pay tv package to unblack it out.

    The team that whose RSN is in my pay tv package does not even broadcast a lot of weekday day games on their RSN, so I’m blacked out even when I have no chance to even watch the game on my pay tv package.

    MLB should go to common sense tv territory/blackout rules, like:

    1) a team cannot claim a city or geographic area as part of their tv territory if the RSN carrying that team cannot be viewed on cable and satellite in said city or geographic area

    2) tv territories that can be claimed will be defined as any zip code that is within 4 hours driving distance of the ballpark.

    3) if the team being blacked out is not televising a game but their opponent is, the blackout gets lifted so fans of the team who chose not to televise the game are able to watch the game live

    btw, I’m not expecting manfred to change anything. To me, he’s bonehead selig junior. If the owners thought tv territories and blackouts should change, they would have already done it by now.
    I’d have more faith in blackout changes if someone like mark cuban was commish – someone wtih a fresh set of eyes and knowledge of current technology and how it could be used to grow the fanbase or make them more committed to baseball through technology.

  2. dbiowa - Aug 23, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    living in Iowa mlbtv is a waste of time, but if this is true, I can finally start watching it again. Or this could be just a rumor, like the A’s getting a new ballpark. I’m not convinced mlb would ever change this, they seem to only act for the good of tv companies these days.

  3. gocougs01 - Aug 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    The restrictions are idiotic. I live in Hawaii. I am not allowed to watch Padres, Dodgers, Angels, A’s, Giants, or Mariners. Somehow Hawaii is in each of those teams home market. Only the Angels and Dodgers are on tv here. I’ve emailed MLB a few times asking why or what channel the other teams are on. All I get is a link to see which teams I can’t see. Fix it now!

  4. rcali - Aug 23, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Wow, the Mlb getting ahead of the NFL on this one. Pigs get slaughtered!

    • Paper Lions - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      How so?

      Very few NFL games are blacked out, the viewing area that is blacked out is restricted to local TV stations, and games are on network TV so that fans can watch them without having cable or satellite.

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