Earlier today, I ran a piece in which I looked at the changes to MLB.TV and how they’re really not changes at all. Well, the price dropped and there’s now a single-time feature at an even lower price, not to mention a feature that let’s you see your favorite team’s broadcasts even when they’re playing a team that’s in-market for you. Here I am, only a few words in, and I’m already repeating myself.
While it’s true that I’m following in my own footsteps here, I do have a bit more support for some of what I had assumed early on in terms of the impotence of these new features. My initial assumption regarding the requirement for RSN authentication was that an individual had to have access to the RSN that carried the local team, though it was later explained, though not by MLB.TV, that a would-be subscriber need only have access to any RSN. Again, this is all stuff I’ve said before.
In an effort to clarify the “new” rules and provide readers with as much information as possible regarding MLB’s blackouts and the access people will have to watching teams — specifically the Cubs — via the popular streaming service, I wanted to share the full text of the email MLB sent out Monday afternoon (and forwarded to me by a reader/Twitter follower) regarding the details of the settlement that brought about all this change. I’ll warn you that there’s a lot of info here and that most of it is completely irrelevant, but I have highlighted some of the pertinent information for you.
If you’d like to save yourself some time, just scroll down to the “Increased Availability” section. I’m no lawyer, but this stuff all looks like legalese for “we didn’t change anything, but by offering different iterations of what we already had and by dropping prices, we were able to make you think everything’s better.” Blackout restrictions are still in place just as they have been, though I had initially thought the “Unserved Fans” section offered hope. After looking it over a bit more, however, it really appears to be offering relief to those folks who don’t have TV coverage at all. Both Cubs fans in Montana are going to be really happy, though this really won’t impact the state’s five other residents.
Fun stuff, folks. Have at it…