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If MLB wanted to prevent local fans from watching out-of-town teams, they wouldn't have created MLB.TV. It was created for exactly that purpose - to ALLOW fans to follow teams outside of the local market. The blackout rules are designed to protect the local teams' deals with the RSNs, which account for a large percentage of teams' revenue. The problem they are facing is that people are canceling their cable and satellite subscriptions in droves, which is shrinking the revenue of the RSNs and threatening their financial stability. And if the RSNs go bankrupt, the teams don't get paid.
If you read what I actually said, I said that they STARTED out wanting to protect local broadcasts (it was one reason why they fought so hard to not allow superstations to broadcast games local, and why TBS and WGN eventually stopped showing games nationally). They realized they COULD sell a national package so that fans who wanted to could watch out of town games, share the revenue and make everyone happy, but, they STILL wanted to protect local RSNs and broadcast networks that show games locally, so they "forced" you to another method of watching those (as folks pointed out, MLB.TV and EI originally didn't show any ads, eventually started showing specific national ads, not local ones). It has ZERO to do with fans, it's to protect the local market for the local RSNs/OTA networks so they can sell local ads. The thing is, the local cable and even satellite want to hold on to this model because sports is a major driver in keep folks subscribed. Here in NY there is exactly ONE OTT service that carries all three RSNs and that's Stream. Keeping this model means keeping the RSNs alive. But that's going to have to change, as you say, people are leaving those services in droves.
 

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I am not talking about my situation. I am talking about your statement that was “Imagine fans in Kansas City have the ability to watch, instead of their Royals, watch Dodger, or Yankee or Cubs games, and THOSE teams gain large fan bases and lead to disinterest of the local teams, and again, less gate or interest in the local RSNs.” which is exactly how it is in most places.
But it's not "easier" it's the same model it's always been. You want to watch your games, you get cable, or watch OTA. Nothing has changed. You STILL need a viable internet connection to get MLB.TV, same as you will with ST. So nothing has "changed". I get that folks are moving off of traditional TV. The model will have to change. But I don't think it's going to be to get rid of blackout rules, at least to some extent. I think RSNs will stream games to you for a fee. And will still be able to sell local advertising. Perhaps they tie it into MLB.TV, perhaps not. We'll see see how that goes.
 

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MLB is working on this now because they know the existing RSN model is not sustainable. If they wait until RSNs start going bankrupt, the teams that rely on those RSNs for a large portion of their revenue may not get paid. A solution might be to charge a higher price for MLB.TV, include in-market games in the package, and give the RSNs a cut.
Or RSNs realize that they need to offer a streaming service (isn't that happening for the Cubs?) for cord cutters with no strings attached for a fee (and this maintains local ad revenue. Imagine if you can buy a streaming version of your local RSN. Here in NY both YES Network and MSG have streaming versions of their networks and apps for both, but to watch they need to be tied to your cable or sat package. If they sold those standalone, that should solve everyone's issue. They can restrict it to a local billing address to protect advertisers if they wanted to. In other words, someone in California cannot purchase the package (but obviously could still purchase the league package to watch the games).

What everyone here seems to want is MLB.TV to be allowed to show every game. I don't see that happening as currently offered.
 

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When did the NFL actually eliminate it's own blackout rules?

The NFL blackout rule was the dumbest of them all. If the game wasn't sold out by the middle/end of the week, no home game on local network channel that Sunday. Stupid.

I know that teams did everything to skirt it but sometimes a local game was blacked out due to a non-sellout at the stadium. This was an issue for the Jaguars, Bengals and several other teams that always had trouble selling out.
When they realized they are probably making more money from TV than they were from gate. In the old days gate drove revenue for the NFL. Having people NOT go to games was a major problem for them. Now that the TV money is so huge, if they sell 5k less tickets they don't care as much, it's 5k more eyeballs watching the game and more advertising money. Obviously they STILL want fans at games, and they build these colossal stadiums for that reason. But TV money is so big that a stadium that's not sold out is just not as big a deal as it was 40 years ago. And I'm sure the networks paying that big money made sure that there would be NO reason to have local games blacked out anymore (because in most local markets the larger audience is watching a local team rather than an out of town team).
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
But it's not "easier" it's the same model it's always been. You want to watch your games, you get cable, or watch OTA. Nothing has changed. You STILL need a viable internet connection to get MLB.TV, same as you will with ST. So nothing has "changed". I get that folks are moving off of traditional TV. The model will have to change. But I don't think it's going to be to get rid of blackout rules, at least to some extent. I think RSNs will stream games to you for a fee. And will still be able to sell local advertising. Perhaps they tie it into MLB.TV, perhaps not. We'll see see how that goes.
Or RSNs realize that they need to offer a streaming service (isn't that happening for the Cubs?) for cord cutters with no strings attached for a fee (and this maintains local ad revenue. Imagine if you can buy a streaming version of your local RSN. Here in NY both YES Network and MSG have streaming versions of their networks and apps for both, but to watch they need to be tied to your cable or sat package. If they sold those standalone, that should solve everyone's issue. They can restrict it to a local billing address to protect advertisers if they wanted to. In other words, someone in California cannot purchase the package (but obviously could still purchase the league package to watch the games).

What everyone here seems to want is MLB.TV to be allowed to show every game. I don't see that happening as currently offered.
No the Cubs as of yet do not have a stand alone streaming service. You must authenticate with a provider. What is weird about the Cubs is I still get Marquee and I am not in the Chicago area and right now there is no MLB-TV or DirecTV EI. For some reason DIRECTV just opened that channel up last May to everyone that I guess would have to have the Sports Pack. I think it is the Red Sox that have a stand alone streaming service but it costs like $30 per month. The problem with the RSN's is if they will even be around for long. They currently produce all MLB games for MLB-TV and EI. If they go under who is going to produce the games for MLB-TV and EI?
 

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Or RSNs realize that they need to offer a streaming service (isn't that happening for the Cubs?) for cord cutters with no strings attached for a fee (and this maintains local ad revenue. Imagine if you can buy a streaming version of your local RSN. Here in NY both YES Network and MSG have streaming versions of their networks and apps for both, but to watch they need to be tied to your cable or sat package. If they sold those standalone, that should solve everyone's issue. They can restrict it to a local billing address to protect advertisers if they wanted to. In other words, someone in California cannot purchase the package (but obviously could still purchase the league package to watch the games).

What everyone here seems to want is MLB.TV to be allowed to show every game. I don't see that happening as currently offered.
RSNs streaming the games directly is one possible solution to the problem, but not necessarily the only one. That's why MLB is working on the issue - the RSN model as it exists now is not sustainable. And no, it isn't likely that any changes to MLB.TV will allow subscribers to watch every game. MLB makes a lot of money selling rights to ESPN, FS1, Fox, and other providers and that isn't going to change.
 

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When did the NFL actually eliminate it's own blackout rules?

The NFL blackout rule was the dumbest of them all. If the game wasn't sold out by the middle/end of the week, no home game on local network channel that Sunday. Stupid.

I know that teams did everything to skirt it but sometimes a local game was blacked out due to a non-sellout at the stadium. This was an issue for the Jaguars, Bengals and several other teams that always had trouble selling out.
The NFL stopped blacking out home games after the 2014 season.
 

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If anyone subscribes to a sports package they should receive every game no matter where they live. We are paying for the games so give them to us.
Rob, you continue to pretend the world is here to simply serve you.
Let's say you go to Caesars Palace and you ask for a Coca Cola, and they tell you they only serve Pepsi products. Do they owe you what you want?
Let's say you go into a liquor store and, opening a 12 pack of beer, you tell the owner you only want 11? Do they owe you what you want?

Why is it so hard for you to understand businesses make decisions on how to market and sell their products?
They have no obligation to package their products based on the needs of one Rob37.

And by the way, your final sentence is absolutely wrong.
You are only paying for the package of games being offered, whether it's your RSN or any out of market package.

You may think you "deserve" something, but in truth, none of us deserve anything. We look at product offerings and vote with either our wallet or our feet.
 

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The NFL blackout rule was the dumbest of them all. If the game wasn't sold out by the middle/end of the week, no home game on local network channel that Sunday. Stupid.
Back in the 60's and 70's it was the opposite of stupid.

1) Not all games sold out and there was a genuine fear the box office would suffer terribly if games were televised locally, especially in cold weather cities late in the season.

2) The television money then was minuscule compared to today.
In 1968 CBS paid the NFL $18,800,000. In today's dollars that is a mere $155,000,000.
This year's NFL agreements pays $3.4 billion - TWENTY times the value of the 1968 agreement.

So, not stupid at all.

Edit:

Apologies to Steveknj: I did not see your post #44 before I made my comment. Cheers!
 

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No the Cubs as of yet do not have a stand alone streaming service. You must authenticate with a provider. What is weird about the Cubs is I still get Marquee and I am not in the Chicago area and right now there is no MLB-TV or DirecTV EI. For some reason DIRECTV just opened that channel up last May to everyone that I guess would have to have the Sports Pack. I think it is the Red Sox that have a stand alone streaming service but it costs like $30 per month. The problem with the RSN's is if they will even be around for long. They currently produce all MLB games for MLB-TV and EI. If they go under who is going to produce the games for MLB-TV and EI?
That's why I wonder if they will actually go under? And that's also why I think most of them will transition to the type of model I described where they will sell you a streaming only package for $XX a month, just like all the other streaming services out there. Similar to what you described the Red Sox are doing. That's going to be the new model, assuming the current contracts will allow for it with the cable/sat companies, who might resist allowing it due to their own issues with retaining customers.
 

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RSNs streaming the games directly is one possible solution to the problem, but not necessarily the only one. That's why MLB is working on the issue - the RSN model as it exists now is not sustainable. And no, it isn't likely that any changes to MLB.TV will allow subscribers to watch every game. MLB makes a lot of money selling rights to ESPN, FS1, Fox, and other providers and that isn't going to change.
Oh, I think MLB.TV will never include games from the national networks. But I also don't think, at least for the foreseeable future it's going to allow local games either. Teams make too much money from the RSNs to give it up. That's why the streaming option feels like the only solution that makes sense. Just don't compare this to what the NFL is doing. Better to compare with what the NBA and NHL are doing, and both still use the RSN model with blackouts (though not as ridiculously regionalized).
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
That's why I wonder if they will actually go under? And that's also why I think most of them will transition to the type of model I described where they will sell you a streaming only package for $XX a month, just like all the other streaming services out there. Similar to what you described the Red Sox are doing. That's going to be the new model, assuming the current contracts will allow for it with the cable/sat companies, who might resist allowing it due to their own issues with retaining customers.
I believe you are in the NY area. Would you pay $30 per month to see both NY teams ($60 per month). Take a look at someone that lives in Iowa. They have 6 teams in their area. If someone wants all 6 teams would they be willing to pay $180 per month for 6+ months of the year?
 

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Well no matter what, let’s hope MLB finally abolishes the blackout rule. It’s time for it to go away.
MLB (or any other league) doesn't exist uniquely for your personal entertainment. Many jobs and a lot of money ride on ticket sales.

The teams that don't regularly sell out aren't going to survive if they can't wring the most possible value out of their franchise.
 

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That's why I wonder if they will actually go under? And that's also why I think most of them will transition to the type of model I described where they will sell you a streaming only package for $XX a month, just like all the other streaming services out there. Similar to what you described the Red Sox are doing. That's going to be the new model, assuming the current contracts will allow for it with the cable/sat companies, who might resist allowing it due to their own issues with retaining customers.
The Sinclair subsidiary that owns the Bally RSNs is on the brink of bankruptcy, as reported here:


If it were just a matter of the RSNs offering streaming packages, MLB wouldn't be working on changes to MLB.TV.
 

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The NFL is a "once a week" league. It's much different than MLB in that regard. So it's impossible to compare.
You're the guy who brought the NFL into the conversation. Regret that choice? :D

30 Teams play 2,430 games in the MLB regular season. How many are available on MLB.TV and how many are blacked out due to local RSN carriage?
 

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I believe you are in the NY area. Would you pay $30 per month to see both NY teams ($60 per month). Take a look at someone that lives in Iowa. They have 6 teams in their area. If someone wants all 6 teams would they be willing to pay $180 per month for 6+ months of the year?
Seriously, how many fans are fans of SIX teams? You'd pay for the teams that are local to you that you like. Again, it's NOT about the fans, it never has been. In rose colored world we'd get every game on MLB.TV for free. But this isn't that world. I agree, the blackout rules for somewhere like Iowa are silly, that needs to be changed to make it uber regional (i.e the part of the state that is primarily Cubs or White Sox fans is in the Chicago demo, the part of the state that Cardinal fans is in THAT demo and the rest of the rest of the state is up for grabs, that's now NJ is, half the state in in the NY demo, half in the Philly demo, but generally the whole state is either or, not both). So to answer your question, no, I'd pay $30 per month to watch Yankees games, but not Mets games. I'd pay $15 a month to watch Rangers games, but not Islanders or Devils, and so forth. Now, if it's as I'm thinking and the RSNs become like Peacock or Paramount+ and offer their own for a monthly fee streaming service, then if I wanted the Yankees, I'd also get the Nets, Centerstage, Yankees Hot Stove and all of the other offerings on Yes Network. If I subbed to MSG, I'd get the Rangers, Knicks, Devils and Islanders, plus college sports they might show and so forth. That's where I see this going. And it makes sense in the current landscape. Of course, I might cancel for a few months during the offseason and re-up when the season starts, but we'll see.
 

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The Sinclair subsidiary that owns the Bally RSNs is on the brink of bankruptcy, as reported here:


If it were just a matter of the RSNs offering streaming packages, MLB wouldn't be working on changes to MLB.TV.
Of course the current model is failing. But, why are they going bankrupt? Stupid contracts with the sports teams where they overpaid? Decrease in ad revenue? Poor management? A need to restructure debt? We don't know. There are lots of reasons companies declare bankruptcy and often has little to do with them actually going out of business. That's why I think a streaming service could be their saving grace. Yeah, I know that, we hear that at lot of the streaming services are not making money. Sports is different. People who watch sports usually watch games live, meaning they don't skip ads (sure not everyone watches that way, but with the proliferation of gambling, people want to watch live or as close to it as possible). Fans of teams will generally pay what it takes to watch those games if they are fans. So it's possible it become a great monthly revenue stream. The problem is that they are currently tied in with cable and sat providers who might not want that competition. So that's going to be sticky how they get out of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Seriously, how many fans are fans of SIX teams? You'd pay for the teams that are local to you that you like. Again, it's NOT about the fans, it never has been. In rose colored world we'd get every game on MLB.TV for free. But this isn't that world. I agree, the blackout rules for somewhere like Iowa are silly, that needs to be changed to make it uber regional (i.e the part of the state that is primarily Cubs or White Sox fans is in the Chicago demo, the part of the state that Cardinal fans is in THAT demo and the rest of the rest of the state is up for grabs, that's now NJ is, half the state in in the NY demo, half in the Philly demo, but generally the whole state is either or, not both). So to answer your question, no, I'd pay $30 per month to watch Yankees games, but not Mets games. I'd pay $15 a month to watch Rangers games, but not Islanders or Devils, and so forth. Now, if it's as I'm thinking and the RSNs become like Peacock or Paramount+ and offer their own for a monthly fee streaming service, then if I wanted the Yankees, I'd also get the Nets, Centerstage, Yankees Hot Stove and all of the other offerings on Yes Network. If I subbed to MSG, I'd get the Rangers, Knicks, Devils and Islanders, plus college sports they might show and so forth. That's where I see this going. And it makes sense in the current landscape. Of course, I might cancel for a few months during the offseason and re-up when the season starts, but we'll see.
There are baseball fans that just love watching baseball no matter who is playing. I may watch at least parts of many games throughout the day. Since I retired it is a lot of baseball watching. If you only want to watch one team play than a DTC RSN might be the way to go. The problem with that is since they are only being paid by people that live in the area that actually watch. They are quickly losing that free money they got for years from people that didn't watch. Which is why they are about to go bankrupt.
 
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