ATT Sportsnet

Thanks a lot, MLB.

Why can’t I stream Astros games?
Due to League Restrictions, 2022 games for the Houston Astros are no longer available via our TVE app and web player. We continue to have discussions to bring this feature back to customers in the region.

Will I be able to stream any Astros programming during the season?
Currently, there will be no streaming of Astros regular season games, pregame or post-game shows and/or any other Astros-related programming on our TVE app and web player. Please check back for further updates.

Can I stream Astros on fuboTV and DIRECTV Stream?
Yes, you can still stream Astros programming [with a valid subscription] via OTT/vMVPD providers who carry our network (i.e., fuboTV and DirecTV Stream).

Why, pray tell???

The glib answer is that it’s a very convenient way for subscribers to watch games when they’re not physically in front of their home TV.

Better cut that shit right out.

The real answer must be that someone thinks they’re not getting compensated, or the contractual language doesn’t explicitly allow for that type of streaming.

Either way it means fewer eyeballs, not more, will be watching Astros games.

I’ve never seen an entertainment provider make it so difficult to consume their product. Maybe they think scarcity enhances its value? If so, they’re wrong.

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MLB goes out of its way to make as much friction possible for their customers consume their product.

I remember trying to watch a Astros-hated dojers game on my mlb app on a layover in Hawaii.
And it was blacked out.
Because, mlb is genius like that.

Hawaii is probably in-market for San Diego, Anaheim, LA, SF, Oakland, and Seattle. And probably AZ for good measure. Because everybody knows that if the game weren’t on TV, folks would just walk down to the ballpark.

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Surf. Surf down to the ballpark.

Hawaii is in the broadcast territory for all five California teams. And broadcast restrictions on MLB have nothing to do with proximity to the stadium, and they don’t exist to protect the gate. You’re conflating MLB and the NFL. MLB games are not “blacked out” in the same way they are in the NFL. They are available via the network that has paid for the rights to broadcast them in that area. An individual may or may not subscribe to that particular network, and the network may chose to forgo actually showing the game, but that’s different than blacking out all television broadcasts in the area the way the NFL does. So for example, the Astros are never blacked out anywhere in Texas. You may chose to not purchase ATT SportsNet, but that’s your call, not MLB’s.

I’ve had Astros games blacked out on the MLB app on layovers in dallass, Austin and San Antonio.

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Yesterdays game on ATTSW was preempted for a Rockets game which was blacked out. ???

It was on the alternate channel, though, on uVerse.

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Yes.

ATT SN has exclusive rights to Astros games in the viewership area, even over MLB’s app.

In prior years ATT SN subscribers could stream games on the ATT SN app by submitting your login credentials for your satellite/ cable/streaming provider to confirm you pay for ATT SN.

This season that has gone away.

So for me in Texas, I’m either watching on my TV or I’m not watching.

(MLB app: when I leave the viewership area I can stream Astros games. I can stream other teams as long as they aren’t playing the Astros or Arlington). A VPN would allow me to use it here at home)

It wasn’t blacked out, it was being broadcast locally. You just didn’t subscribe to the network. It’s no different than say a Monday Night Football game being shown on ESPN, and you don’t get ESPN. Just because you can’t alternately watch it on CBS doesn’t mean it was “blacked out” in your area.

Matt, maybe it is merely the words used, but I could not get yesterday’s game on the MLB app in Austin, but I could, of course, watch it on TV in my LR.

Right. It was being broadcast locally in Austin. You had to watch on ATT SportsNet, but it was being broadcast. This is different than the traditional “black out”, like you get in the NFL, which means it’s not available at all in a certain area.

It’s like wanting to watch a show that is on CBS and saying “I cut the cord and don’t get CBS, I only pay for Hulu…so why can’t I watch it on Hulu?.. Hulu has blacked it out and is screwing us all over”.

To me, that is a distinction without a real difference when you can only see a game if it is on your TV. I do not pretend to have any expertise in this area, though, and readily confess I have none.

I get what you’re saying, but there’s something funny about complaining you can only watch a television broadcast if you have a television. MLB is just behind the modern curve when it comes to streaming, and the biggest reason is because they just don’t have the same philosophy on revenue sharing as do other leagues. Each team is responsible for negotiating their own broadcast rights, and that just means that they’re not all available on the same network/platform. It’s part of their “every team for themselves, we’re not interstate commerce, we want anti-trust exemption” business model.

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Complaining? Not me. I stayed home and watched the game, but had someone invited me to a brewery, I could not have watched it. The MLB app said no broadcast was available.

This is the most disappointing part about all of this. MLB streaming of games was so far ahead of other leagues for so long. I remember sitting there watching Astros games online in real time at good quality and just marveling at 1) the underlying multicast technology (MS SilverLight in 2007, Adobe Flash in 2008 and onwards) and 2) how well they made it all work. And now, while the streaming tech is even light years better still, they just continue to fall flat on their faces on revenue and agreements management. Sad.

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