Q. I am very excited about watching the Colorado Rockies this season after they signed up Nolan Arenado for awhile. But can you stream the games on a service other than cable? I want to be a cord-cutter and drop my cable service. — Jennifer, Denver.
Jennifer, there is a way to stream the Colorado Rockies, but not the way you are looking for.
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AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, which has the local broadcast rights to the Rockies, struck a deal in 2017 with Major League Baseball to allow authenticated pay TV subscribers to access in-market streaming of their games.
What does that mean?
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Well, if you are a subscriber to DIRECTV, and AT&T SportsNet is in your programming package, you can stream the Rockies games as well as watch them via your satellite TV set-top. One major advantage to this is if you are away from home, you can still follow the action on your mobile device or computer.
However, as of now, Comcast and Dish, the two other major pay TV providers in the Denver market, have not signed on as participating partners for in-market streaming. Comcast does allow you to stream the Rockies games via your Xfinity Stream app (if you subscribe to AT&T SportsNet), but only within your home WiFi network, not away from home.
The only providers that allow you to stream the Rockies anywhere are: DIRECTV, Falcon Broadband, Golden West, Layer3 TV, Mid-State Community, S&T, TCT, TVision, Vast Broadband and Vyve Broadband.
The news gets even worse after that.
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain is not available on any of the live streaming services, such as Sling TV, DIRECTV Now, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV or Hulu Live. AT&T SportsNet has not signed any carriage deals with the live streamers, not even DIRECTV Now, which it owns.
So if you’re looking to drop your cable or satellite service, but still watch the Rockies, you’re out of luck.
(Note: There is some hope this will change in the near future, however. AT&T this month agreed to let fuboTV, a live streaming service, carry its AT&T SportsNet Houston regional sports channel, which has the Houston Astros games. This is the first time that AT&T has agreed to let a live streaming service offer one of its RSNs so maybe, just maybe, it will sign a deal for SportsNet Rocky Mountain before the season begins. I’ll monitor this situation and update this story if that occurs.)
That is, unless you want to subscribe to MLB.TV, the league’s streaming plan that costs $113 for an entire season, and install a VPN on your Internet service.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, a software that you can download that will enable you to use an IP address different from your own. For instance, if you live in Detroit, you could insert an IP address supplied by the VPN company that would say you live in Denmark.
That would enable you to watch the Rockies games in Denver using MLB.TV because the VPN would make MLB’s servers think you were in Denmark, not Denver. The blackout restriction, which normally shuts out Rockies fans in the Denver market, would disappear.
Using a VPN to skirt the blackout is a test of one’s ethics, but many fans are doing it.
For more on MLB and VPNs, click here.
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— Phillip Swann