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8 / 10  Review Rating

We’ve always said that replacing sports is the toughest thing to do as a cord cutter. But replacing sports is a little easier if you’re a big fan of one sport in particular, because North America’s four major sports leagues each have their own streaming services (though the NFL has tied theirs to DirecTV, so we’re less thrilled with them).

MLB.TV is widely considered the best of these league packages. The company behind it, MLB Advanced Media, also powers the streaming services of major players like HBO (HBO switched after the notorious Game of Thrones incident). We decided to take a look at MLB.TV and see what all the hype is about. Here's what we thought.

Device Support

MLB.TV has a pretty comprehensive device support setup. They've been around long enough to have decent apps for older gaming systems like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (we conducted a lot of our viewing on Xbox 360 and found the app very intuitive and reliable). Chromecast is integrated, too, and there are apps for both Android and iOS (the mobile streams are provided through MLB At Bat, which also offers scores, audio, and a “Gameday” view that overlays pitch locations and stats on a virtual field).

The MLB At Bat app for iOS
The MLB At Bat app for iOS

Your laptop is an option as well, though MLB.TV's splash page remains marketing-focused even when you're signed in. You'll have to click on “CURRENT SUBSCRIBERS” in the top-right to reach the menu of games. Stop trying to sell us something we already bought, MLB.TV! That small annoyance aside, we were quite impressed with all of the different interfaces.

Streaming Quality

MLB.tv as viewed on our laptop
MLB.TV as viewed on our laptop

We were pretty impressed by the quality of MLB.TV's streams. We used the same internet connection that left us less than thrilled with USTVNow's quality, but we had very few issues at all with MLB.TV. MLB.TV's streams sometimes fluctuated in video quality, but they rarely got choppy or skipped at all. Unsurprisingly, streaming was better on devices connected by Ethernet cable (like the Xbox we used) and a little weaker on wifi devices (like our laptops). Mobile streaming was quite good wherever we had service (we used a Verizon network in our review).

Content

MLB.TV includes every regular season game, with two exceptions:

  • You won't get nationally broadcast games, like ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, the playoffs, etc.
  • You won't get broadcasts that are on cable in your local area, meaning that whatever team owns your local market will be blacked out all season long

The blackouts are the infuriating thing about MLB.TV. It's expected – every league streaming service does this – but it's still awful.

Moving on to the good part: we're baseball fans, but we found ourselves watching even more games than usual when we tried out this app. It's wonderful to have so much selection, and the bonus content and little perks made things even better.

For instance, one of our favorite things about MLB.TV was the ability to put the radio audio over the video stream. It's a really cool touch, and it shows that MLB Advanced Audio really understands baseball fans. Listening to the radio while watching the TV broadcast is a classic baseball fan move, but it's pretty much impossible to do now that TV networks operate on a delay. MLB.TV makes it possible again. We should note that, rarely, we ran into streams that wouldn't allow us to use this feature. We're not sure why that was, and it was a bit disappointing.

The service also lets you go back and watch any game from the season, plus highlights and condensed games. You can find similar content for free online, so it's not a real selling point, but it's nice to have it all in one place if you're a die-hard fan.

MLB.TV lets you watch games from prior seasons, too, but their support for that is pretty limited. The full season archive only goes back to 2013. It would have been nice to see classic games. We know MLB has them all – they're all on Youtube for free right now. It seems like MLB could afford to toss in a back catalogue of classic games for a service that costs this much, especially if they're dishing them out for free on another site.

The included MLB audio subscription was a real bonus, especially because the audio feeds have no blackouts. Fans of local teams should note that you don't have to get a full MLB.TV subscription to get the audio feeds.

The Price

MLB.TV Premium was $139.99 this year. That's a pretty good value for a league that has 30 teams playing 162 games a year. The NHL is a less popular league with about half as many games, and they charged fans $159.99 last year for GameCenter Live. NBA League Pass is an absurd $199.99.

MLB.TV isn't cheap by any means, but it's a better value than most sports streaming packages.

The Verdict

Believe the hype. MLB.TV offers very smooth streaming, great device integration, and some really great perks. If you're a baseball fan and live outside the TV market of your favorite team, MLB.TV is a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, we can't recommend it for fans of local teams. For now, the best option for local fans is Gameday Audio.

For other tips on how to catch baseball as a cord cutter, check out our complete how-to guide.

47 thoughts on “MLB.TV Review

  1. Bill says:

    I tried MLB.TV and it was bad. You get no local teams, not even the away games. If you live in a state that doesn’t have an MLB team you will probably be blacked out for numerous teams around you. I have spent over 10 hours on the phone with customer service and technical people from MLB.TV and they are all useless. The big problem is they don’t all say the same stuff. No one appears to know what is really happening or what you are paying for. If you talk to one person they tell you one thing. They the next time you call another person tells you the opposite. 10 days into the season when I realized it was a waste of time I told them to cancel it and they offered $25.00 credit off a $109.00 charge. Unless you live on one coast and your favorite team is on the other coast this is a rip-off.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Same issue with me. I live in central FL. I have you tube tv and signed up for mlbtv so I can watch the Tampa Bay rays and the Chicago Cubs. We couldn’t get any Ray’s games because we live too close to tampa bay area. Even though you tube tv had cancelled the Fox sports regional channels we can’t watch the Rays on local channels. The Cubs weren’t broadcast either even though we are 1200 miles from Chicago. The rep I talked to said that’s the way it is. So if you want to watch the Yankees or the Dodgers it’s for you. We cancelled right away.

      1. I’m done says:

        Boycott all sports. Get woke go broke… I wish them all bankruptcy. N

        1. thomas wery says:

          i’m with you.don’t miss pro sports one bit

  2. Reid says:

    What exactly is the point of this service if you can’t watch your local teams?

  3. AK says:

    If you’re a Samsung Smart TV user (2015/2016 versions), don’t bother subscribing. MLB.tv refuses to fix the issues they’ve had with their service since before opening day. Constant buffering and blank screen issues, and if you address the issues on their forums, the moderators lie about it being fixed “soon” then block you. A quick read through the forums will show countless people having issues regardless of the device they are using. Until MLB.tv atteps to provide a stable service, avoid this product at all costs.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I was trying to get the mlb app today to be able to watch baseball in my bedroom tv and they said my tv wasn’t compatible smh

    2. S says:

      I was trying to get the mlb app today to be able to watch baseball in my bedroom tv and they said my tv wasn’t compatible smh

      1. Hugh Oliver says:

        MLB live games are constantly blurry to the point where it is completely unwatchable. I won’t get that subscription that ever again.

  4. Hebekiah says:

    A big help for a cord cutters’ guide would be which devices stream the MLB app with which features. By this I mean that our old WDTV Live has a wonderful set of options when you pick a game: jump to inning, a FF button to instantly jump past the commercial time out screen (2 minutes) and begin when the next inning starts, a wonderful option during live games is “start from beginning”. Newer Android boxes, phones, tablets and Kodi don’t have those features; if game is live then only option is to join in progress, can’t start from beginning; no convenient jump to inning or FF to next inning available.

    I hear the Roku can do all the features and the Nvidia Shield can do some.

    What information you gave above is just cut and paste-y feel.

    Also, my experience with VPN to avoid blackouts is that it’s much better to use VPN software on device rather than enable VPN on router. Much better video quality but not every box (not the WDTV) lets you do that. Proxy settings and DNS changes can also be used but an app on the device works best.

  5. Bob says:

    MLB TV SUCKS, streaming stops, lots of error notices, games are blacked out when you live in NV and the game is in California. I will never buy it again. Use to be ale to listen to the game on my iPhone, now it’s no longer available. What a piece of c**p.

  6. Ron Rodgers says:

    Interesting looking at this website, the site has all these glowing reports when they are suppose to be impartial. The people who actually pay for and have used this service appear to be speaking from the heart without axes to grind. I believe the customers. I have not had black out issues (living in Canada). They take the money and leave us alone.

    I signed last year with my credit card and they renewed me without my permission. It was several games into the preseason that I realized my card was charged. This season buffeting has been terrible. If things don’t improve soon, this will be my last year!!!

  7. Doug says:

    This is the worst streaming app I’ve ever used. Buffering kicks you out of the program over 50% of the time. My Roku app is much better, at least you can jump to an inning. The app on my smart TV is different. You have to fast forward time wise to where you need to go. Often, it will not let you fast forward or it will have buffer problems and kick you out. The sound also goes. If it wasn’t for content I would never use this app. It is the absolute worst. None of the other apps kick me out ever, and this one routinely does it. Then with the terms of agreement you may not get all the games. I have two teams in “area”. One is a divisional opponent and 700 miles away. So there are 15 games I can’t get. Unless they choose to show them over the team closer to me. If you’re a big baseball fan, you may have no choice. Just know that MLB is sticking it to you. It is very aggravating to use this leisure activity.

  8. Thomas Myslik says:

    I knew my local team would be blocked but the playoffs and WS? Give me a break.

    A bit like having foreplay and no orgasm. My balls are blue.

  9. GW says:

    Except you can’t use it to watch the playoffs or the World Series without a pay provider from a very limited list. MLB should be embarrassed.

  10. Dave Pilon says:

    I live in CT. 90 % of games I try to watch are blacked out. No Yankees or Red Socks. Not even Baltimore or Cleveland. No World Series. Total joke.

  11. Rick Wagner says:

    What a waste of money AGAIN! Stop and start, watch the same guy run to first base twice, the pitcher pitch the same pitch twice, find out the inning is over after watching a one out hit. Dead time, same thing as last year. MLB refused to help fix the issue, 1/3 of the games missed or not worth watching. MLB answer give you a discount on their products. Better feeds on the free networks. Netflix, YouTube, and countless other do not have these problems. DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY!

  12. Craig says:

    Well, I guess I just paid $112 for radio! I have been a long time subscriber of MLB radio and this year I decided to upgrade to TV. I am a Giants fan and realized that many of the games would be blacked out but I didn’t realize that ALL the games would be blacked out including the away games and even games played outside the west coast. I live in Hawaii so I don’t even understand why I am considered west coast at all! Someone please explain that to me. Anyhow, when I requested a refund only one week into the season, I was denied, not even a partial refund or a prorated refund, but completely denied. I guess MLB only cares about the bottom line. I am now a baseball fan left with a bitter taste in my mouth, and that is the taste of corporate greed. I guess I will try to enjoy the rest of the season…

  13. LouL says:

    Unfortunately, MLB.TV 2017 is worse than 2016, which was worse than 2015. But they suckered me into getting it again with all of their advertised improvements. Net result – unwatchable on any device. And customer support are a bunch of robots following scripts. They have no solutions. I would strongly suggest resisting the urge. This is a bad service that sells based on the content, not the delivery.

  14. Tim Crain says:

    Wanting to cut the cord, I’ve been looking at all the possibilities to simply get my favorite sport. I really wanted this to work on my Fire Stick, I was really anxious for this to be a great option, but with all negative reviews – I will NOT be a subscriber. Too bad MLB, you lost a customer before I actually became one.

  15. Peter says:

    Half of the games so far I’ve wanted to watch have been blacked out. MLB.TV is horrible. Do not purchase. Doesn’t matter who my team plays, good chance game will be blacked out. Wish I never purchased.

  16. Tego says:

    I have yet to watch a team I wanted to see that hasn’t been blacked out. When I wait the 90 minutes after the game is over and try to watch it the quality is so poor (lag, stutter, then speeds up like in fast forward 20 seconds or so… Horrible! You can’t even enjoy watching the game after it is over. Don’t waste your money like I did. If you feel you must waste your money at least try the monthly subscription so you won’t be out $115 bucks like me.

  17. Jim Gabelhausen says:

    In 2017 we were able to get games without issue. This year the constant buffering and loss of stream makes it impossible. We have purchased new equipment, including a Fire Stick, and still have the same issue. Customer support is a broken record. Clear cache, uninstall and reinstall, unplug and wait. I would like to get my money back, as their fraudulent clamps of being able to watch a game have not been kept. It’s not much money to me, but the frustration level is off the scale.

  18. Shasta Jones says:

    The team I follow is two time zones away from where I live so I don’t have a problem with that. I get a lot of freezing and buffering and have to restart my computer. I paid $26 because it’s near the end of the season. I’m disappointed that there are not games from previous seasons archived. Also they need to pull out the commercials in the archived.

  19. Raymond Orndorff says:

    MLB.tv is not good for the playoffs for cord cutters. It might be good for out of market games during regular season, but when MLB announced the post season TV schedule it blacked out NATIONALLY all of the NL division and championship series games (broadcast on TBS). You must have a subscription to a tv subscriber in order to view live. Why pay the money to MLB.tv if you need a subscription anyway? BUYER BEWARE!

  20. Kay Lee says:

    Cord cutter fans in CT cannot watch the Yankees, Mets or Red Sox, now that PlayStation Vue is gone. No more streaming Yankees on FoxSportsGo. Are in market games on MLB network available the day after the games are played? Is it worth subscribing to MLB for delayed Yanks games?

    1. Stephen Lovely says:

      I believe Hulu and fuboTV both carry YES, though I’m not sure exactly which markets are covered.

  21. Matt Hartzell says:

    They say you can now pause and rewind with “LIVE Game DVR Controls
    Pause and rewind LIVE games with DVR controls. Jump back to create your own instant replay. Available on all supported devices.”

    But can you fast forward?

  22. Nick says:

    Anyone have experience with vpn in helping with blackouts? What I’ve read is that you can change your location through vpn so that you can watch your local teams.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Everything I hoped it WOULDN’T
    be. So bad I wouldn’t watch if it were free.
    Never thought the day would come that MLB didn’t want me to watch MLB. I stand corrected.
    Got their money this year, but never again.

  24. Bpa says:

    Everything I hoped it WOULDN’T
    be. So bad I wouldn’t watch if it were free.
    Never thought the day would come that MLB didn’t want me to watch MLB. I stand corrected.
    Got their money this year, but never again.

  25. GA Fan says:

    I won’t subscribe to MLB.TV this season due to MLB’s ridiculous targeting of workers in Georgia when they moved the AS Game out of Atlanta. Support our workers!!

  26. Nick says:

    MLB tv app is awful! They switch the format every year and it just gets worse!! Fast forward option gives the game away. You can tell how many innings the game went!

  27. Brian says:

    Bet I could catch a Braves game if I went to Cuba or China. Can’t watch them in Atlanta! MLB app worthless!

  28. Ricardo Mendez says:

    The worst thing about the current version of MLB is that it no longer lets you watch a game that has been completed without first telling you which team won and who was the hero of the game. Yes, that is correct, a full-on spoiler is now unavoidably built in to all archived games. I’ve been streaming MLB for years and usually watched late-starting games on the following day, which was not a problem until now. As of a few days ago, some genius at MLB thought we customers would like them to spoil the game for us before we could watch it. As you select which game you want to watch, before you’re even able to hit “play,” a still image pops up showing the key player(s) involved, revealing who won and often how. I’ve no idea who this benefits but it certainly ruins the MLB experience for me and makes me wonder why I should keep my subscription.

  29. Andrew Linquist says:

    The new update completely ruined the Apple TV app. The only choice for watching an ongoing game is “watch live”. The previous version allowed the viewer to start from the beginning of the game or even choose specific half innings, allowing you to skip to a part of the game you wanted to watch. You can also no longer hold FF to FF, only 10 sec skip and pausing and scrolling forward, which is very inaccurate on Apple TV. I’m incredibly disappointed. It’s unethical to charge $130 for a specific feature set and then remove features after taking the customer’s money. Don’t subscribe to Mlbtv until they change this back.

  30. Andrew Linquist says:

    The newest version of the app for Apple TV is terrible. The only choice for watching an ongoing game is “watch live”. The previous version allowed the viewer to start from the beginning of the game or even choose specific half innings, allowing you to skip to a part of the game you wanted to watch. You can also no longer hold FF to FF, only 10 sec skip and pausing and scrolling forward, which is very inaccurate on Apple TV. I’m incredibly disappointed. It’s unethical to charge $130 for a specific feature set and then remove features after taking the customer’s money. Don’t subscribe to Mlbtv until they change this back.

  31. Richard Cabeza says:

    The highlights between innings are very annoying, they repeat over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over

  32. John says:

    I should have read these posts before I purchased MLB TV. If you look hard enough in their fine print you can see all Seattle Mariners games, home and away, are blacked out since I live in the Seattle area. I thought I would see away games but that’s not true. So far I have been unsuccessful at getting a refund even though I just purchased this service two days ago. Save your money, MLB TV is a ripoff.

  33. Robert wilson says:

    All I can say is if you try MLB. TV get ready for Amateur hour. Dead Air at the beginning of every break, last commercial is always cut in half, they cut back to the game and the batter will have three or four pitches on them already, commercials playing over the soundtrack to the game, repeating the same commercial over and over on the same break, etc, etc. I’ve seen better production values on first-time YouTube videos.

  34. Steve Reynolds says:

    MLBTV is horrible but they DON’T CARE. Its 2021 and I can’t watch a team 14 hours away in a different state. Its even worse when you talk to them. Utterly incapable of giving a rat’s behind. They should die

  35. Ken says:

    I got the service to watch the Yankees. Every game, I miss several pitches/outs because the (repetitive) commercials run long. I called to complain. They did nothing and offered no compensation.

  36. Coco Laboy says:

    MLB.com on Apple TV 4K is a disaster. Charged 5 times for one month by restoring purchase, 316 dollars for one month! Double charging through I-Tunes and new Apple card. Worst app ever. PiP sucks, picture quality is no better than 4 years ago. 4 years of frustration with MLB.com is enough. 7 inning professional baseball WOW! Plugging in their adds between innings slows the continuity of the game. Found out the {live] game I was watching was in fact over 15 minutes earlier. Now MLB.com is trying to become ticketmaster? I can imagine the nightmare that is. Do the one thing fans want, LIVE BASEBALL. No need for 15 replay video clip apps. Networks are making a mockery of professional sports.

  37. Dick says:

    If you tune in late and want to watch any game from the beginning and skip ahead or fast forward, forget it. MLB TV forces you to sit through the commercials or promotions or whatever they are. It’s absolutely maddening. And many times if something goes haywire, and you want to go back and see what you missed. Good luck with that–they force you to watch all their ads and promotions again. Unless they change their policy, never again for me.

  38. Matt says:

    Worst paid service ever. The apps themselves are fine, but the service layer is unadulterated hot garbage. Usually, you have to navigate multiple “network errors” until the stream finally works. But it’s the only game in town. Probably couldn’t create a less reliable service if you tried. They should be ashamed. Get Unlocator to bypass blackouts.

  39. POC says:

    The app has many bug issues. be prepared to get frustrated when the app tells you ‘the event will begin shortly’ and nothing happens. As others have said, this app is not worth the price for a fan who lives in their favorite team’s market. Those games get blacked out, even if your team’s road games. If you can get the app to start, the stream quality is good. If you live outside your team’s market and your team is expected to be near the top of its division and you have patience getting the app to start a game, I say go for it. Otherwise don’t.

  40. Joseph Palamaro says:

    I am an avid fan of The Boston Red Sox, as well as, just baseball in general. MLB.TV to me gives the everyday fan the opportunity to watch whatever team their heart desires. Living in New Jersey the only games I can not watch them play on the website is when they are playing in Philadelphia against the Philadelphia Phillies. Which for us, all you have to do is turn on the Phillies broadcast and voila you have the capability to watch these games. My issue with this however is for the people who are not able to afford the $130 price tag associated with a season’s worth of baseball. If you can, then you are able to go about your day as you please. Luckily enough I get free MLB.TV by using the T-Mobile Tuesdays deal associated with the app. I love this app because it gives you game day quality as if you have the ability to tune into your local station to watch the games. It gives me the ability to have NESN, the New England Sports Network, readily available whenever I want to see my team play. I appreciate the fact I can always see my team and whatever other team I wish, play the sport I love. If they fixed blackout restrictions and the price like many other sports viewing apps do, I feel as though they would be even more perfect to be used by the common consumer.

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