Every year I put up with the asinine blackout policy of Major League Baseball (MLB). This is the 21st century. As a Cubs fan, I should be able to watch all 162 games (if I have time). MLB even offers a subscription on their website called “MLB.TV” where, for $130 per year you can watch every single game, subject to blackout restrictions.
And that’s what I want to talk about. The MLB blackout policy states that if you live in the blackout zone for a particular team, you can only watch the games for that team if you subscribe to certain television services, or if you go to the game (some games are only shown locally).
I want to watch Cubs games, but I’m in their blackout zone. I can pay MLB.com to watch every MLB game, except for Cubs or Reds games (or the games of anybody who is playing either of those teams). I know the reasoning for the blackout is so you will watch the game on the local tv station that the Cubs have sold the programming to, but the blackout zone for the Cubs is so large (all of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and parts of Wisconsin) that there are people living in Council Bluffs, Iowa who never get Cubs games on their local tv stations, but they still can’t pay to watch them online. Why don’t the Ricketts family want me to watch Cubs games?
Because they’re greedy. And that’s unfortunate.
Normally this is only an issue in the regular season. But today is the postseason. Today the Kansas City Royals are playing the Houston Astros. A friend of mine who lives in northern Iowa, approximately 300 miles from Kansas City, is a Royals fan and he can’t watch the game, because the only way to watch the game in Iowa is on DirecTV or Dish Network. And he doesn’t have either.
I say enough is enough. I say it’s time for Major League Baseball to get rid of the blackouts. In this day and age with the increasing number of people cutting the cable cord and ditching the dish, MLB needs to adapt. They need to figure it out fast before they are left in the dust. Because their fans are angry.
At least the World Series is on Fox. I think everybody gets that channel (even people not paying).