For those of us who enjoy watching the ball game from our front row seats at home, a truly tough question arises. “Should I sign up for MLB Extra Innings or MLB.TV?”
There is something to be said about personal preference. We all have different opinions when it comes to who is the best team in the league. Some of us like to go to the stadium to watch games in person, while others like to watch games from the comfort of their couches. With this in mind, it’s crucially important to think about who and how we prefer to watch.
The true sports aficionado will spare nothing to catch their favorite team’s game. Knowing this we dived in to determine which is better, and we are happy to present you with our results. It’s all about where you live and who you root for.
If your favorite team is local, then you might be better off with cable or satellite provided MLB Extra Innings. If you live far away from your favorite ball team, you will have no problem streaming your favorite team’s games with MLB.TV whenever you want. With this in mind, let’s jump into some of the key differences between MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV.
MLB Extra Innings VS MLB.TV Access
One of the most significant differences between MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV is the point of access. MLB.TV is available as a streaming service application for out of market fans looking to watch their favorite team or teams for a base price with no strings attached.
MLB Extra Innings, on the other hand, is available as a cable or satellite provisioned add-on service that covers out of market games as well as all of your locally broadcast team games via your regional sports network. The kicker is that as a satellite and streaming service, MLB Extra Innings also offers access to MLB.TV.
What Does This Mean for the Fans?
Cable and satellite providers have long ago set up lucrative contract deals with the MLB assigned regional sports networks. What this means is that local MLB team games are available exclusively to local cable or satellite providers that have contracts with a given regional sports network.
For example, if you live in Los Angeles, California, and have a deep love for the Blue Crew, you will only be able to watch local Dodger games if you have a cable or satellite subscription with a provider that has contracted with Spectrum SportsNet LA. To determine if your provider has contracts with your given RSN, you can check here by zip code.
So What’s the Deal With MLB.TV?
If you live far away from your home team, MLB.TV has got what you need. MLB.TV provides customers with a streaming service for out-of-market games, free of contract or obligation to sign up for a cable or satellite subscription. You can stream from any device with a decent internet connection that can keep up with the HD quality of the stream. Here are a few of the benefits of going with MLB.TV
- MLB.TV is streamable from almost any device with internet access
- Customers have the choice of a single team or all teams package that provides you with all of a specific teams games or up to 80 out-of-market games respectively
- MLB.TV offers all of its games in HD
- MLB.TV is relatively cheaper than MLB Extra Innings, and there is no need to have a cable or satellite subscription
- Offers an off-season package to watch pre-recorded games when and where you want
If you are the type that doesn’t like to deal with satellite or cable companies, consider that MLB.TV comes with the added benefit that there are no contracts and no need to purchase anything but the streaming service itself.
MLB.TV comes in two package options, single team or all teams. The single teams option is available at $93.99 yearly and provides you with all of your favorite team’s games, as long as you don’t fall within your team’s regional service network. Enjoy the freedom of streaming your favorite team’s games from your phone or iPad without having to deal with a cable or satellite subscription.
The all teams option is available for $121.99 a year $24.99 a month. With every team’s out of market games available, the all teams option is perfect for hardcore fans that like to choose from a variety of teams to watch. Locally provided games will still be out of reach due to the inherent restrictions created by MLB and regional service network contracts.
In addition to these two package options, MLB.TV provides customers with a “free game of the day,” streamable on platforms such as Facebook or at MLB.com. US subscribers will also have access to every game of the 2020 world series alongside the 91st All-Star Game. With multiple package options to choose from and the absence of cable, satellite, or subscription-based contracts, MLB.TV provides a flexible means of catching all of your favorite games on the fly.
What’s the Catch?
The inherent catch to MLB.TV is the restriction on local games. If you are the type of fan that needs to travel for work, for example, you will not have to worry about MLB blacking out certain games. The local games restriction will only be an issue if you find yourself in the same zip code as the team you would like to watch. In these cases, fans might be better off with a satellite or local cable subscription.
The other issue some fans might find in choosing MLB.TV is in the streaming capacity of their device or internet provider. Viewers can only watch MLB.TV via the MLB.TV streaming app, which is why some viewers might have problems keeping up with the action when device or internet connection is not adequate to stream HD quality video at high speeds.
What About MLB Extra Innings?
MLB Extra Innings is a cable or satellite subscription-based service that allows the viewer access to up to 90 out-of-market games a week, on top of all the games accessible via a given local coverage network. MLB Extra Innings subscription functions on top of your particular cable or satellite service, and for this reason, certain features will vary, but on the whole, fans can expect most of the following.
- Most if not all out-of-market games
- Access to the MLB Network
- Fans can watch multiple games at a time
- MLB Extra Innings provides games in High definition or 4k quality
- A subscription option for MLB.TV free of extra charge
Not only does MLB Extra Innings provide subscribers with every MLB network game available, but as mentioned, it also comes with MLB.TV. Some might say, “Why would anyone choose to pay for MLB.TV?” I’m glad you asked.
MLB Extra Innings comes with all the bells and whistles but at a price. Depending on which satellite or cable TV provider you subscribe to, MLB Extra Innings will cost you around $30.50 a month for six months or $183 for the year in a one-time payment. What MLB Extra Innings gains in access to all the games on the market it pays for in the unavoidable subscriptions and commitments that customers have to make to one or another service provider.
MLB Extra Innings comes to sports fans as an add-on package to their preferred cable or satellite subscription service. You do not get the added benefit MLB.TV provides in being free from large company contracts, but you do get access to MLB.TV and all of the out-of-market games provided thereof, so it seems like a fair tradeoff. MLB Extra Innings is available on DIRECTV, DISH, or XFINITY subscription services.
DIRECTV provides customers with access to all of the regional sports networks in the area. This access, coupled with the free subscription option of MLB.TV will ensure that you can watch all the MLB games available without restriction. At a starting price of $49.99 a month for twelve months, under a 24-month agreement with a $9.99 a month Regional Sports fee, there is no end to the hidden fees DIRECTV throws your way.
DISH also sets sports fans up with all the local RSNs at the base price of $59.99 a month with a minimum two-year contract. DISH includes Regional Sports networks, but customers may need to purchase a Sling or comparable viewing device to make the most of their subscription.
Comcast XFINITY provides all of the same great features that DIRECTV and DISH networks offer at a current deal price of $79.99 a month for 12 months with a one-year contract agreement. XFINITY also provides access to its exclusive X1 service that allows customers to access their sports and entertainment content via a voice control remote.
Whichever service provider you choose to go with, you can feel confident knowing that you will be getting everything that the MLB Extra Inning package has to offer.
What’s the Catch?
Real sports aficionados know that you cannot put a price tag on access to all the games that MLB has to offer in a given season. Although MLB Extra Innings comes with a hefty price tag, it pays off in the long run with its ability to provide baseball fans with every MLB game available.
The catch with MLB Extra Innings is that it forces customers to sign up with cable or satellite companies that sink their hooks in and don’t let go. If you decide that you want to go with MLB Extra Innings, you will also need to choose which large scale provider you wish to sign up with and at a minimum stick with for at least a year at a time.
So Which is Better – MLB.TV or MLB Extra Innings?
After going through all of the pros and cons of both MLB service providers, it is clear that customers must take a side. Do you go with the provider with more freedom to pick and choose when and where you watch, or do you side with the provider that offers you more games?
In the end, it comes down to how far you live from your favorite teams. MLB.TV is the perfect option for the out of area viewer that likes to stream their games whenever and wherever they chose, and MLB Extra Innings is ideal for the baseball fan that can’t get enough of America’s favorite pastime.