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Watch BLACKOUT (2022) 1
Power to customers subject to the blackout was restored by 4 p.m. Christmas Eve, and those who had lost power because of storm damage had also been restored. Still, customers were asked to conserve energy on Dec. 25 and 26 to prevent another crisis.
Tens of thousands of customers were already out of power because of storm damage, not blackouts. Yet as Duke workers scrambled to prevent a wholesale collapse of the North Carolina energy grid, the general public was caught off-guard by the blackouts.
The reasons for the blackouts is simple and twofold: The first reason is cable providers' desire for exclusive broadcasting rights in their local networks. The second, is MLB's desire to get fans into the stadium for attendance purposes.
Teams will have the opportunity to negotiate their streaming rights now because of the owners' vote, with a catch: Those streaming rights that teams are negotiating for are wholly unrelated to TV blackouts. So streaming in the future is going to make it easier for fans to watch their teams via certain services, but it ultimately won't change the blackout situation.
There's many different avenues MLB franchises and its RSN provider can take. It's not a catch-all and it's not a definitive that local blackouts will be taken away. All it is is an opportunity for MLB teams to maybe alleviate the situation for local viewers who don't want to cut the cord.
Baseball fans have many ways to livestream their favorite team's games for the rest of the season without subscribing to cable, but the best option for one fan might not work for another. Selecting the right streaming service for watching baseball greatly depends on which team you follow and where you live. Veteran baseball streamers will note new options for 2022, including Apple TV Plus and Peacock, as well as Yankees games on Amazon Prime Video, Red Sox games on NESN 360, five more teams on Bally Sports Plus and a handful of games on YouTube.
The big catch with MLB.TV is the local blackout restriction: You can't watch your local team's games live. Instead, they become available about 90 minutes after the game ends. If you're a Yankees fan in the New York area, for example, you can't start to watch the Yankees game until an hour and a half after the final out. Other teams' games aren't blacked out live, which makes MLB.TV ideal for fans who want to follow one or more of the 28 or 29 teams based in other cities, aka out-of-market teams.
Due to MLB.TV's blackout restriction, a live TV streaming service is the best bet for following your local team. Many services carry the RSN that has exclusive rights to every regular season game, but availability varies by location and service.
If you're looking to watch your local team night in and night out, DirecTV Stream is your best bet. It offers by far the most RSNs of the live TV streaming services. Philadelphia and Toronto are the only MLB cities whose RSN is not offered on DirecTV Stream. FuboTV is second with 10 RSNs, giving you only a one-in-three chance of getting your local RSN to watch baseball.
Major League Baseball's official streaming service is great for following your favorite team if you live outside its TV market. Because of the 90-minute blackout described above, however, it's much less useful for following your local home team.
MLB.TV normally costs $140 for the season, recently reduced to $65, but if you're a new subscriber the $25 monthly plan is a better deal at this point. As a subscriber, you can watch out-of-market games live or on demand, and the in-market (home) team with a 90-minute delay from the end of the game.
With MLB.TV, you can also listen to home and away radio broadcasts. The radio broadcasts aren't subject to the blackout rule, so you can listen to home team games live. MLB.TV also includes a ton of video content, including classic games, baseball documentaries and old This Week in Baseball episodes.
Apple is getting into live sports streaming. It will stream a baseball doubleheader every Friday night this season on its Apple TV Plus service. Apple TV Plus costs $5 a month, but you'll be able to watch live baseball games on Fridays without a subscription for free. Apple said that the games will be available to "anyone with internet access, for free, only on Apple TV Plus." Better yet, the games will be free from blackout restrictions so you'll be able to watch them no matter where you live and which teams are playing. The games are exclusive to Apple TV Plus, however, which means you won't find them on your local RSN if your local team is playing.
Sling Blue currently lacks a single RSN to watch baseball. You can, however, use Sling to watch national baseball broadcasts. Sling TV's Orange plan includes ESPN, and the Blue plan includes Fox and FS1. Both plans offer TBS. The MLB Network is available as part of the Sports Extra add-on, which costs $11 a month for either the Blue or Orange plan or $15 for the combined Orange-and-Blue plan. The individual plans cost $35 a month each, and the Orange-and-Blue plan costs $50 a month. See which local channels you get with Sling Blue.
NESN 360 gives Red Sox fans in New England a way to watch their games without a cable subscription. The service costs $30 a month, or $330 a year and offers all NESN programming. NESN is the regional sports network of the Red Sox and Bruins, so fans of both sports will have plenty to watch year round. The app is available on Apple TV and Roku, as well as on iOS and Android devices. Those who already have NESN as part of their cable package can access the app for free. Despite being in New England, fans living in Fairfield County, Connecticut are not allowed to join, as it is outside of NESN's regional network. You can click the button below to scroll down and enter your ZIP code. This will let you know if you're eligible to sign up.
The service costs $20 a month or $190 for a year and includes live games as well as pre- and postgame coverage and original programming. Subscribers can watch via the Bally Sports app on phones and tablets (iOS, Android), on TVs via Apple TV, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV, as well as on BallySports.com. You can click the button below and enter your ZIP code. This will let you know if you're eligible to sign up.
The MLB At Bat app is great on phones and even better on tablets. If you bought an MLB.TV subscription (as outlined above), you can log in to your account and watch games live in the app. There is a cheaper subscription option for use with the mobile app only, but it's limited in what it lets you watch.
You can buy an At Bat subscription via the MLB At Bat app. It costs $20 a year (or $3 a month) and lets you listen to the home or away radio broadcasts -- baseball is the only sport I can listen to on the radio -- and watch one game per day during the season. You can't choose which game you want to watch; you're stuck with the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day.
Not only are your local team's games unavailable on MLB.TV, but nationally televised games also fall prey to blackout restrictions. And there are a lot of national MLB telecasts. In addition to games on ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS, streaming services Apple TV Plus, Peacock, YouTube all carry MLB games nationally in 2022 -- and all are blacked out on MLB.TV.
I find it terribly disappointing when I attempt to tune into a game on MLB TV and I'm greeted with the blackout notice. It's even worse for fans of the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and other big-market teams that are on national TV seemingly every week and, thus, constantly blacked out on MLB.TV. Before you subscribe, be sure to peep your team's national broadcast schedule so you don't find yourself singing the blackout restriction blues before the ivy turns green at Wrigley.
If you're an out-of-market baseball fan willing to put up with the blackout restrictions, however, you'll find plenty to like about MLB.TV. The live game streams are steady and smooth with few dropouts in my experience. They feature informative, easy-to-access stat overlays that enhance the viewing experience. From iPhones and tablets to PCs and TVs, there's broad hardware support so you can tune into games no matter where you are. And you can listen to radio broadcasts with MLB.TV, which I'd say would be useless for every sport other than baseball.
In short, MLB.TV makes it possible and enjoyable to follow your favorite baseball team when you live far away from it. Being able to watch games live almost every day of the six-month season and hear your team's announcers, the home crowd and even local ads connects you to your team. With a variety of supported devices and access to both TV and radio broadcasts, MLB.TV meets you wherever you are and makes it easy to be a baseball fan all summer long.
Editors' note: Aside from the $10 price hike for the annual plans, MLB.TV is largely unchanged from last year. What follows is our review of Major League Baseball's streaming service from last year, with updates to reflect the potential for even more blackout restrictions this season, the expansion of pre- and post-game coverage to more teams, the expanded schedule for the whip-around Big Inning show and the availability of featured minor league games.
With MLB.TV, you can also listen to home and away radio broadcasts. And baseball is one of the few sports, if not the only, that's enjoyable to listen to on the radio. And some rare good news for the in-market fan: MLB.TV's radio broadcasts aren't subject to the blackout rule, so you can listen to your local team's games live.
New for the 2022 season are featured minor league games. Serious fans of minor league baseball can subscribe to the separate MiLB.TV (note the "i") service, but some minor league games will be streamed on MLB.TV this season as part of your subscription. You'll find the minor league games on the Featured section of the app where you'll also find highlight packages and shows. After watching my Reds limp to a brutal start to the 2022 season, I might save myself a night of big-league torture and watch an occasional minor league game when one of Cincinnati's minor league affiliates is playing. It'll save me from watching another Reds loss and give me a glimpse into the future to see which prospects might be able to help the big-league club in a next year or two. 041b061a72