Whether at a distant cousin’s wedding or a nephew’s 8th grade graduation, nearly all sports fans have experienced the frustration of following a big game via poorly-animated Gamecasts and laggy, text-based play-by-plays.
For games broadcast on league-owned TV networks, that had been the only recourse until now. But baseball junkies, rejoice! According to Forbes, MLB Network subscribers can now stream the channel live on their mobile devices. Meaning you can draw the ire of your friends and family by streaming MLB Tonight, Quick Pitch, and regular and post-season games at even the most inappropriate of occasions.
Provided, of course, you have a cable subscription with a supported provider. Luckily, eight of the top ten providers are on board, including, AT&T U-verse TV, Bright House Networks, Cablevision/Optimum, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH, Time Warner, and Verizon FiOS. Subscribers will be authenticated via the MLB.com At Bat app or online at MLBNetwork.com.
Notably absent from that list is Comcast, whose subscribers don’t yet have access. No word yet on whether the company plans on adding the feature in the future.
While all of this is good news, there’s one major caveat we’ve yet to cover. Streamers cannot circumvent the league’s TV blackout policy. Users in locations subject to blackouts will be provided with alternate programming in place of the blacked-out contest.
Therein lies the rub.
Quoting directly from the league’s website, “home television territory blackout restrictions apply regardless of whether a Club is home or away and regardless of whether or not a game is televised in a Club’s home television territory.” Special circumstances do apply but, generally, unless you’re traveling outside of your home TV market, you won’t be able to stream your team’s actual games. Bummer.
Convoluted enough for you?
It’s frustrating that cable providers have yet to embrace mobile streaming in earnest and have chosen instead to offer a hodgepodge of streamable content. That said, it’s nice to have programming from a major sports network thrown into the mix . Hopefully, this is just the first domino to fall.
How do you feel about this news? Will you take advantage of the service? What’s the most of inappropriate place you’ve ever watched/followed a sporting event?