Q. TV Answer Man, I read your story about Dish selling the MLB Extra Innings package. I would subscribe but Dish doesn’t carry all those regional sports channels that are on the Extra Innings package. Wouldn’t those games be blacked out if I subscribed? — Marci, Riverside, California.
Marci, you’re right. Dish, which yesterday began selling the 2022 MLB Extra Innings package, does not carry any regional sports channels. And the Extra Innings package consists of broadcasts from the various regional sports networks (RSNs) across the country.
So, you ask, if Dish doesn’t have the rights to the RSNs, does that mean it can’t offer their broadcasts in its MLB Extra Innings package as well?
Well, let’s take your market as an example.
If you live in the LA market, which includes not only the Los Angeles area, but Las Vegas and Hawaii as well, the answer is yes. You can’t watch the Dodgers games on MLB Extra Innings because they are available in the area on the SportsNet LA RSN. The Dodgers games on both SportsNet LA, and the channel that covers the team the Dodgers are playing, will be blacked out on Extra Innings.
That’s a long-standing policy of Major League Baseball and the other professional sports leagues. They have negotiated lucrative deals with the TV providers — and the regional sports channels — and if suddenly you could bypass those to watch your local team via an online pay package, those deals would be worth nothing.
But could you watch the SportsNet LA broadcasts (or other broadcasts involving the Dodgers) in Dish’s Extra Innings package if you live outside those blacked out markets? Even though Dish does not SportsNet LA?
The Extra Innings package of out-of-market games, which costs $139.99 this season on Dish, is regarded as separate from the satcaster’s dispute with Charter, which has the management rights to SportsNet LA. But:
Update, April 18: Dish is not offering the SportsNet LA feed in Extra Innings this season although other pay TV providers that don’t carry it are. Dish did not offer a reason when asked why.
This policy is true for all the RSNs and all pay TV carriers. If your provider doesn’t carry a certain RSN, you will still be able to watch their out-of-market games with Extra Innings.
Marci, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann