Posts filed under ‘MLBlackout’

Welcome to MLBlackout: A blog dedicated to ending’s blackout policy

Fans of Major League Baseball everywhere have long understood the potential greatness of since the first game was streamed online in 2002. We could watch almost any game in the country live, with ever-improving video quality, anywhere we had a high-speed internet connection. has failed to live up to this greatness for one simple reason, however: blackouts. Depending on which zip code a fan is in when accessing the, he is subject to games being blacked out if that zip code falls in one team’s (and sometimes as many as six teams‘) so-called “local markets”. These local markets often extend 300 miles or more, meaning thousands of fans are unable to watch their favorite team(s) play.

We don’t think this makes any sense, and we want to do something about it. This blog will serve as a hub for information and updates about the progress being made to end the blackout restrictions. And end they will, if only because Major League Baseball, and the broadcasters of Major League Baseball games, will come to realize that they are costing themselves revenue by failing to update a policy that stopped having any usefulness to anyone (the fans, the broadcasters, and baseball itself) sometime in the 1970s.

Along with MLBlackout providing updates, news, and fan testimonials about their experiences, we’ve also created an online petition directed at Commissioner Bud Selig (whose office is in charge of the blackout policy), asking him to begin taking the steps immediately to bring an end to blackouts on The text of the petition is below, and can be signed here.

Dear Commissioner Selig:

We, the undersigned baseball fans, request that you consider an immediate end to Major League Baseball’s blackout policy with regard to games broadcast on MLB.TV.

There are endless reasons why current blackout restrictions are bad for fans, and bad for the game of baseball.

First and foremost, many of us are unable to enjoy watching our favorite teams, even after paying $89.95 to $119.95 for use of the service, simply because we live in, or are using the internet in, the wrong zip code. If a fan is in Minnesota, he can’t watch Twins games. If another is in Phoenix, she can’t watch Diamondbacks games. How does this make any sense?

Some of us don’t have cable television. Some of us want to watch games where there is no television, like in a workplace break room, or a school cafeteria, or a neighborhood cafe. Some of us are unfortunate enough to be in a zip code where blackout rules apply to multiple teams, sometimes as many as six. This is patently ridiculous. Why is it so difficult to get Major League Baseball to accept our money in return for showing us the games we want to see?

Disallowing paying customers the ability to watch their favorite teams wherever they are or whenever they can does harm to baseball, both in retaining current fans and attracting new ones. The current blackout policy is arcane, and serves absolutely no one’s interests: not the game’s, not the teams’, not the broadcasters’ of the games, not MLB.TV’s, and certainly not the fans’.

Please consider abolishing the blackout policy as soon as possible and begin taking steps immediately to make that outcome possible. Let us watch the game we love.

We thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Finally, we encourage you to subscribe to our RSS feed so you can stay up to date, and invite you to contact us anytime at to share your blackout stories (and outrage), make suggestions, and chat about baseball.


March 29, 2008 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment



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