By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I don’t understand why people don’t get why baseball games are blacked out. Your home team is going to be blacked out on MLB TV because the game is on the regional sports channel, right? What’s so hard to understand about that? — Jim, Bowie, Maryland. 

Jim, if it were only that simple everywhere.

In your area, Bowie, Maryland, you can’t watch the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals on MLB TV because the games are available on MASN on pay TV services. This is to protect MASN (and other regional sports networks) which wants you to watch the channel rather than MLB TV.

If people could pay the $149 for MLB TV’s online package of out-of-market games, and watch their home team, they wouldn’t pay for a pay TV bundle (which includes the RSN) from cable or satellite. Then, the cable and satellite services wouldn’t pay the RSNs to carry their signals and the RSNs would go out of business.

But here’s the problem. The RSN’s protection sometimes goes too far. In some markets, the RSN territorial rights extends up to six teams, some of which play hundreds of miles from the blacked out market. Even worse, RSNs that carry some of those games aren’t even available in the market that’s blacked out. You can’t watch the game even if you were willing to pay for it.

Click Amazon: Today’s Deals of the Day.

Here are the six craziest places where MLB games are blacked out:

1. Las Vegas (six teams blacked out)
Los Angeles Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants

2. Des Moines (six teams blacked out)
Chicago Cubs
Kansas City Royals
St. Louis Cardinals
Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers

3. Tulsa (four teams blacked out)
Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals
St. Louis Cardinals
Texas Rangers

4. Little Rock (four teams blacked out)
Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals
St. Louis Cardinals
Texas Rangers

5. Charlotte, North Carolina (four teams blacked out)
Baltimore Orioles
Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves

Click Amazon: Today’s Deals of the Day.

6. Guam (two teams blacked out)
San Franciso Giants
Oakland Athletics

Yes, residents of Guam, which is more than seven thousand miles from mainland U.S., cannot watch the broadcasts of the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics. The TV Answer Man has asked MLB for an explanation (several times) on this one but has yet to receive a response.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says he’s dedicated to finding a solution to these crazy blackouts, and blackouts in general, but until he does, baseball fans will continue shaking their heads and mumbling that the game doesn’t want their business. (While others have decided to use another way to beat the blackouts.)

Jim, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann