I had decided to purchase the MLB.com “Gameday Audio Premium”. It’s $20 for the season. It includes the audio from all the radio stations, home and away, for all the games. It also includes the “Gameday” page with live box-scores, stats, pitch locations, etc. That was, until I read all this. On the website it lists the following:

  • LISTEN to Every 2009 Regular Season and Postseason Game LIVE
  • All Home & Select Away Feeds

That’s directly from the website. Notice the lack of “*” after those statements. Now read the fine print:

Regular Season Local Live Blackout: All live games on MLB.TV are subject to local blackouts. Such live games will be blacked out in each applicable Club’s home television territory (except for certain home television territories for which MLB.com may offer in-market subscription services). If a game is blacked out in an area, it is not available for live game viewing. Each game will be available 45 minutes after the conclusion of the game as an archived game (archived games are blackout free).

In addition, note:

  • These 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..
  • All live Toronto Blue Jays games are blacked out throughout the entire country of Canada.
  • Additional teams may also be subject to blackout in parts of Canada based on their region.
  • All live games will be blacked out in the U.S. territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands during the MLB regular season.

Regular Season Weekend U.S. National Live Blackout: Due to Major League Baseball exclusivities, live games occurring each Saturday with a scheduled start time after 1:10 PM ET or before 7:05 PM ET and each Sunday with a scheduled start time after 5:00 PM ET, will be blacked out in the United States (including the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Live Audio of such games is available as part of any MLB.TV subscription or as part of the MLB.com Gameday Audio Package. Each game will be available 45 minutes after the conclusion of the game as an archived game (archived games are blackout free).

That makes it sound like the people the shelled out for MLB.TV, the $110 per season bullshit, are STILL subject to blackouts in their areas. It also makes it sound like the GameDay Audio is still available. That sounded ok. The local market games, provided they’re on TV, are blacked out. Ok, I almost get that. Then, as I’m searching for clarification, I came upon this. Directly from the “Audio Help Forum”, someone had asked why their audio stream was unavailable.

“Nationwide blackouts are standard as the national broadcast networks own the rights. We put up the archives of the game 45 minutes after the games are done though.”


I’m sorry, I just don’t understand. Please, someone at the MLB, help me to wrap my head around this. YOU ARE the governing body of the sport that I love. YOU alone have the power to grant radio and TV broadcast rights under the authority of the commissioner of baseball. You didn’t save any of those rights for yourself??? The MLB isn’t allowed to broadcast it’s own games? Seriously? What in the flying fuck is that about? I get that some teams have their own broadcast rights, but even then, they still have to be approved by YOU.

I simply don’t understand. If it’s a money thing, I don’t understand how this is making them more money. Or how by broadcasting ALL the games they would make less. If it’s an advertising thing and sponsors wouldn’t advertise at the park or on TV if you’re broadcasting the games elsewhere, then wouldn’t the subscription fee for the service cover that cost? If I’m watching on TV, I see visual ads plastered all over the park, I see ads in the TV broadcast, I heard ads in the radio broadcast. What exactly am I missing? Who’s getting screwed that you NEED to blackout a game?

You know what, I’m going to write the office of the commissioner. I have a legitimate question, and I’ve love a legitimate answer. I doubt I’ll get one, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.