Matt looked at FOX's MLB schedule last week, and noted the extra primetime games in the schedule. In fact, there were ten straight weeks of primetime games, from May through July. We've learned more information today, and this isn't going to please people who hate the MLB blackout rules.
During the primetime schedule, all games scheduled between 7 and 10 PM EST will air on FOX locally and be unavailable to watch on MLB Extra Innings or MLB.tv. Normally, FOX blackouts only take out three afternoon games at a time. During the primetime periods, the blackouts will take out five or six games at a time.
I don't need to tell you how irritating this is. A perfect example comes on June 23rd. I live in central PA and I'm a Braves fan. I really want to watch what should be a great, primetime Braves-Red Sox game. But I'm going to be screwed, because my local FOX station will air the Yankees-Mets or Nationals-Orioles game instead, and I'm going to have to listen to the Braves on the radio. This really sucks for the avid baseball fan who wants to watch as many games as possible. Transplanted west coast fans who are fans of east coast teams are pretty much screwed here, because there's essentially no chance in hell that FOX is going to be airing a game with an east coast team on the west coast, unless a west coast team is involved.
When is MLB just going to stop this arcane blackout garbage? I'm thinking about getting rid of my cable box, but because of my location I won't be able to watch my Braves play the Phillies, Nationals, Pirates, or Orioles this year because I'm blacked out due to being in their local territories. This just isn't right at all. With NFL Sunday Ticket, the NFL avoids all of these silly blackouts. Imagine you're a Steelers fan who now lives in Miami. Your local CBS station is airing the Dolphins game at the same time the Steelers game is on. With Sunday Ticket, you can just go ahead and watch your Steelers. In MLB's world, you'd be blacked out from watching the Steelers (along with every other game on CBS at that time period) because you're in the Dolphins local territory. It's ridiculous, insane, and drives fans completely nuts.
Just stop the madness, MLB. All you're doing is hurting your product.