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MLB.tv: Not a Reason to Buy an iPad



MLB.tv Blackout Restrictions, originally uploaded by sogrady.

They announced the iPad yesterday. Dude, have you seen it? Large capacative touchscreen, 1.5 pounds, wifi, 3G: it’s everything you could want in a mobile media device. Which the folks at MLB have clearly figured out, as they, with but a scant two weeks lead time, cobbled together an application designed expressly for the device. The iPad and MLB.tv are the perfect combination to watch every team but your favorite.

Wait, what?

Yeah, it’s a fact. You can’t watch your hometown team, unless you find yourself far from home. Look it up. Undoubtedly some baseball fan somewhere is going to get suckered into buying an iPad, at least in part, to watch games when they’re out and about. That’s certainly why I would buy one. Unfortunately, after they get home and have paid MLB.tv, they’ll discover that unless they root for a team in a different region, they can’t actually watch the games they want. Thanks, MLB Blackout rules.

You know, the same blackout rules that are an artifact of the 60′s, that the commissioner himself said he didn’t “understand,” and that Bob DuPuy was going to fix back in 2008?

If they fixed it, it’s certainly not obvious. So while there are undoubtedly many good reasons to buy an iPad, MLB.tv is not, as far as I’m concerned, one of them. Regardless of what they showed on stage yesterday, because you won’t be able to watch what you want, just what those who gerrymandered the map together fifty years ago want you to.

Technology’s a wonderful thing, but it’s no match for decades of broadcasting fear and protectionism. Which is sad because man, did you see that MLB.tv app?

Categories: Baseball, Digital Rights Management, Mobile, Product Announcements.

  • http://1raindrop.typepad.com gunnar

    its get worse. way worse. i have subscribed for several years so i can watch the sawx. last year they changed the rules so that not only national games but also WEEKEND games are blacked out. hey mlb, i have a job when do you think i have time to watch the game?

    they have many bandwidth issues, never got through a whole game without lengthy timeouts and re-starts. their app has got worse not better. much better to get the audio only. mlb continues to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. nothing sadder in life than wasted content

  • http://brianbaggett.com Brian

    Three options: Get a friend who lives far away from you to set up a proxy, use a commercial VPN, or (maybe) use Tor.

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  • http://PMcommunity.com Bob Veris

    Steve, I’m as mad as you…let me know when you find a replacement. With this lineup & pitching, 2011 is the year!
    Thx, Bob