Thursday, April 7, 2011

Watching baseball on TV

On a very ugly day in downtown Detroit, the St. Louis Cardinals and their Hall of Fame bound pitcher, Bob Gibson, were destroying the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the 1968 World Series.

The Cardinals humiliated the Tigers, and their fans, 10-1, on National TV.

Now, you're probably asking yourself, why, as a Tigers fan, am I bringing up a horrible memory like that?

Well, it's the 1st game I remember seeing any Tiger game on TV...October 2, 1968, a Wednesday.

The reason I bring up my early TV baseball viewing is a well done article by the guys over at Baseball News and Scores about the current baseball packages offered by Major League Baseball.

When I was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and then Portage, Michigan, in the late 1960's and early 1970's, if the Tigers were on TV, it was an event.

The Tigers were only on TV on Opening Day, of course, and then, if they were home, the team would show the Saturday home stand game, and that was the only chance, unless the Tigers got on the NBC Game of the Week, to see the Tigers play at Tiger Stadium.

We could see some Tigers games on the road, but not many, and it seemed like they always played lousy teams, like the Indians, and the Rangers, although I do remember some games against the powerful Orioles teams.

Today it's much different.

Today you can watch every game of your favorite team by subscribing to  MLB Extra Innings on your cable or satellite, or via your computer/ I pad, etc., with

There are also the ESPN Games of the week, usually on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the TBS National Sunday afternoon game, and the FOX Saturday baseball coverage.

Lot's of baseball, anywhere, anytime.
It's simply amazing to me how many games, heck, even every Tigers game can be seen via either the TV, or on my computer.

There's just one problem though, with the TV packages of MLB.

The blackouts.

MLB has the right to black out ANY game, whenever they want.

If I want to watch a Braves game, MLB, for some reason, blacks out the Atlanta games.


Well, for some reason, Jacksonville, Florida, where I live, is in the Braves territorial reach, even though the last time I drove to Atlanta, it took me nearly 6 hours to get there.

MLB blacks out the Braves games in Jacksonville, even though we cannot watch them on cable TV.

Channel 54 on cable here in town, the CSS station, NEVER plays the Braves games, even though they show the previews.

So, you cannot watch the Braves, a big time draw in the south, on cable TV in Jacksonville, and you can't watch them on MLB-TV, channel 279(479 HD) either.

The blackout policy is silly, right?

I guess it's because of the Marlins and the Rays, channels 50 and 51,on Sun Sports, but it's just as long a drive, 5 1/2 hours+ to Miami, and 4 1/2+ hours to St. Petersberg, to watch those teams live.

Oh, and if the game you want to watch is on the FOX Saturday broadcast window, or the TBS Sunday window, then you cannot watch ANY OF THE GAMES.

I realize there are lots of $$$$$$ flying around, and that baseball is protecting the investments of FOX and TBS, however, the whole point of purchasing the games shown by MLB Extra Innings, or on, is to watch games in out of market areas.

So, if the Tigers are playing on Saturday afternoon at the same time FOX has one of it's 106 games showing either the Yankees or Red Sox, that's the only game I can watch.

That's the problem, as MLB unfairly blacks out games that you want to watch, and force feeds you the TBS or FOX games.

If your spending $179 a year, of your hard earned money, I think it's only fair that you get to watch what you paid for, regardless where you live.

It was so much easier back when I was a kid playing baseball with my friends.

We played baseball all the time, and we would play while listening to Ernie Harwell, Ray Lane, and Paul Carey, giving us the play by play of our beloved Detroit Tigers.

There is a lot of big league baseball on TV, and that's great, but I think MLB, who takes your money to watch your team, should let you watch your team, anytime, anywhere.

I enjoy watching games on ESPN, I like how they cover the game, but I get sick of watching the same teams, the Yankees, the BoSox, the Cardinals, the Braves, well, you get the idea.
While I do like to watch every big league club, I also want to follow the team I've loved since I was 7 tears old, and I'm sure you feel the same way.

Baseball fans want, and should, be able, if they're willing to pay, be able to watch any team, at any time of the day, anywhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment