No Need for Cable, You Can Watch MLB Games Online & Over-the-Air
Cut the Cord but Keep Your Baseball
Apart from apple pie and John Phillip Sousa marches, there is nothing more American than baseball. The Great American Pastime as aged well in the last century, and today still remains one of the most popular sports in the United States.
Watching sports can be tough for the cord cutting sports fan, and no one knows this pain more than baseball fans. Sadly, cable networks and baseball executives have formed uncompetitive deals to limit the availability of baseball broadcasts in order to squeeze more money out of consumers. And they are making millions doing so, which means we can’t expect this to change anytime soon.
So what’s a sports fan to do? You could just suck it up and pay hundreds of dollars every month to the cable company. But before you go down that road, let’s take a look at your options. It’s not perfect, or super easy, but there are alternatives you should know about.
Watch Baseball With Sling TV
Two networks that broadcast a significant portion of MLB games are TBS and ESPN; and for the longest time, cord cutters have been unfortunately cut off from those broadcasts. Luckily for us, the new streaming service Sling TV offers both TBS and ESPN for live stream. Sling costs $20 a month, has no lengthy contracts, and you get access to 20+ channels; in addition to TBS and ESPN.
ESPN has three weekly broadcasts during the regular season, which are: Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball. In addition to playing regular season games, ESPN also broadcasts the Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, the Home Run Derby, one of two Wild Card Games, and several spring training games. The network also airs the highlight show Baseball Tonight.
TBS broadcasts a weekly game on Sundays. Unfortunately, since TBS does not own the exclusive rights to the game, local markets are blocked from watching the game. TBS is free to broadcast another game as a replacement, but simply chooses not to; which has led to a great deal of criticism.
However, in the postseason the coverage is better. TBS broadcasts one of the two League Championship series; trading off between the National and American League each year. TBS also covers two of the four MLB Division Series; again trading off between leagues.
ESPN, TBS, and Sling TV may not give you complete coverage of Major League Baseball, but it goes a LONG way towards filling in the gap. Click here to start your 7 Day free trial.
MLB on FuboTV
The hits keep on coming with an incredible new streaming service called FuboTV. With these guys you can watch your favorite teams on FS1 and on NBC Sports. For me, because I live in the bay area, I can watch my SF Giants on NBC Sports Bay Area. Check out their free trial and learn which home team games you will have access too.
If you simply want to learn more about FuboTV, try reading our overview article.
Most sports usually air their games on broadcast networks so sports fans can freely access it using an Over-the-Air antenna. Unfortunately, the only broadcast network that airs baseball games is FOX. With FOX, you will be able to catch 12 in-market regular season games, the All-Star Game, a division championship games (which one depends on the year), and the World Series. Yes antennas do have their limitations, but for millions of people HD programming for Free makes it all worth it.
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While FOX isn’t completely bereft of baseball, it is nowhere near sufficient for even the most casual of fans. The easiest solution to your baseball woes is to subscribe to the service MLB.tv and watch Baseball online.
For $110.00 you can access every regular season out of market baseball game for the rest of the year . Of course the downside is that you won’t be able to watch any teams in your area. This blackout applies to away games as well as home games. So if you live in Atlanta and the Braves are in San Francisco, you still won’t be able to watch the game. What’s worse is that the blackout areas make no sense whatsoever. Here is the blackout map.
But I do have some good news. Looks like by 2016 this will no longer be as big of an issue:
“There is no specific timetable for a potential announcement of a deal between FOX and MLB. The two sides hope to complete the agreement around the end of this season, which would give the league and RSNs a full offseason to market the availability of the new local streams before Opening Day 2016. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, working with the league’s president of business and media, Bob Bowman, has made in-market baseball streaming a key league priority, including personally participating in several negotiating sessions.”
Here Comes The Waterfall: 15 MLB Teams To Lift Streaming Blackout For Fox Broadcasts _ Tech Dirt – by Timothy Geigner Tue, Aug 18th 2015
MLB on Yahoo
They say the best things in life are free, and Yahoo is going the extra mile to prove it. For this upcoming season, Yahoo will be airing 180 MLB baseball games online for free. That equals out to one free game every day.
Although this isn’t Yahoo’s first foray into streaming sports online, it’s definitely one of their most ambitious ventures yet. As always, games in your market will be blocked from viewing; but they will they give you another game to stream. Either way, with a price tag of FREE, there’s still plenty to be excited about.
Check out what’s on right now by clicking here. As for an upcoming schedule of free games that are airing on Yahoo, I can’t find one. If you know of one please tell me about it in the comments section.
As far as postseason goes, your best bet is the subscription service PostSeason.tv. It works like MLB.tv except that you don’t get the official broadcast; rather you get up to 10 alternate camera angles and no announcer. If you truly miss having an announcer, you can always find an online radio broadcast to play over the game. PostSeason.tv is not perfect, but for $5 a month it’s hard to do better.
Cord Cutting Baseball Fanatics Have Options
Baseball truly is a fantastic sport, and it is a shame that Major League Baseball doesn’t do more to expand access to their games. Between blackouts and cable bills, it’s enough to make someone want to give up on Major League Baseball altogether; but thankfully we don’t have to. Cordcutters CAN watch Baseball Online!
As we have seen today, there are better options out there than submitting to the great media giants. While some content providers make it difficult, it is still possible to have an alternative to Cable TV, even if you are a sports fan. So what are you waiting for? Take the leap, cut the cord, and KilltheCableBill today!