Welcome to MLBTV Sucks!

You would’ve thought it was an April fools’ joke.

Having canceled my cable subscription over a year ago I caught most of the games on the radio last season. So this year, on Friday April 1, 2011 I signed up with MLBTV.com.

Having been pleased with my rabbit ears and Netflix subscription I thought it was great when MLBTV showed up as an internet service on my LG BluRay player after installing a recent firmware update.

So, while at work yesterday I completed the subscription process and looked forward to the Astros season opener against the Phillies at noon.

The first disappointment came when I discovered I could not watch the game due to blackout restrictions. Now I’m sure MLB can line up a host of lawyers to explain why that is the case, but nothing they say can make it make sense.

Here I am doing business directly with the content provider, paying $20 a month just to watch baseball and my home team games are blacked-out. (Even when they are away games!) This is absurd.

Now I have of course, since signing-up, discovered the fine-print which clearly says that games are subject to blackout regardless of whether they are home or away games. It’s still STUPID!

So I listened to the game with the Game Day feature up and tried to console myself with the knowledge that at least I could watch the games 90 minutes after their completion. (And yes, as usual the Astros gave up the game in the final innings.)

Fast-forward to last night, when I get home and fire up the BluRay player and settle in to watch some baseball. I completed the device activation process without issue, but quickly discovered that there is a bug in the system which prevents some devices from being able to stream the games.

I immediately went back to the computer and searched Google for issues related to MLBTV and/or my LG BluRay player.

I wish I had done that before signing-up, because it was clear that MLBTV has serious problems.

Apparently the issue revolves around the new technology being used to stream the games. (As I have since discovered that I can watch games from last season without issue.) This seems like a reasonable oversight until you consider that the new system was obviously not adequately tested before being rolled out and relied on for opening day.

A visit to the MLBTV forums will reveal an unending barrage of disappointment and disgust with MLBTV regarding this problem.

In addition to the glaring technical issues is the look and feel of the MLBTV website. It looks like it was designed in 1998. It is ugly and difficult to navigate. And it took me fifteen minutes to post to the support forum because the word ‘sucked’ was banned; and after trying several ways to beat that, I substituted ‘awful’ only to find out that the word ‘feedback’ is also banned. What?! After changing ‘feedback’ to ‘comments’ I was able to post my message.

The forum is littered with comments by Forum Administrators saying that they are working on the issue but do not know when it will be fixed and to please have patience.

What I need to have is a refund. What I’d like is for Major League Baseball, one of the most prestigious American organizations in modern history to not suck.

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33 thoughts on “Welcome to MLBTV Sucks!

  1. Amen brother. Been fighting with this company since opening day. Stream this product through my PS3. Bad enough that I have to endure a crappy video feed filled with compression artifacts which is due to the lowly 3mbps/second bit rate. I then have to deal with a choppy audio and video on all the games. MLBTV states they are aware of the issue but have no idea when it will be fixed. I canceled today and will most likely get MLB extra innings through Directv. A bit more expensive but prestine HD quality with no issues. MLBTV should be ashamed to release such a poor product!

    1. Without a doubt the absolutely Fu$&ing worst product ever put on the market. Broadcast SUCKS. Customer service SUCKS. Don’t answer the Fu$&ing phones. Cut you off. If you do get through, you get some jackhole in Bangladesh who barely speaks English. HORRIBLE. I’m out, and will likely have to have my cc company issue a refund because I can’t even get a hold of these co$&suckers to cancel directly. Argh! RUN AWAY! STAY AWAY!

  2. Just wait for post season play on MLBTv! ( If youre still subscribed that is ) You dont get any decent camera views only fixed cameras in the outfield, the baselines, home plate, and the dugouts. So pray the Astros dont make the playoffs because MLBTv will be utterly worthless for that.

    Also, Volvo just bought the entire month of April for MLBTv so you really didnt even need to subscribe. Depending on where you live all local teams will be blacked out ( as you know ) and most Sunday games, and Saturday games will also be blacked out- to help promote you to actually GO to a game. Its a silly set up, and surely not worth $20 dollars a month or $100 dollars a year or whatever it is. I did it last year and although I got to watch a lot of games, the picture quality wasnt very good, and a lot of games were blacked out over the weekend. Im not sure why they black out games if people are paying a monthly subscription to WATCH games.

    Stupid. Love th eblog, BTW.

  3. You said it ’88: “MLBTV should be ashamed to release such a poor product!”

    At the end of the day that is the thought I always come back to. Shameful.

  4. i really hate the fact they changed the format this year.. now you have to sit through endless playing of the same stupid comercials every break and the new nexdef install never works.. always having to miss plays because it freezes… i miss the old standard setup.. im ending my two year subscription next week!

  5. Cancelled within minutes of setting up my account. “Watch any game LIVE on the go” except your home state teams. SHAME SHAME SHAME! Luckily my refund is on the way in 2-10 days. CSR said blackouts are due to cable providers. “So, MLB has no control over their own product?” “Yes sir”. ROFL

  6. IT SUCKS! I have no choice because I am in Asia – at least that means no blackouts. Worst software/media player ever!

  7. I bought a Roku to stream MLB.tv. I read the “Blackout” policy before dropping a dime on their product. I will NEVER sign up for a service that has every game my favorite team plays blacked out. How on earth do they think this is good for the fans?….oh nevermind…….they care more about cable companies than fans.

  8. freeking quality issues! I watch on my PC and I constantly have issues with freezes, pauses and outright inaccesibillity. And dont blame my f’n internet connection. I watch Netflix all the time without issues. Lousy lousy product

  9. Just cancelled. I should have jumped right on the cancellation, but I was so dumbfounded by the suckiness of this service. I mean, really…I can’t watch any of my Mariner’s games? They’re not even good. Even when they’re in another market?? I simply can’t wrap my head around this massive level of suckiness. This service is the Leviathan of suck. Thank you for allowing me a place to rant!

  10. I constantly click to lower the quality for the free games because of the half ass internet connection I have (especially at college) and what does it do? Show no video at all! That is, of course, after I click it about 10 times after it keeps setting itself back at the highest quality possible. I would not pay for this product unless they make some serious changes

  11. Wish I read reviews …..what a racket….. Research blackout games before I bought showed 2 games blacked out in June!!!! I thought nice……shame on the mlb like to know who runs this thing and who the money guys are behind this scam

  12. MLB.COM is 2-for-2: Gameday Audio also sucks.

    I can’t get to Gameday Audio on the iPad Mini I just bought – I keep getting an ad “At Bat for Apple iPad” that has no dismiss button. Yes, there is a menu at the top that will get me past the ad, but none of them takes me to the game audio. I can get to the scoreboard, which has “Listen” button, that should take me to the Gameday Audio, but instead takes me back, once again, to the “At Bat for Apple iPad” ad. This happens over and over – I’m in an infinite loop of being denied a mlb.com product I’ve already paid for, in full.

    Note, I *am* signed in to mlb.com when this occurs.

    I don’t know where they get the idea they can put up an ad that doesn’t have some kind of skip/no thanks/continue button. This is monopoly arrogance on the part of mlb.com – they need to be put in their place.

  13. UPDATE FROM MY PREVIOUS POST about the iPad and Gameday Audio: I believe this a Flash issue – iPad’s Safari browser doesn’t support Flash, so MLB is selling you something else (but still, this is a underhanded way for MLB.com to not let you know that they’re not going to play the MLB audio for you because Flash is not supported.)

    Anyway, I installed the Puffin Browser with free Flash for a limited time (something like two weeks, can’t remember now) so you can make sure it works with Gameday Audio – which I did – it works fine. So I will buy the Puffin Browser with permanent Flash support.

    To keep the iPad from going to sleep after a couple of minutes when you set it down and start listening – go to the Settings app in the General section, and tap Auto-Lock and change the setting from 2 minutes to Never, so your listening won’t be interrupted.

  14. ANOTHER UPDATE FROM MY PREVIOUS POST: turns out that you can’t listen to Gameday Audio, or any kind of audio – in the background on the Puffin browser – or any browser in iOS (that is, you can’t leave the browser and use another app while simultaneously listening to a game – the audio will stop.)

    This is the way the iOS was designed, apparently (both Puffin and Photon support teams e-mailed me back to told me this after inquiring), because running Flash in the background is very draining on the battery. So you can only listen to the game on your iPhone or iPad and can’t do anything else while it’s playing.

    If someone knows a browser that will let you listen to games in the background, please do reply to this, and let us know what that solution is. Thanks.

  15. Don’t even care to watch MLB any more. The fact that you can’t even watch it on paid programming (cable, satellite, whatever) is wrong. But, to be totally honest, it’s totally un-American that we can’t watch America’s game for free on OTA channels. I refuse to support such greed even though this is my favorite sport. I just won’t do it. I wish they would go belly-up with there freaking MLB.TV! Shame on them!

  16. ANOTHER UPDATE re: streaming Gameday Audio in browser on an iPad.

    Can’t stream GameDay Audio from a browser *in the background* (though you could pay another $19.99 to mlb.com for the iPad-specific app and see if it can – I’m not going to.)

    Anyway, coming in the fall of 2013 (a few months from this writing), Apple says iOS 7 will handle background apps better – will that mean a browser can stream GameDay Audio in the background?

    I will update this space when I find out.

  17. The never ending repeat barrage of the same commercials is driving me crazy. Luckily, I don’t currently have an issue with the home team blackout as I am a Cubs fan living in NYC. Yet, it sure would be nice to watch the Yankees or Mets from time to time, and as a customer of maybe 6 or 7 games live a year, MLB can really do better. They are a monopoly in every sense (obviously) and can do virtually whatever they want.

    1. I subscribed and cancelled in one day; I can’t believe the fucking blackouts; I live in Des Moines Ia and the Cubs home and away games are blacked out. some of the games I got came in poorly. What a waste!

  18. I live in Iowa as well..I signed up to watch the Cardinals They were playing in Tampa Bay….found out they are subject to blackout..as is the Cubs, Royals, Twins, Brewers and about every freaking midwest team. It is ludicrous. Doesn’t MLB realize what a fan base they can build by allowing fans to see the games? Screw the cable companies..no wait, that is what they are doing to the fans…

  19. Seems there will have to be a class action to settle this. Even though they state the truth about what they have to sell, we have a tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt. Their ads do specify in so many words that they are selling you absolutely nothing for $xx and one would think they could’t do that. Well, apparently they can because I burned over $25 before realizing that there were absolutely NO FREAKING OUT OF MARKET GAMES FOR THE GIANTS PERIOD. Besides canceling right away and getting no refund. I mean really , if the Giants are playing on the east coast and it is still out of market, it has to be a sham.

  20. Agree with every word you wrote.

    What is the upside to selling the product THEY OWN to individuals via subscription? More money, more fans.

    What is the downside?
    None. I’m not buying a $180/month U-verse package to watch baseball. If I can’t buy a functional subscription from MLB, I just won’t watch. The cable company doesn’t lose money. MLB does.

    MLB OWNS THE ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT! Cable TV doesn’t dictate non-competes to MLB. MLB OWNS THE FRICKIN’ PRODUCT!

    Idiots. Absolute idiots.

    I was hoping that after Crusty Bud Selig’s corpse finally was hazmatted away from the MLB offices, the median IQ of the new suits would jump enough that they’d figure out the “everybody wins” scenarios right in front of their noses. Sigh. Not yet.

  21. mlb.tv started having trouble at 3:30pm PT on Friday 15 May 2015. We replaced our LAN transmitter and chromecast dongle on Saturday. Thank you Fred Meyer.
    After that it was 15 seconds of fuzzy picture and 5 seconds of “buffering”. Now Sunday; buffering is taking less time but picture is still no high definition.
    mlb.tv’s help does not answer email.
    (you might consider revamping your site so that all comments appear at the top, with the most recent first. there is no real place on the internet to post recent/ongoing problems – Bill in Oregon)

  22. Thanks MLB TV for offering a discount to military and veterans. Oh wait, I didn’t see anything about that discount being for only one month. Yeah right I would spend 10 to 15 minutes filling out info for a one time discount of 7 frigging bucks. You suck MLB TV. Deceptive business practice! BAIT AND SWITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. WTF?!!! I finally broke down and bought this, first game was a blackout and found out my blackout area is over 500 miles!!! I bought it so I could watch games while camping or out in the back forty of my yard, pretty much EVERY game is blacked out unless I’m in frickin’ Africa or something! What a ripoff! Who the hell is MLBTV for, Martians?

  24. A FUCKIN MEN!!!……they say its better this year every fuckin year….MLB.COM SERVICE FUCKIN SUCKS…I WILL NEVER BUY AGAIN…ITS BEEN THE SAME FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS IVE HAD IT

  25. After 8 years of mlb.tv premium I gave up this year. Even after the class action law suit lowered the price, I still can’t stomach that much money for a continued shitty service. I endured nexdef nonsense, Hey Ump! every inning, and of course being in Hawaii, blackouts for the entire west coast from Arizona to Seattle. I still get GameDay audio, but it’s only when the game is live and no archive of the radio broadcast is available. I am 6 time zones away. 7:10 starts are at 1:10 for me.

    Look at any other sport, f1, fifa world cup, nascar,nfl, motogp, tour de France, their online content runs rings around mlb. MLB talks about the demographic aging and youth not as interested. They say they have to speed up the game, but not by reducing commercial breaks, only mound conferences and stepping out of the batters box. Yet they are so embedded in tv broadcast rights they can’t see no one has cable anymore.
    If mlb is to make it to 2030 they have got to improve the online content. Greater access, cheaper rates, improved 21st century apps, and try not to make the Internet feel like 1995.
    Grow the game digitally, it’s 2016 already.

  26. Tried watching a so-called free game of the day I don’t know how many times and for some reason when registering, I would always end back up at the log-in screen. I finally after several attempts fudged it with a non-existent email and fake zip code and I got to the game screen only to watch the timer icon spend around and around and around…….

    So glad I never spent a dime on this package.

  27. Well, over half the 2016 baseball season has passed, and MLB.TV is still a pathetically poor broadcast option. Living in a large West Coast urban area and your favorite team being among one of the more popular is a double whammy: over 20 games this season will be blacked out (so much for MLB.TV’s boasting of a price reduction — not when over 10% of games are unavailable until hours after broadcast). Moreover, during more games than not, service is disrupted due to technical or other difficulties that MLB.TV never, NEVER, has owned up to despite my frequent service requests by email and telephone. Overall, I’d estimate that I will miss well over 25% of broadcast time of games I try to watch due to blackouts and the inexcusable incompetence of this conniving corporation. As result of the money-grubbing policies of MLB and its member clubs, and the unparalleled incompetence of its technical operations, I’ve already canceled my subscription, this time for good. I’ll find another option where I can get something approaching my money’s worth in return for the product promised and reasonably good service.

    MLB.TV: another example of how corporations are screwing us!

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