Once again I sat on my couch on Wednesday with hopes of watching a Red Bulls match on MLS Live and once again I was denied. In the Hartford area, the Red Bulls are blacked out despite the absence of any means to watch the games through cable television. Yet again, fans in a neighboring state are prevented from watching one of the league’s hallmark franchises because of the league’s complex blackout rules.
The league’s biggest fans are the purchasers of MLS Live. Why the league would deny them access to some of the biggest games is a mystery. MLS Live is a great service with much to recommend it. Yet the beguiling blackout rules limit the reach of the product.
Recall that I asked MLS about this issue a while back:
MLS has worked with its television partners and upgraded its online video player with the intention of allowing fans to see every one of their team’s games live. Nationally-televised games are blacked out on DirectKick and MatchDay Live as part of the rights agreements. DirectKick and MatchDay Live are essentially out-of-market pay-per-view games that are purchased in bulk at a flat rate.
Markets are determined by the zip codes to which the regional carrier is distributed. The Red Bull games should be available live in the Hartford area online via MatchDay Live. If the game is not available online, then we need to know the zip code of those who are blacked out from the game, so that we can address the issue with the local carrier.
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