When it comes to cord-cutting, replacing sports is the toughest job that we have on our hands. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu all do a great job of providing unlimited entertainment. However, none of these services focus purely on sports. One particular service which offers sports content is Fubo TV. However, with FuboTV too, you can’t get access to the US’s four most popular leagues.
Among all those prestigious leagues, MLB.TV is considered to have the best league package. MLB Advanced Media, the brand that manages this network provides service to networking giants such as HBO. MLB.TV has a lot of hype surrounding it and for all the right reasons. Today, we will try and uncover this baseball streaming network.
MLB.tv not to be confused with MLB.com
Though the website belongs to Major League Baseball, MLB.tv is purely focused on providing coverage whereas MLB.com has a comprehensive approach. It provides highlights, audio and video streaming along with merchandise, tickets, game information, fantasy leagues, and baseball memorabilia. Thus, you can consider the .com extension to be the parent domain of the .tv domain.
MLB.tv is a subscription-based audio video service provided by MLB Advanced Media. They offer two different types of services based on tiers. Each of these services allows users to watch and listen to quality baseball content using their internet connection.
The subscription is straightforward and as mentioned earlier has two tiers – MLB.tv All Teams and MLB.tv Single team.
When you choose the first package, you get access to all the teams along with stats and in-game highlights along with DVR control and archives. With the single team option, you can access similar features but only for one team.
I love MLB.TV website thanks to its creative layout and amazing user-interface. The website is quite easy to browse and easy on the eye thanks to the blue and orange accents throughout the website. Once you sign-up and login to the website, it’s a whole new world out there. I have a single team pass as I follow St. Louis Cardinals.
My first impression of the website was that it has a beautifully designed header which blends well with the sub-menus. There’s a search bar on the right hand and under that you have 14 menus – 9 on the left and 5 on the right.
News, Video, Scoreboard, Stats, Schedule, Roster, Community, Fans and Busch Stadium are on left whereas Tickets, Mobile, Fantasy, Shop and Teams are on the right. The amount of detailing that has been put into this website is quite astounding.
There’s a small video player on the left of the screen and there are detailed player data on the right. You can check out stats and any other information regarding a player using the Search by Roster option on the right. At the center, you’ll find images of any player you choose and you’ll get the entire dataset including Playing Status, Full Name, Birthdate, Bats/Throws, HT, WT, Bio, Debut and College. Thus, you can possibly dig deep and find anything you want to know about the players in your team.
If you scroll down, you can find news stories, fantasy news and an image gallery for that particular player. What I like about this network is that it provides the same in-depth coverage in its app as well. You can find an app on iOS or Android store and sign-in within a minute.
The website is responsive and pretty quick on the phone as well. The drop-down menus are on point and do not obstruct the browsing experience on the phone regardless of your display size. My experience on Pixel 3a was quite decent. Though not as great as the desktop but quite close.
One thing I want to share with you is that a lot of people get bugged by the sign-up procedure. But trust me, the sign-up procedure on this network is amazing. Just provide your email address, add the payment method and you’re done. What’s interesting is that you don’t even have to create an account and can even subscribe as a guest.
MLB.TV purely focuses on Major League Baseball and that’s everything you’ll get on this network. If you’re from Europe and are not well-versed with Baseball yet, consider this to be one of your nation’s top leagues, per se England’s English Premier League, having a dedicated channel for the league.
The only thing I don’t like about this channel is that there’s a blackout for local games. Local TV stations have broadcasting rights and thus you won’t be able to watch the game until it finishes. It’s only after 90 minutes that you’ll be able to stream it to the device. And that’s quite late when you compare it with how the real-time internet works. It’s beyond annoying, it’s infuriating. If you suffer from the same issue, I’d advise you to change your location via VPN, so you can stream in real-time without having to wait.
MLB.TV features every regular game with two exceptions.
1. You don’t get access to nationally broadcast games such as the playoffs or Sunday Night Baseball
2. You won’t get broadcasts to the fixtures whose rights are owned by cable networks in your area. So, whenever your home team is playing, the local market will be blacked out throughout the season.
These are two reasons why users resort to alternatives to buying MLB.tv packages. As baseball fans, we want to watch as many matches as we can and especially of the team, we love the most.
Though it doesn’t fulfill the latter needs without a VPN, there’s one thing I like about this app and that’s Advanced Audio. Having the liberty to listen to the radio while watching the Live broadcast represents the classic baseball culture.
Even that’s being defeated because the TV networks are a little delayed. If you keep all these frustrations aside, features such as the ability to watch highlights of previous matches are something that keeps you glued.
Even though I’m not satisfied with the way this network works, I’d have to give credits where credit is due and that’s the streaming quality. At 16MBPS, I didn’t find any issues on the website. As opposed to 32MBPS (which I use generally), I didn’t have any discrepancies when streaming on the network. Though the quality fluctuated a little, there was no buffering or choppiness throughout the stream.
From personal experience, this website works better with Ethernet cable as compared to the Wi-Fi network. You should totally try it out. I connected my Xbox and the streaming quality along with the stability was impressive.
One of the few positives of this platform is that it’s highly compatible. Users can easily stream at 60 fps and can stream from any device. Be in iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, iPad, PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Roku, you can stream without any hassle. Based upon your internet speed you can even adjust between the SD and HD quality streams. By default, MLB.tv advises users to have at least 3MBPS speed for a smooth experience.
Here’s a list of devices which are compatible with MLB.tv:
- Amazon: FireTV
- Apple: Apple TV, iOS smartphones & tablets, Mac
- Google: Android smartphones, tablets, Android TV and Chromecast
- Blu-Ray: Samsung
- Gaming Consoles: Xbox One and PlayStation 4
- Other: Roku & Windows
I’m pretty sure you might have access to one of these devices. Thus, accessing MLB.tv is not much of a challenge.
Plans & Pricing
There are multiple ways to access MLB.TV. All of which depends upon which season you want to access. For example, the postseason package is priced at $24.99 which allows users to access all the games from previous seasons along with live streaming of certain events such as spring training games.
If you want complete access, you can either pay $118.99 per year or you can spend $24.99 on a monthly basis. If you just want to follow a single team like me, you have to pay $91.99. However, I’m thinking to change my plan and access all teams as the price difference isn’t too much. Lastly, the prices have gone up as compared to the previous year, however, they are still within limits.
Suggestions I have for MLB.TV
Though I understand that broadcasting rights are quite complex and these deals aren’t easy to break down. I think MLB.tv should work on real-time streaming for subscribers. Seriously, if you’re paying the money, you will not compromise on the broadcast under any circumstances.
I believe the hype around MLB.TV is real because it’s a unique initiative. The streaming is smooth and the compatibility is top-notch. If you’re into baseball, I don’t see any reason why you should miss out on this service.