Highlights All That’s Wrong with

April 3, 2008 at 10:22 pm 4 comments

From the “news” desk:

Matt Smith is a 24-year-old A’s fan who lives in Norwich, England, and he is starting his fourth season as a member of the MLB.TV generation.

I’ll give you three guesses why they didn’t write this article about me, an A’s fan in Oakland.

There are too many reasons to subscribe, such as logging onto his computer this past week to watch the A’s split a pair with Boston in Japan.

Call me a crazy baseball fan, but I woke up at 3 am Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to watch those games in Japan. I was blacked out, of course. For games at 3 am. Being played in Japan.

When asked why he is such an avid MLB.TV fan — one of more than one million fans who have watched live games this way — Smith replied via e-mail:

Want to watch all 162 of your favorite team’s regular-season games? No problem

No problem! If you live in Norwich, England.

Want to risk a heart attack watching all of the outings by your fantasy team’s starters? Go right ahead. Don’t want to miss any of the big games and dramatic moments that make up an MLB season? Thanks to MLB.TV, you don’t have to.

“None of the above would be possible without MLB.TV and my experience as a baseball fan would be much poorer as a result.

You said it, Matt! Without, many of us baseball fans wouldn’t be able to do all those things you just said. In fact, we can’t, and our experiences as baseball fans are much poorer as a result. But we’re all thrilled that one of the 9 baseball fans in England is satisfied.

As usual, your fellow baseball fans, like Smith, make the best case for why it is in everyone’s interest to subscribe to MLB.TV.

If you live in England, which is aparently MLB’s target demographic.

And once again, there will be fans all over the world following their favorite club live on MLB.TV because they don’t live near the team, because they are traveling, because they are at school — more reasons all the time.

And if you do live near the team, well, you’d better get yourself out to every single game, or be sure to be at home in front of the TV (if you have have one with cable) and not at school or work or at the coffee shop or hanging out at a friend’s house who insists on watching a basketball game instead. Beyond that, move to England, and you’ll never miss a thing!

Try it out, and you are likely to share this sentiment of Matt Smith:

“I can’t imagine being without it.”

I can.


Entry filed under:

Media Coverage of Blackouts Baby Steps

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Christian  |  April 17, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    “Beyond that, move to England, and you’ll never miss a thing!”

    Ah, not so fast. I’m a transplanted Bostonian living in England and I still have those games blacked out. Why? At one point I was told it was because I used a US credit card when I first signed up for the service two years ago. I went through this issue last year with them and it took about 3 weeks to get it straightened out. Well, today’s April 17th, which means we’re almost 3 weeks into the season and guess who couldn’t watch the Sox play the Yanks last Saturday while sitting on a couch in London? Yup, me! By far the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced.

  • 2. Ryan  |  April 17, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Wow, Christian. That’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ve heard of people getting screwed by their credit card’s billing zip code, along with their IP address. Insanity.

  • 3. Phil J  |  April 20, 2008 at 2:51 am

    I’m another English baseball fan – I had an subscription in 2005 and 2006, but have completely dumped it since the quality was so poor. In theory, it’s a great idea – I support the Angels, and the games are so rarely in my timezone, the idea that on weekends, I could wake up, crank up the computer, avoid the score and watch the game in repeat, on demand. However, at least while I had it, the only way to launch the coverage was to click on an icon which was right beside the FINAL SCORE – meaning that I had to actually guess where the window would come up, and put my hand over the most likely location of the score. The video stream would also drop at best, every half an hour, requiring me to find where I was in the game at least a few times each game. (invariably, I’d give up after a few innings)

    I’d half considered signing up for the full season this year, on the expectation that it MUST have improved – but probably worth avoiding. Again. I’ll stick to NASN.

  • 4. Richard Gadsden  |  April 20, 2008 at 4:19 am

    I’m English, using an English credit card, in England, with an English IP address. I’ve never been blacked out once.

    I agree that it’s insane that I get a better service than USAmericans.

    I can kinda see the point for people who could watch, say, NESN – but even they should be able to send in a proof of purchase for NESN and be exempted from a Red Sox blackout, so they can watch the game if they’re at work, or a friend’s house, or out of state, or in a hotel, or whatever.

    NESN ain’t losing advertising – anyone who could watch the game on TV is picking the TV over MLB.TV – so the only thinkg they have to protect is subscription revenue.


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