MLB season is upon us, and the cord-cutting trend means more people than ever are looking for ways to watch games outside of their normal cable subscription. There are several ways to catch your favorite team on the diamond this year, and we are here to help you choose the best solution for you.
MLB.tv has a lot to offer avid MLB fans with several subscription levels available, the highest tier being a $110 yearly subscription, with an optional $10 Follow Your Team add-on coming in the near future. They also are making it possible to stream all 2,430 regular season games, but unfortunately, these are not available to everyone. As with many streaming options, the devil is in the details, and if you read closely they make it clear you only get access to out-of-market games.
Because of the contracts the MLB signs with broadcasting networks, your MLB.tv is subject to many blackouts for local teams. MLB.tv is pretty upfront with these blackouts, just here to search by zipcode and see which teams you will have blacked out in your area.
There is also a list of games blacked out nationwide. Check this to make sure your favorite rivalry game doesn’t fall into this category either. These games are blacked out because they are classified as nationally televised games available to everyone. See a general map of team blackout areas below:
Image pulled from Wikipedia
One of the advantages of MLB.tv is the wide range of devices it is available on. They tout up to 400 devices are compatible, including popular options like Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, and Xbox. And with their new streaming capabilities, HD viewing is available to those with fast enough internet speeds.
All-in-all, this means that if you want to catch games for your local team, you are going to need to get a cable subscription (). If you are just an avid MLB fan, or want to make sure you have all of your team’s away games, then MLB.tv may be a good add-on option for you. Would we recommend it as a stand alone streaming option? Probably not right now, but it is a big step forward for streaming in the sporting world. The MLB obviously has an eye towards the future of broadcasting.
If you already have a TV subscription, then you have a few more options for streaming MLB games. Unfortunately, this is only a benefit for when you are on-the-go, and doesn’t allow you the benefit of cutting your cable subscription.
One of these options is Fox Sports Go. If you do a search of MLB games, you will see that Fox is a common network for games to be aired on. This app will get you access to these when you are not able to access your television normally.
If you are lucky and have a friend or family member willing to share their cable network login information, then you could tap into the streaming options on Fox without a cable subscription since many providers are still relatively lax on total number of devices signed in under one account.
Currently, the app is available on Apple, Android, Amazon Fire, and Microsoft. Roku and some other popular streaming devices like Xbox and PS4 are not supported at this time.
Watch ESPN is another streaming channel that requires a network login. If you have a traditional cable subscription and want to watch games on the go, then Watch ESPN is the app for you. Compared to Fox Sports Go, Watch ESPN has more traditional sporting event coverage, as well as, streaming of your favorite ESPN shows like Sports Center.
As with any app that requires a cable subscription login, this is usually best as an add-on service to catch up on MLB games when you aren’t able to be at home. If you have a login to use with Fox Sports Go, you may also be able to use it to access Watch ESPN.
Currently, you can download the app on Amazon Fire, Android Devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Windows 8, and Xbox One. Since the app is supported on more devices, it may also be a better option than Fox Sports Go.
Sling TV might not help you connect with Fox or ESPN since it is not a formal cable subscription, but it will let you cut the cord and get access to networks you need to watch the majority of MLB games. Sling TV currently streams ESPN, ESPN 2, and TBS, all of which show MLB games. You won’t be able to tap into Fox or the specialty MLB channels you could get with cable, but you will only have to pay the $20/ month no-commitment subscription fee.
Of all of the streaming solutions we have listed here, Sling TV is your best bet for a standalone solution if you want to stay away from a full cable subscription. MLB.tv is your streaming go-to if you don’t live in the market of your favorite team, and Fox Sports Go and Watch ESPN are perfect add-ons to make sure you catch all of this season’s coverage.
But before you choose a streaming service, make sure your internet connection can handle the influx of data. Start your search now to see what options you have available in your area: