Nearly 2 years ago, I essentially fired Comcast (AKA Comcrap) as an entertainment and Internet provider when I moved into my own apartment. I decided to stick with rabbit ears and DSL to get what I need when it came to services. One of my major moves was not only to use Netflix, but to get a Roku box so I could stream any Watch Instantly movies to my TV.
If you have Netflix and can't already output your computer desktop to your TV, get a Roku box, it is one of the most awesome inventions. Besides the Netflix, you can also stream Amazon Video-On-Demand videos that you have rented or purchased to your TV as well. This week they have just added a new feature. If you subscribe to MLB.tv, you can now stream the games you would watch on your computer through the Roku box. Sounds great, especially if you're say, an Arizona Diamondbacks fan, but you live in Mobile, Alabama. However, there's one problem with the service...
MLB.TV is subject to MLB's blackout rules when it comes to TV broadcasts. What that means is that local TV broadcasters get priority for showing a game, and if another channel would be showing that game or a baseball game for another team, they will be blocked out from showing that game. In this case, it means not being allowed to watch any Baltimore Orioles or Washington Nationals games online.
Here's the stupidity of the blackout rules. I can't see any Orioles or Nationals game as it is because they don't put baseball games on over-the-air broadcast TV anymore. It only comes in via cable, usually through Comcrap's dedicated sports channel, or ESPN. Since I have no cable, I can't watch games as it is, and because of blackout rules, they will not show Orioles or Nationals games on the Internet for me.
So what is the freaking point then to getting streaming games to my Roku box if I can't even see my local team? From what I hear, more and more people are cutting the cable as it is and going completely Internet, but many more say the only reason they keep cable is to watch sports. It would be nice if MLB would realize there is a market for people who want to watch any game at any time, including their local teams live.
I suppose I could mess with running my Internet through a proxy server to trick the MLB servers into thinking I live across the country or something, but then it doesn't give them incentive to change their rules if they're still getting my money for MLB.tv. I'd rather send a message by not subscribing and letting them know that until they lift the blackout rules for MLB.tv, they're not getting a freaking dime out of me.