Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I hate blackouts.

I hate blackouts when it comes to the NFL. And I certainly hate blackouts when it comes to Major League Baseball.

Case in point, last night.

I'm fired up to watch Felix Hernandez mow down a team that's worse than the Mariners, the Kansas City Royals. I've paid the $3.95 necessary to watch greatness unfold before my eyes. But there's a slight problem.

MLB.TV tells me that I'm in the Royals territory, so I can't watch the game.


The majority of the Royals' games are not on television here in southeast Arkansas. The local PAX affiliate has recently started to show the Royals' games on Sunday afternoons, albeit all road games. The Royals have their own network, the Royals Sports Television Network. Why can't they be like most teams and just have their games televised on FSN Midwest?

Not only am I in the Royals territory, I'm in the Cardinals, Rangers, and Astros territories. That fact doesn't bother me as much, because I get to watch those teams' games on my cable system often (Cardinals FSN Midwest, Rangers & Astros FSN Southwest).

After I get the message about not being able to watch the game, I call MLB.TV's customer service hotline. The woman that takes my call was an arrogant you-know-what. I tell her my story, that I'm in Arkansas and I don't get the Royals on television here. She said that she couldn't do a thing for me, because of the blackout restrictions. Doesn't hurt to ask, though.

I love MLB.TV. I think it's a great deal for baseball fans everywhere, including myself. It's nice to have an option to watch the Mariners even though I'm in Arkansas. But if there's one major flaw with MLB.TV, it's definitely the blackout restrictions.

Why would a professional sports organization such as Major League Baseball want fans to not watch their product? Obviously, I know that Fox is as much to blame here as MLB is. Speaking of Fox, the Saturday blackouts are ridiculous as well. Again, why would you not want your customers to watch your product?

I missed out on watching Felix strike out 11 Royals.

Thanks a lot, MLB and Fox.

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