MLB Network Announces New Streaming Option by David Wiers June 11, 2015 Major League Baseball gets a lot things right. Their Advanced Media department, the group in control of MLB.com and MLB.TV, have now updated their At-Bat app. In addition to watching games — which are still subject to local blackouts — the app now allows for constant viewing of the MLB Network’s round the clock channel. Unfortunately unlike Pinocchio, there remain strings attached to this deal. A qualifying cable subscription is required to view the MLB Network live stream. The stream is available on iOS and Android phones or tablets as well as Mac and PCs. As noted by the crew over at Awful Announcing, the initial group of cable providers who have agreed to support the stream does not include Comcast. In addition to missing what Wikipedia calls the number one (by subscriber count) provider in the United States, those who use Charter Communications — number six by subscriber count — such as myself, are also left out. After logging into my app, I was sad to see I was one of the million of baseball fans left out of the ability to stream the show. The upshot is this means people on the go (or at work) have the option to view MLB Network shows, interviews and even out-of-market games while away from their televisions. Perhaps even more importantly is the inclusion of playoff and preseason games. Being able to catch a spring training game after a long winter or watching a potential series-defining game when not at home and without paying for any extra add-ons is a great move for baseball. Last season MLB Network claimed two playoff games, Game 2 of the NLDS between the Dodgers and the Cardinals and Game 3 of the NLDS with the Nationals and Giants. In 2013 there were also two DS games shown, one from the NL and another from the AL. The same format of MLB Network getting two DS games stretches back to 2012. Given that MLB, ESPN, Fox and TBS came to an eight-year, $12.4 billion broadcast agreement that runs through 201, count on continuing to be able to see at least two playoff games per year via MLB Network’s online stream. Even with the blackouts and the restrictions due to cable companies, this 24/7 streaming of a major sport offering represents a first in the world of sports. Yes, the NBA, NHL and NFL all have their own channels however none are simulcast in the same way MLB Network is. This move seems like a way to meet the old crowd and the new generation in the middle. More traditional TV subscribers may not find a ton of use for it and dedicated cord cutters will likely wish MLB Network didn’t require a cable package. Of course, with such a lukewarm offering, it’s hard to imagine this move generating a lasting effect. Perhaps as the NFL embraces the online streaming realm and as more and more people cut the cord, eventually a non-subscription version may arrive at some point.