MLB blackout dates have had fans of baseball teams grumbling for several years now. Many national games lead to local games being blacked out and even subscription services like the otherwise-fantastic MLB.tv leave local viewers unable to watch games that are carried by area cable providers. Now, Orange County fans of the Los Angeles Angels find themselves unable to watch some Halos games. Only this time, the dispute has nothing to do with Major League Baseball.
Maria C. Smith of the Orange County Register reports that Orange County viewers with AT&T U-verse and DirecTV recently found themselves unable to watch the recent series between the Angels and the Oakland Athletics. The problem stems from FOX Sports West expanding their Angels broadcast rights from 125 games to 150 games this season. Those extra 25 games used to be available on free local television, via KCOP.
While some local providers, like Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles and Cox Communications in San Diego, were willing to pay the extra rights fees for the additional games, AT&T and DirecTV declined, thus leaving viewers with a blank apology screen rather than a baseball games. Fans are not very pleased.
"As a fan, nothing is more frustrating than sitting down to watch the Angels and the channel says the game is not available and ‘Sorry for the Inconvenience,'" said Angels fan Mike Kelley. "The worst part is that fans have no recourse."
Smith provides many more details on the situation, including where customers can call and complain to try and make their voices heard.
It's an unfortunate situation for local fans, particularly since in many areas, the choices for cable provider are severely limited. And of course, for Southern California residents, MLB.tv does not offer a viewing alternative.
For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Angels, please visit Halos Heaven.