GUIDE: How to Watch the MLB on TV, Streaming and more

GUIDE: How to Watch the MLB on TV, Streaming and more

Baseball, with its celebrated history and deep roots in American culture, holds a special place in the hearts of sports enthusiasts across the nation and beyond. From its home runs to strikeouts and all the strategy in between, Major League Baseball (MLB) is an enthralling watch, and the regular season is back and underway. For the diehard fan, tuning into every matchup has its challenges, and in this article, we will make sure you have all the information you need to catch every pitch possible. Here is a run-down of your options and our opinion on what brings the best value.

Table of Contents:

  • Overview of Viewing Options
  • Regional Blackouts and RSN Lookup
  • Comparison of Services
  • Editor's Choice
  • Watch MLB for Free
  • Season Schedule and Important Dates

Editorial rating (4.2/5)
Fubo Sports US
Service type: TV Streaming Service
Price: Basic Plan from $79.99/mo.
Benefit: 7 Days Free Trial

Overview of Viewing Options

In order to tune into some, or all, of the 2024 MLB season, you will need access to the following channels:

Regional Blackouts and Workarounds

For enthusiasts of Major League Baseball, dealing with regional blackouts is an all too familiar obstacle. These blackouts were introduced to protect the exclusive rights of regional sports networks (RSNs), allowing them to show the game with less competition in the area. As a result, fans in certain areas may find themselves unable to access the live broadcasts of games. This is also meant to encourage fan attendance at the stadium.

To watch these games, gaining access to the respective regional sports networks is required, but it isn’t always easy. One way to identify the channel you need is the RSN Lookup Tool provided by DirecTV. If you put your zip code into this tool, it will let you know your in-market games and help you determine what packages you require.

One way to navigate around these frustrating blackouts is through an effective Virtual Private Network (VPN). These encrypt your data, including your IP address), enabling you to circumvent the restrictions. Be careful though, some of these VPNs can compromise your security and privacy, so we would always recommend opting for a reputable one like NordVPN or Surfshark.

Detailed Comparison of Services

Cable and Satellite Options

The best way to ensure that you can watch as many MLB games as possible is to find the right cable package, which may be up there in price, but you will get plenty of value for that. If you are going down the cable route, you will need to find one that covers all your bases in regard to the required channels (ESPN/ABC, FOX, FS1 and TBS). Fortunately, the majority will cover them, which makes our lives easier.

The DirecTV Choice package will set you back $84.99 a month, but it has all the channels you need and the option to add on MLB Extra Innings for an additional $25 a month for 6 months. This will give you access to pretty much every baseball game, but it is a big price and you will be locked in for a couple of years at least. Cox, Dish, Spectrum and Verizon Fios all come in at similar prices and all offer access to MLB Network.

  • Cox - $61.00–$152.00/mo.
  • DirecTV - $69.99–$159.99/mo.
  • Dish - $84.99-$114.99/mo.
  • Verizon Fios - $69.00–$129.00/mo.

Streaming Options

A slightly cheaper option would be to go down the streaming route. Sling TV comes in at a much more reasonable price of $40-$55 a month, but you will be sacrificing access to some of the regional networks. You also won’t get any add-ons here, but you will see all the nationally televised games.

Of course, you can go for the pricier streaming packages as well, with the likes of Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Fubo TV and many more offering expanded packages and access to other sports. Depending on what you are into, you can add the likes of Golf Channel, NFL Network, FOX Soccer Plus and many more. These will offer you a wide range of add-ons, giving you the chance to create the ultimate viewing experience.

Other streaming Options

If you want to keep things simple and only worry about Baseball, then MLB.TV would be the one for you. This will give you access to every out-of-market game live and on-demand, at a much-reduced cost of $29.99 a month. You will miss out on watching your in-market team play, but their games will appear on the platform after 90 minutes anyway.

Editor’s Choice:

When it comes to the best all-round package for die-hard sports fans, we often find ourselves pointing people in the direction of DirecTV. Its Choice package for $84.99 a month has every channel needed to not miss a national match, whilst also offering the widest array of regional sports networks and other channels. You also have the flexibility to treat your baseball nerdiness by adding in the MLB Extra Innings package for $25 a month, which will allow you to enjoy MLB Network Strike Zone and the Game Mix Channel, along with a bonus subscription to MLB.TV. This gives you all the channels and all the extra stats overlays, analysis and replays you need, but it does come at a cost of just over $100 a month in total. This, therefore, is our recommendation for the fans who don’t want to miss a game.

If you want to cut your costs and focus purely on baseball, MLB.TV at $29.99 will cover you. This fantastic package gives you access to every single out-of-market game, with the option to watch either the home or away feeds. Fans will also benefit from on-demand access, replays of historical clashes and plenty of analysis. At under $30 a month, this is by far the cheapest way to ensure you get to enjoy the baseball action.

How to Watch for Free

Watching MLB games for free hinges on whether you have access to the Fox and ABC networks through digital antennas. If you have the right antenna and are in range, you will be able to catch the game over the air. Another free option comes through the generosity of YouTube and MLB.TV’s ‘Free Game of the Week’. It might only be a couple of games a week, but it’s free!

If this isn't enough for you, leveraging free trials of streaming platforms can give you temporary access to MLB. MLB.TV and other streaming services like Hulu, YouTube TV, and FuboTV provide 7-day free trials. By sequentially signing up for these trials, you can extend your free MLB viewing period. However, it's crucial to keep track of when each free trial concludes to avoid unintentional charges, as the subscription fees post-trial can be significant.

Season Schedule and Important Dates:

  • March 28: Opening Day
  • April 15: Jackie Robinson Day
  • April 27-28: Mexico City Series
  • June 8-9: London Series
  • July 15-18: All-Star Break
  • July 16: MLB All-Star Game
  • July 30-August 2: MLB Trade Deadline
  • September 29: Final game of the regular season
  • October 3rd: MLB Playoffs
  • October 27th: World Series
  • November 4th: Game 7 of World Series (if needed)

Author: Venuse, Inc