I want my M.L.B.
March 28, 2012 2:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm not optimistic, but I would like to legally watch my home team play live baseball from my couch without paying for cable (cancelled cable 6 months ago.) MLB.TV apparently only provides access to out-of-market games (unless my home team is playing and then those are blacked out too.)

I am more than willing to pay for another service. I'm more that willing to view it streaming to my computer and/or streaming to a device. Heck, I'd be happy if I could just get in-market audio via my computer and not have to carry a radio around.

Is MLB just hopelessly behind or locked into contracts they can't get out of so that they can take my money? Is there any legal way that I can pay for so that I can hear and/or see my home team play?
posted by Jacob G to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Gameday audio for MLB isn't subject to the same strict blackout restrictions that the video feeds are. As far as I know there aren't any restrictions to gameday audio (I live within a few miles of Miller Park and have never had problems listening to Brewers games).
posted by drezdn at 2:37 PM on March 28, 2012

Antenna for the TV?
posted by gjc at 2:38 PM on March 28, 2012

Have you checked to see if any of your local radio stations that broadcast games also have an internet stream? Even if it's not on their website, you may be able to find an app for a smartphone that does streaming audio - one I know of for Android is called TuneIn Radio. Not sure about iOS devices.

Also, on preview, gjc beat me to it - wanted to suggest OTA broadcasts with antenna, unless you got rid of your actual TV along with the cable subscription!
posted by trivia genius at 2:39 PM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I feel your pain.

The At-Bat app for iPhone/Android has Gameday Audio built in, which does not exclude in-market games. I'm not sure if/how you can get for the desktop, but you probably can. For video, you're pretty screwed. I know that YES has its own service that's basically MLB.tv just for the Yankees, and does not black out, but it costs something like $70 and you still get the TV ads. Of course, you don't get the games that are broadcast on local stations, though you can get those through an antenna. And forget ESPN.
posted by mkultra at 2:40 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure what the Web service through MLB is like, but if you have an iPhone or iPad I know the MLB Gameday app will (if you pay for it) provide audio of your team. It usually provides audio of both home and away teams, actually.
posted by brentajones at 2:40 PM on March 28, 2012

Response by poster: Antenna won't work as the games are aired on Fox Sports Midwest, which is not an over-the-air channel.

The local radio station that broadcasts the game does have an internet stream, but they don't stream the games when they're on.

I didn't realize that Gameday Audio didn't have any blackout restrictions, so that will be a definite purchase, unless a video solution manifests.
posted by Jacob G at 2:53 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: Use something like TunnelBear. I just loaded it up, flipped to UK and according to the MLB blackout page there are no restrictions.

They give you 500MB per month. You can get another 1GB by tweeting them each month, but depending on how many games you want to watch you may need to pay either $5 a month or $50 a year.
posted by IanMorr at 2:55 PM on March 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

Roku has a MLB channel. I would assume that all games would be on there.
posted by dgeiser13 at 4:01 PM on March 28, 2012

The Roku channel requires a subscription to mlb.tv, and your local team will be blacked out.
posted by JanetLand at 4:12 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: MLB has video locked up nice and tight. They blackout games played in your market to protect gate receipts, and they lock up video of your local team when they're out-of-town to protect the cable and free TV viewership. That goes for the Roku feed as well, as JanetLand pointed out.

MLB.TV is really a better solution for those fans whose favorite team is in a market other than where the fan lives. I'm a Giants fan who lives in LA, and I'll see all games that aren't played at Dodger Stadium.

Audio, as you have discovered, is a whole 'nother animal. That's your best bet.
posted by DandyRandy at 4:14 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: At $20 a year for every single MLB game, MLB audio may be the best value online. I plug a small FM Transmitter into my sound card, then sit out on a deck with a portable radio and a beer, just like Grandpa did.

Well, Grandpa preferred whiskey, but otherwise just like Grandpa.
posted by COD at 4:24 PM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yes, I fear that MLB.TV is designed precisely to prevent what you are attempting to do (not pay your cable company to see your local team). I shelled out for it this year as a Red Sox fan in New York, but with reservations because this stuff is a bit off-putting.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 4:24 PM on March 28, 2012

The Roku channel requires a subscription to mlb.tv, and your local team will be blacked out.

I can second this. My brother-in-law tried this exact set up and wasn't able to see the local team games.
posted by drezdn at 4:34 PM on March 28, 2012

What about a willing friend and a slingbox? (I do not have a slingbox, so I cannot say what restrictions or limitations there might be)
posted by China Grover at 5:08 PM on March 28, 2012

Yeah, it sucks. There are ways to get around mlb.com's blackout restrictions though (proxies.)
posted by saul wright at 5:19 PM on March 28, 2012

Oh, you said legally. Sorry, there's no way.
posted by saul wright at 5:19 PM on March 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Audio it shall be! (or maybe TunnelBear... ;-)
posted by Jacob G at 6:24 PM on March 28, 2012

If you go the VPN route, don't buy a multi-month package. There was a period last year (or maybe the year before, I forget) when MLB was blocking the VPN IP's to prevent people from doing this. They've blocked access to the forum's to subscribers so I can't go back and look at the discussion or I'd point you to the link.
posted by Runes at 7:26 PM on March 28, 2012

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