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MLB TV reaches settlement, big win for fans


Ever since baseball became organized in the early 1900s, Major League Baseball has been exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act. Without boring you, the dispute began because a separate league known as the “Federal League” tried convincing players from the MLB to play in their league, but that came with little success. When the Federal League took the MLB to the Supreme Court, the court sided with Major League Baseball mainly because they saw baseball as simply a game; not a business that makes money.

All professional sports are essentially monopolies. A random person cannot just start a team that competes in the AL East; the owners have to vote on it and after a long process, the random person would most likely get denied. Therefore, professional teams and leagues have been able to get away with monopolizing their product and making the most money possible even though they are technically breaking laws other firms couldn’t.

Today that changed a bit.

In 2012, numerous fans had taken legal action against some teams and television networks, because the networks would air games based on where the viewer was watching from. Strict boundaries were in place, which meant if a fan of the Marlins wanted to watch a game while in Oakland, they’d have to pay a higher price for that “luxury.”


Of course, Major League Baseball tried to hide behind their antitrust exemption, something they’ve done for over a century. However, in 2013 judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the MLB couldn’t use that defense in this case.

The big issue with MLB TV was that a fan would pay a steep price for access to every single game being played. Realistically, someone only wants to watch their favorite team, plus maybe one or two other games depending on what big names are in action. Now, the single team package will cost the fan $84.99, almost a 25% discount of the original rate. The full package for those baseball nuts out there will cost $110 per year. For an extra $10, a fan can watch the visiting teams live feed of the game, as long as the fan is a subscriber to the regional television network that is airing the game.

What Does this Mean?

This has been a lot of information, but this is a victory for all types of baseball fans out there. The baseball junkie can watch any game for a cheaper price, while the Rockies fan who lives in Maine can watch his team play every day, whereas before that wasn’t feasible.