Baseball fans woke up this morning to find that YouTube TV was stupidly not carrying the MLB Network on their now-worthless service.
YouTube TV sent out the following email to their subscribers about the MLB Network:
We have been working hard to renew our deal with the MLB Network to continue carrying their content on YouTube TV. However, we have been unable to reach an agreement, and starting today, January 31, 2023, MLB Network content will no longer be available on YouTube TV. You will also lose access to any previous Library recordings from this channel. Members will be able to continue watching select national MLB games via coverage on FOX, ESPN, and TBS through our Base Plan. We also provide the flexibility to pause or cancel your membership anytime.
We apologize for the news and will continue conversations with the MLB to advocate on your behalf, in the hope of restoring their content on YouTube TV.
The apology is not acceptable. It’s very depressing. If you must know, I’m currently without a therapist because my most recent therapist left their position at the end of October. It’s not easy to start up with a new therapist especially when appointments are taking place over the phone. But I digress.
YouTube TV’s lack of an agreement with the MLB Network is another strike against their services for baseball fans. If you live in Chicago, you are unable to watch the Chicago Cubs on the Marquee Sports Network on YouTube. They still do not have a deal. Elsewhere, baseball fans cannot access any of the regional Bally Sports networks on YouTube TV. The only way to watch your favorite team is to stay subscribed to your local cable provider for TV services. You can’t even depend on MLB.TV because the blackout rules are so archaic. Meanwhile, Google and YouTube TV just hate baseball fans. They’d have made an agreement with all the sports networks if they didn’t.
When cable subscribers began cutting the cord, YouTube TV became a popular replacement. With its then-$35 value at the time, it was a bargain. Unfortunately, it would go onto double in price over the next few years as they reached more agreements. When I saw my first RCN bill, I made the decision then and there to start looking elsewhere. YouTube TV had both the MLB Network and SEC Network so it was a suitable replacement. It meant being able to get both my baseball and Kentucky Wildcats fix. Unfortunately, I woke up to the seriously depressing news that I could no longer watch the MLB Network today. No MLB Hot Stove, High Heat, MLB Tonight, MLB Now. You get the idea. In other words, life is seriously depressing.
The past few years have seen a conversation about the importance of mental health. I’m not kidding around when I say that watching MLB Network is important to my mental health. It’s what I wake up to every day. Whether it’s Hot Stove during the offseason or MLB Central in the morning, I don’t get my day started without it. You could say that it’s my drug of choice. When I’m not watching a movie, I’m watching the MLB Network even if it’s just an encore airing of Hot Stove or the same episode of Quick Pitch or MLB Tonight that I watched a few hours earlier during the season.
You’re going to start seeing me churn out an increasing amount of older movie reviews because I need to stay sane in my apartment and try to stave off of serious depression. That’s how much I love baseball. I planned my Sundance schedule around the HOF announcement. Of course, an interview got scheduled at the last minute but I was watching YouTube TV on my phone when Scott Rolen was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The movie studios are still not back to their pre-2020 theatrical release numbers so I’m working mostly from home. For this reason, I largely depend on Shabbos meal invites to get me OUT of my apartment because solo Shabbos meals in my apartment are never good for my mental health. My current apartment size prevents me from bringing friends over for meals but let’s get back to baseball.
Until YouTube TV comes to their senses and reaches an agreement, they are a worthless service. I’m paying an absurd amount of money and basically watch just the one network. Sadly, it’s not even possible to watch MLB Network live through the MLB app. You’d think that this would be possible with all of the MLB’s innovations through the years! Now is the time for MLB to ready a direct-to-consumer app that includes not just ALL ballgames but the ability to watch all the MLB Network programming directly through the app and not just solely through a TV provider. There’s no excuse to still have the archaic blackout rules when people are dropping cable TV because of the costs and have no other options for live baseball in their market.
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