Everything you ever wanted to know about MLB.TV.

I love my new counter that lets me know how many people are reading my blog.  (The downside, of course, being that it also lets me know how many people read without leaving comments.) 

One of my favorite aspects is seeing what google searches people use to reach my site.  I’ve only had the counter a little over 3 days and already 6 people (so who knows how many before that) have found my site by some of the following searches:

  • problems with MLB.TV
  • how to get MLB.TV to work
  • MLB.TV blackout restrictions

And, my personal favorite…..

  • MLB.TV knows where you live

Since half of these people live outside of the United States, I decided to write the following post.  Enjoy.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time at all, you would know that I subscribe to MLB.TV because I live in Madrid, Spain and cannot see ballgames on the TV here.  (And, as soccer is hands down the predominant European sport, that doesn’t look to change anytime soon.)

Reading my blog, you would also know that I have not always had the kindest words for MLB.TV.  I have ranted and raved about it for quite some time on my blog. (here, here and here for a few examples.)

So, why all anger directed at MLB.TV? 

It’s not the quality.  Quality of it is great.  I started using MLB.TV during the post season last year and was amazed at clear everything was.  Sure, it’s smaller compared to the TV I am used to, but when you blow it up on your computer full screen, it’s actually quite big.

It’s not the streaming.  It streams awesome.  I know a few people have complained about the streaming due to having a lower connection speed or computer, but with the computer I have, it streams great.  I get everything in (nearly) real-time and I love that.

So, why?

Well, it was the fact that I was blacked out of every game I wanted to watch, even though I am clearly (in Madrid, Spain), living out of market.  Because, it wasn’t every game, but games that are broadcast where I used to live in the States (Illinois), such as Cardinals, Cubs, and the Braves, I assumed it was my credit card that was the issue.  Obviously, it’s not an IP address detection of some sort, or else they would detect that I live in Spain.

But, as I called customer service, I was assured again and again, that it was not because of my credit card, but just an unexplainable error.  They would confirm I live in Spain and send me a "token," by e-mail to use.  Not my first choice in the situation, but I could live with this.

Then, the situation got worse.  Now, the customer service line would be busy half the day and when I finally got through, I would sit on hold forever.  By the time I actually got a person on the phone, the game would have already started, sometimes being half over.  Every time the person would assure me that they would fix the situation.  Once, I asked to speak to a manager.  Having been in the customer service field in the past, I knew that a manager would have the authority to do what the phone represenative could not and perhaps could solve the situation.

This "manager" assured me that he would personally handle the situation.  He said he would call me before the next game and see to it that I had a token. 

He never called.

I suggested all kinds of ideas, such as sending me an automatic token before every game that I could use or just permanently allowing me access to the games, since they knew I lived in Spain.  I was only told that this couldn’t be done and tokens were the only way around this. 

I tried emailing for tokens, thinking it would be faster and I would reach no busy signal.  But, this didn’t work either.  I wouldn’t receive an answer for days and when I finally did, it was either an automated response or someone who (from their response) had clearly not read my email.

Finally, at the absolute peak of frustration (and waiting on hold for 1 hour and 25 minutes) I wrote this post.  And, finally my complaints no longer fell on deaf ears.

I received an email from someone who actually wanted to help correct my problem.  I was skeptical at first, but emailed him the info he asked for.  He had MLB.TV working permanently for me by the next game.  This was almost a week ago and it has worked ever since.  I have watched quite a few Cardinal games live since then and it’s been great.

I promised before that I would love to write great things about MLB.TV and that I would once it was working correctly.

So, now I would  like to say that I love the quality of it, I love the streaming and I love most of all, that it works.  As with any technology, there are ocassional bumps and sputters in the feed or audio, but that’s to be expected.  And, honestly, it really doesn’t happen very often.  So, I would just like to say:

I Love MLB.TV! 

There.  Maybe that makes up for the not as nice things I’ve said.

If you are one of these people, accessing my blog because of MLB.TV, I can’t help you out with the unresponsiveness of the staff.  (After all, it took over a month for me to get help and that was mainly because I had a blog to vent my frustrations.)  But, if it’s just a general problem, such as you don’t know how to get it to work, leave me a post or send me an email and I’ll try to help you out.

And now that I have MLB.TV working, I would like to try something I never could before.  A live blog.  I had thought about it, but I was never guaranteed that I would be able to watch the game I wanted to in order to promote it ahead of time.

So, I would like to let all of you know that this Saturday, I will be live blogging the Cardinals game against the Kansas City Royals.  It will be the first time they meet this year and the first time since May 22 of last year.  I was looking for a Royals fan to blog this game with me and even though he’s not a Royals fan, Reid has volunteered to blog the Royals side because he has a few things to say about this game.  If you’ve ever read his blog, you know he’ll keep you entertained and if you haven’t, you should check it out.

I encourage everyone to stop by and check out both of our blogs throughout the evening and also to comment your reactions.  If anyone else is interested in doing a live blog and your team is playing the Cardinals soon, let me know.  Keep in mind the 7 hour time difference, so it will have to be a weekend or an early game, or else I will never get up for work the next day. 🙂  But, I’m up for it otherwise.  Well, assuming this one goes well anyway.

On more immediate things, we start our series against the New York Mets tonight.  I am personally looking very forward to this series.  The Mets have gained a lot of attention this year because a lot of people seem to think this is year that they will topple the Braves from the throne they’ve had atop the NL East for 14 straight seasons.

Both are in first place, so it should definitely be exciting.  But, this is getting onto an entirely different subject, so I will stop here and write a new post about the Mets soon.  Until then, Mets fans?  Are you out there?  Do you think one team will sweep or that it will be an even matchup?

Faithful MLB.TV watcher,

Tiffany

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6 comments

  1. Kellia

    Glad to see MLB.tv is finally working for you.

    I’m a Mets fan and not expecting a sweep by either side.

    BTW, that wasn’t Scott Rolen looking old and slow at third base when the D’Backs played the Cards recently. That was Eric Byrnes smashing a couple of singles by him that if Rolen couldn’t field them, then notbody could! ;+)

    Kellia

    http://byrnesblog.mlblogs.com

  2. Tiffany

    Kellia,
    Hey, you and me both. I was glad to be able blog positively about MLB.TV because I really do enjoy watching the games on it, when it’s working.

    And, I don’t think Scott Rolen and slow could ever go together in the same sentence, so it must have been all Byrnes. 🙂

    As I said in my recent post, I’m not expecting a sweep either, but predicting the Cards to take 2 of 3.

    Tiffany

  3. Tiffany

    Those are pretty much my thoughts exactly on how it will pan out. And, I can’t even begin to tell you how glad I am that we don’t have to deal with Pedro this time.

    Tiffany

  4. peter.afzelius@spray.se

    Hello

    I´m sitting in Sweden, Europe and i´m very happy to be able to watch all the games on MLBTV. There´s just one problem though…

    I´m having a problem watching MLBTV on fullscreen. It feels like i have tried everything by now but there might be something i have missed. Maybe you have a suggestion what i should do? I have a hard time believing that you only should be able to watch it on that silly little screen but when i blow it up to fullscreen it gets so blurry that i hardly can see the ball or the players faces.

    I would be very grateful for any help i can get.

    Thank you.

    Peter

    Sweden

  5. Tiffany

    Peter,
    I’ve been out of the country for a week, so sorry its’ taken me a little while to get back with you.

    MLB.TV offers a selection of 3 different sized screens. I usually watch it on the middle size. It is much bigger than the tiny screen, but not as blurry as when you blow it all the way up on full screen. Plus, it allows you to do other things at the same time as watching the game, which is nice.

    The full screen option can be somewhat blurry at times, but I find it’s not too bad. I can certainly make out faces and players. If you can’t, I wonder what sort of operating system you have and what your screen resolution is?

    The older the computer, I’m sure the worse it probably is. Try the middle selection screen and if you don’t like it, I would suggest leaving a comment for Mark at http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com/. He will probably be able to give you a suggestion on who to contact to improve MLB.TV.

    I’m glad you were able to find my blog and thanks for the comment! I hope you’ve found other things of interest on here.

    Out of curiousity, being in Sweden, who’s your team? Or are you just a baseball fan in general?

    Tiffany

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