With that issue finally settled, MLB.TV could finally reveal its plans for 2020. If fans want to watch every game in 2020, they can purchase the league’s streaming service for $59.99.
That figure is a reduction from MLB.TV’s usual price of $121.99 for a 162-game season. However, paying $59.99 for a 60-game season actually comes out to consumers paying more per game than they would during a normal season. MLB.TV says documentaries and features have been added to the product, including special old games and “This Week in Baseball” episodes.
Existing subscribers don’t have to worry about paying $59.99 for MLB.TV in 2020. An email was sent to current subscribers informing them that they will pay the prorated the cost of the service. In other words, people who remained subscribed to MLB.TV during the coronavirus pandemic will pay $45.18 for the 2020 season. The remaining $76.81 will either be refunded, or can be used as credit toward an MLB.TV subscription in 2021. If you purchased MLB.TV for 2020 but canceled once the season was suspended, you will also be eligible for the prorated $45.18 price.
Fans looking to purchase a single team plan will pay $49.99 for the 60-game season. Keep in mind, local blackouts still apply. If you’re a Chicago Cubs fan who lives in Chicago, you won’t be able to watch Cubs games on MLB.TV due to blackout rules.
The $59.99 price was set with the notion that subscribers would pay roughly that amount for MLB.TV with 60 games remaining during a regular MLB season. The increase in cost per game can be viewed as a disappointment, but there are unique challenges involved in a pandemic-shortened season.
Life hasn’t been easy for many amid the coronavirus pandemic. Unemployment numbers are troubling, and there’s an argument to be made that baseball would benefit greatly from making itself more accessible to fans in 2020. If the season begins as planned on July 23, the league would have a full week where it is one of the only professional sports on television. The league should be bending over backward to make sure those games are widely available.
That’s not to say MLB.TV should be free for 2020. People work to make the product happen, and those people deserve to stay employed. Making the prorated price of $45.18 available to the general public might have been the preferred way to go, though the league will decrease the price of the service as the season progresses.
Ultimately, the difference in price may not matter. Fans are desperate for sports, and MLB.TV is still cheaper than usual. The $59.99 fee could be the thing that entices some fans to give MLB.TV a shot.
When the 2021 MLB season rolls around, those fans can decide whether they want to pay the full season price for the product.
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