Growing up, blackouts were always a thing of annoyance.
Fast forward to 2022, and they’re still a massive annoyance.
An annoyance to us fans, but a major revenue stream for Major League Baseball.
During Game 5 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros on Nov. 3, a fan went on Reddit — the r/baseball thread to be exact — and posted:
First off, it was an absolutely glorious moment in both Reddit and Major League Baseball history. And then you had the guy smiling in the background next to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. It was the icing on the cake because he knows as well as we all do: Blackouts are bullshit, in both MLB and the rest of the professional sports leagues.
Tired: End the black outs
Wired: Rob Manfred getting blacked out pic.twitter.com/pw6QtMUBpV
— Tony Marchese (@TonyOnTap) November 4, 2022
With MLB in particular, check out their nonsense:
— Chris Cole (@cwcole15) April 14, 2022
If you buy MLB.TV, you should be able to watch any game that you want. Plain and simple. Of course, Major League Baseball won’t allow that to happen because there’s too much money to be made with regional networks — as a business, you can’t blame them for that. But as fans, it’s very annoying.
And those poor people in Iowa, who can’t watch six teams:
MLB playing their faux-nostalgia game in an Iowa cornfield tonight, a state still home to a blackout map that looks like fruit stripe gum and blocks 80% of the entire MLB schedule pic.twitter.com/tTFpNp2qgu
— PodKATT (@valleyshook) August 11, 2022
Here’s the thing: I’m fine with Major League Baseball wanting to make their money, but in the process, you can’t complain about your audience declining and the youth not being interested in the sport.
If you get MLB.TV, you’re not allowed to watch your local teams because of restrictions with regional networks, but if you use a streaming service such as YouTube TV, for example, they don’t carry any of the regional networks for you to watch. So essentially, you’re being forced to pay for expensive cable just so you can watch your local teams.
Not a lot of people are doing that, not when YouTube TV and Hulu are cheaper, and with the youth being too young to make a substantial amount of money, they sure as hell aren’t paying for a cable bill. (RELATED: Wife Of Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins Buys Over 100 Beers For Fans During World Series)
So, where does Major League Baseball go from here?
Of course, they’ll stick with the easy revenue stream of regional networks, but it’ll be interesting to see what they do when they eventually get to a point when a minimal amount of people are interested. Facts are facts, baseball is declining and the youth is no longer invested. It’s a beautiful game, but it’s going downhill with the numbers.