TV Answer Man, I have the MLB TV package from YouTube TV and I live in the New York area, but I can’t get the Yankee games on MLB TV. I know they are on the Yes Network, but YouTube TV doesn’t carry the Yes Network. So I can’t watch them on Yes. Shouldn’t the Yankee games then be on MLB TV because I can’t watch them on Yes? — Ron, Port Washington, New York.
Ron, welcome to the byzantine world of Major League Baseball blackouts.
YouTube TV, the multi-channel, live streaming service, offers the MLB TV package to its subscribers for $139.99. The plan includes all out-of-market regular season MLB games, not in-market games such as the New York Yankees in the New York area. Those games are blacked out there.
This policy is designed to protect the regional sports networks that pay enormous sums to the leagues and teams for the rights to carry the games. The RSNs want you to watch the games on their channels, not MLB TV.
But how can you when, in this case, YouTube TV does not carry the Yes Network, the TV home of the Yankees? Since YouTube TV does not have the Yes Network, that should allow you to watch the Yankee games on YouTube TV’s MLB TV plan, right?
Wrong. Although YouTube TV does not carry Yes, the MLB TV blackout stays in effect as if it did.
There is some method to MLB’s madness here. If YouTube TV allowed MLB TV subscribers to watch the Yankees, there would be less pressure on the streamer (and all TV providers) to carry the Yes Network. That could lead to a dramatic reduction in carriage fees for the RSN.
But despite the logic behind the policy, it doesn’t ease the frustration of fans who simply want to watch their favorite team on the TV provider of their choice.
Ron, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann