Baseball is back and the season will soon be in full swing. Did you know the regular season schedule has 2,430 games? That may sound excessive to some, but for those of us who love America’s greatest pastime, we could never get enough.
Other than a trip to the ballpark, what’s the best way to enjoy live games? Like any catcher will tell you, there are a couple calls you can make depending on the situation.
If you want to just watch local teams, regional sports networks from your local TV provider should have you covered. Check with your TV provider to make sure you get the right channels or consider a new TV package that includes your regional sports networks.
For out-of-market games, add-on services, such as MLB EXTRA INNINGS and MLB.TV, are your best bets. Both services come with a different experience and price but are great ways to get your baseball fix all season long.
MLB EXTRA INNINGS
MLB EXTRA INNINGS is a standalone sports pack offering up to 80 live, out-of-market games each week. That’s basically every out-of-market game that isn’t scheduled to broadcast on another network, such as ESPN or Fox.
Most major TV providers offer the MLB EXTRA INNINGS package for an added fee of around $180 (plus taxes and fees). You can pay all at once, or some providers such as DIRECTV and Spectrum allow you to pay in installments added to your bill over 4 to 6 months.
Here’s a rundown of what you can expect with the MLB EXTRA INNINGS package:
- Availability: TV providers offering MLB EXTRA INNINGS include Cox, DIRECTV, DISH, Frontier, Optimum, RCN, Spectrum, Verizon FiOS and XFINITY
- TV subscription required: Yes
- Cost: Varies by provider, but around $180 (plus taxes and fees)
- Monthly subscription option: No
- Games included: Up to 80 out-of-market games per week
- Local team games: No
- HD and 4K broadcasts: Yes
- Dual feed option: Yes
- Live game streaming: Yes, via MLB.TV
As you can see, some drawbacks to MLB EXTRA INNINGS are that local games are subject to blackouts and a cable or satellite subscription is required to order the package.
Highlights of the package include the number of games, HD and 4K broadcasts and the dual feed option (because nothing is worse than having to listen to the other team’s announcers). Plus, an MLB EXTRA INNINGS subscription includes a free subscription to MLB.TV, which lets you stream live games at home and on-the-go.
Consider MLB EXTRA INNINGS if: You’re an avid baseball fan who wants to follow multiple teams and already have or are considering a TV provider.
MLB.TV is a smaller subscription service than MLB EXTRA INNINGS but it still gives you the chance to watch lots of games, even if you don’t have a cable TV service. You’ll need a compatible smartphone, computer, gaming console or streaming device to watch the games, though, because MLB.TV is a streaming-only service.
MLB.TV is unique in that it offers an “All Teams” and “Single Team” option. The All Teams plan gives you games from all out-of-market teams, like MLB EXTRA INNINGS. The Single Team plans let you choose an out-of-market team and stream just that team’s games for a lower cost than the All Teams plan.
MLB.TV also offers a “free game of the day” available to stream on platforms such as Facebook or at MLB.com.
Here’s a rundown of what you can expect with an MLB.TV subscription:
- Availability: Streaming on these compatible devices. Streaming is only permitted on one device at a time.
- TV subscription required: No
- Cost: $118.99 for All Teams, $91.99 for Single Team (plus taxes and fees)
- Monthly subscription option: Yes for $24.99/mo. (plus taxes and fees)
- Games included: Up to 80 out-of-market games per week, or only a single team’s games with the Single Team plan
- Local team games: No
- HD and 4K broadcasts: HD only
- Dual feed option: Yes with All Teams plan
- Live game streaming: Yes, this is a streaming-only service
Like MLB EXTRA INNINGS, MLB.TV does not offer your local team’s games live. If you want to stream local team games, consider DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV or Hulu Live TV. These over-the-top (OTT) services offer regional sports networks to watch your local MLB team games live.
Keep in mind that MLB.TV will require a fast internet connection to stream games. Also, if your internet or mobile plan comes with a data cap, be sure to watch your data usage. Streaming video, especially in HD, is an easy way to quickly use up a monthly data allowance.
Consider MLB.TV if: You want to watch a lot of games but don’t have a TV service to get MLB EXTRA INNINGS. Or, if you have TV service but only want to watch a single (out-of-market) team’s games.
Enjoy the 2019 MLB season
The 2019 MLB season is sure to bring home runs, caught-looking strikeouts and more action you won’t want to miss. If you need a TV service, whether to watch your local team on regional sports networks or to order MLB EXTRA INNINGS, shop plans in your area with Allconnect®.