MLB Network Blackouts (1 Viewer)

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EvilEuro

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Feb 13, 2005
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I am well aware of how blackout rules work with regard to baseball telecasts, but I have run across a strange situation with games on MLB Network this year, or at least since our switch to Hopper 3.

I live in the Los Angeles DMA and fully expect that games involving the Angels and Dodgers will be blacked out when shown on MLB Network. However, I have been getting lots of games blacked out on MLB Network.

Today, for example, the game between the Royals and Yankees on MLB Network was blacked out. But why? I don't live in the DMA for either the Royals or Yankees. The game wasn't being broadcast on any of the national ESPN or Fox stations, nor was the game in an exclusive broadcast window for either of those networks like the Fox Saturday game of the week or ESPN's Sunday night baseball game.

I called Dish technical support and after finally conveying to the person that I wasn't trying to watch the game on Extra Innings or a local RSN, they informed me that the game in question was blacked out for my zip code (metro LA zip code).

Does anyone know why this is happening? Like I said, I expect to be blacked out for games involving my local teams, but this is happening often and in situations where no LA team is involved whatsoever. It really makes no sense even according to the arcane and idiotic MLB blackout rules.
 
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Tygrb8

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Dec 6, 2010
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I have the same problem with Cubs in New Orleans. Astros DMA. But Cubs blacked out. Mlb blackout rules make no sense whatsoever.
 
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The Fat Man

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Oct 2, 2010
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I can never make sense of the blackout rules. But, as posted above, check the ALT channel which is in the 470 range (I never can remember the exact location, want to say 478 ). It might be that due to some rule, you need to receive the game on the ALT channel. I compare it to the regional broadcasts for Sunday NFL games. Cable doesn't have this issue, as your provider just switches MLB Net's signal to the game that satellite gets on the ALT channel.
 

zippyfrog

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Yeah, it is weird. I know that here in Chicago when the Cubs are on CSN Chicago, it is blacked out. That makes sense. But the random blackouts - to me that is to protect ratings. For example, if the Cubs are on CSN Chicago, and the Cardinals are on MLB Network, the Cardinals game tends to be blacked out, so then we get the alternate game on 478, and the alternate game is usually 2 teams no where near us geographically, such as Padres/Phillies. So I can't prove it, but usually in Chicago the pattern is that when there is a baseball game on CSN Chicago, we get whatever game on MLB Network (or the alternate channel) has the teams that are further away or would have less of a following in Chicago. (I would presume so that eyeballs aren't pulled away from the RSN game) Just a theory, but the pattern is pretty consistent. When there is no game on CSN Chicago, we get the main game.
 

EvilEuro

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Feb 13, 2005
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Yeah, we checked the alternate channels and the game wasn't there.

Like I said, makes absolutely no sense. On the plus side, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one this is happening to.

Best part is that the Angels were also home, and thus in the PDT time zone, so there was no conflict so far as time of game or "maximizing ratings" is concerned. There was no game of local interest during the game in question.

Now I do have an MLB.tv account and a proxy, which is necessary to watch Dodger games due to the whole SportsNet LA debacle. So yes, I could have watched the game there. However, the point is really more "why is this happening" than "where can I watch the game".
 

rvvaquero

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I live in the Los Angeles DMA and fully expect that games involving the Angels and Dodgers will be blacked out when shown on MLB Network. However, I have been getting lots of games blacked out on MLB Network.

Today, for example, the game between the Royals and Yankees on MLB Network was blacked out. But why? I don't live in the DMA for either the Royals or Yankees. The game wasn't being broadcast on any of the national ESPN or Fox stations, nor was the game in an exclusive broadcast window for either of those networks like the Fox Saturday game of the week or ESPN's Sunday night baseball game.

Were the Angels or Dodgers being broadcast on another station at the same time this game was on?
 

EvilEuro

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Feb 13, 2005
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Nope. There was no game of local interest in the 4-7pm time slot. Both the Dodgers and Angels were at home and thus didn't play until 7pm local time.

All the more reason why I found the situation so perplexing.
 

shew

Member
Apr 8, 2006
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I have the same problem with Cubs in New Orleans. Astros DMA. But Cubs blacked out. Mlb blackout rules make no sense whatsoever.


i was able to watch the cubs game last night...but on MLB.TV ...i live in the baton rouge DMA
 

EvilEuro

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Feb 13, 2005
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Update on this situation:

Same situation, same teams, same channel, same circumstances (no competing Dodgers or Angels game as they both play at 7pm)...

and the Royals v. Yankees game is on MLB Network.

MLB blackout rules make no f'ing sense.
 

Deadlocked

SatelliteGuys Pro
Update on this situation:

Same situation, same teams, same channel, same circumstances (no competing Dodgers or Angels game as they both play at 7pm)...

and the Royals v. Yankees game is on MLB Network.

MLB blackout rules make no f'ing sense.
And you're sure there was no game on the alt channel that might've been considered more local to you?
 

EvilEuro

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Feb 13, 2005
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I'm in Los Angeles. There are no overlapping territorial rights for LA with regard to MLB. It's only the Dodgers and the Angels so far as territorial TV rights are concerned. Neither team was playing at the time of either game mentioned.

As I said, it makes no sense, even by MLB's arcane and whacky blackout rules.
 

RONZ

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Aug 30, 2010
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The rule is simple. If a channel has home rights to a game in your DMA. The game can only be seen on that channel. If ESPN has first rights for a national broadcast then they will show it. If goes back to who has the copy rights to the channel in a given market. It is similar to the same rules set up to determine you DMA
 

EvilEuro

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Feb 13, 2005
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As I said, I know how the rules work, which is why what is getting blacked out makes no sense.

For the games listed above:

- There national telecast of the game (no ESPN or Fox conflicts)
- There was no game of "local interest" conflict (Dodgers and Angels were not playing in that time slot)
- Unlike other areas of the country, no team has overlapping rights into Los Angeles. Only the Dodgers and Angels claim rights to the Los Angeles DMA. So no conflicts there.

Tonight, for example, the Cardinals v. Dodgers game is blacked out on MLB Network. I have no issue with that. It's a game that is being broadcast in my local DMA, albeit on a channel I cannot watch as Dish doesn't carry it. But that's what proxy servers and MLB.tv are for. :)

MLB Network has the right to air games on their channel (channel 152) and show them nationally using either team's local feed. I should be able to watch them as none of the criteria for a blackout are being met. Unless somehow the Yankees (or Royals) now have a claim to the LA DMA as a "secondary market", which isn't the case.
 

david_jr

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May 7, 2007
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This has been discussed in the 2016 MLB thread in the Sports Section. The rules are maddening. Agreed no rhyme or reason to the blackouts. I have seen the Mets blacked out here on MLBN (I am in the Red Sox rights area) but then the next night the Yankees are on MLBN and they're not blacked out. Makes no sense. This is very frustrating.
 

styxfix

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I know when MLB channel shows back to back MLB games like they did today and one of the four teams is in your area...both games are usually blackout for you. The alt MLB channel on 478 will have your out of market games.
 

Tampa8

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I think for the first time for me both the MLBN and the MLBNA games are blacked out.
 

camo

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Feb 11, 2010
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Blackout rules make little sense. I don't even think the MLB understands how many fans they have lost because of the dumbazz rules.

I live in a region where RSN is Midwest my official blackout team is KC but the team doesn't play on that channel or any other because I don't get any TV from Kansas, Missouri or even Nebraska where I live.

My DMA TV comes from Sioux Falls South Dakota that broadcast Twins games on some RSN I don't get either. So no baseball period.

Now here's the kicker they also blackout SL Cards on my midwest RSN channel where all games are broadcast, but don't black them out on MLB EI or MLBTV... Go figure that one out.

So this region of the country has no baseball with exception of the one nationally broadcast game on Saturday whoopee....This town doesn't even have little league or any school baseball because there is no interest. Why you might ask because its impossible for kids growing up here to watch any MLB games, idolize players or teams because of blackout rules. MLB needs to pull their heads out... I'm amazed after moving here 4 years ago what I found and people here just put up with it, I guess because its the food-belt of Midwest and just don't care unless its about the Huskers.

The team they black out all the time KC is 485 miles 7h 44m drive so even a fanatical fan could never watch unless they had a jet... LOL

I bet you could go and ask everyone that lives in this county to name just 1 active KC Royal player and you would be hard pressed to find 1 person.
 
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