MLB Extra Baseball is an Out-of-Market Sports Package distributed in North America by several cable & satellite providers since 1995. The package allows it's subscribers to see up to 80 out-of-market MLB games a week using local over-the-air stations & regional sports networks. DISH Network offered the package from 2004-2006, but has since removed it permanently, due to contract disputes. As a result, the satellite provider also will never carry the new channel, The MLB Channel.
As of the 2008 season, the feeds from both teams' broadcasts are available for each game on DirecTV, even if a team is showing the game locally on a broadcast station. Even though the package relies on satellite uplink paths, DirecTV it also carries feeds from local broadcast & even cable-only networks as well, such as SCWest & SCWest-2 for the San Diego Padres & SCPhiladelphia for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The iN Demand version of Extra Baseball added the "dual feed" system for select broadcasts after the 2008 MLB All-Star Game. Along with this, the iN Demand version of MLB Extra Baseball has been able to add broadcast TV stations, WATG-TV 2 in Atlanta, WBMD-TV 13 in Baltimore, WDC-TV 7 in Washington, D.C. & KSC-TV 13 in Houston & in addition, 1 Canadian RSN, the Toronto Blue Jays' CASN East feed. Previously, only 1 feed was available, usually the home team's. As of the 2010 season, this feeds are no longer available because most of the telecasts are now available on cable and no longer need special satellite feeds to carry the over-the-air telecasts. Only the CASN East feed can still be available because CASN is only carried in Canada and not in the U.S.
FREE previews of MLB Extra Baseball are shown during the 1st 2 weeks of the season & the 2 weeks after the All-Star Game
MLB Extra Baseball is available within these cable & satellite providers:
- United States:
- iN Demand
- Bright House Networks
- Cablevision (iO)
- Charter Communications
- COX Communications
- Midcontinent Communications
- Suddenlink Communications
- Time Warner Cable
- Verizon FiOS
- Bell TV
- Access Communications
- Cogeco Cable
- EastLink Cable
- Rogers Cable
- Westman Communications
Comcast HD Restrictions & Blackouts Edit
Comcast restricts it's customers from viewing MLB Extra Baseball games in HD. Comcast's restriction on HD broadcasts add to existing blackout restrictions in some broadcast markets. For example, Comcast customers living in the Houston-area broadcast market are restricted from watching the Texas Rangers. This blackout restriction is applied to both MLB Extra Baseball & all local & regional broadcast stations
Additional "Superfan" feature Edit
MLB Extra Baseball on DirecTV has launched a "Superfan" premium package similar to that available from NFL Football Xtra. This includes a "Game Mix" with 8 games on the same channel & a "Strike Zone Channel" with LIVE cut-ins to the night's games. It is commercial free as well & is also available in HD.
DirecTV subscribers with the Superfan package for the 2008 season also get access to up to 40 games in HD each week. In 2007 @ least 10 games each week were in HD. HD equipment is required. Superfan costs an additional $50 on top of the MLB Extra Baseball package subscription cost as well as requires 1 to subscribe to the $9.99 HD monthly access fee.
Beginning with the 2009 MLB season, "Superfan" will no longer be offered as an option with MLB Extra Baseball on DirecTV. Instead, the up to 40 HD games per week will be part of the base package, provided to subscribers who already possess HD-ready equipment & who pay the aforementioned HD monthly access fee
Blackout restrictions Edit
Game broadcasts of a major league team in it's home market are blacked out in that area if the same game is on the Extra Baseball schedule. In most cases, these games can be seen locally on a broadcast or cable/satellite network. (If both feeds are available, as noted above, they are both blacked out)
FOX has exclusive broadcasting rights for Saturday afternoon games. Any game starting after 1:10 & before 7:05 ET on Saturdays will not be broadcast on MLB Extra Baseball, denying fans the opportunity to pay to watch out-of-market games which start during the early afternoon, such as at 1:15 PM ET, even though the FOX broadcast does not start until 4:00 PM by which time many of those early games have been completed or are in the late innings.
SC has exclusive broadcast rights for Sunday evening games. Any game starting after 5:00 PM ET on Sundays will not be broadcast on MLB Extra Baseball. SC also televises a number of other games throughout the week. These, however are not blacked out
Package Price History Edit
Many cable & satellite companies offer "early bird" package prices if ordered by the 1st week of the season or for automatic renewal. The following prices were for the regular listed price per season for the cable packages
- 1996-2000: $140
- 2001: $150
- 2002: $160
- 2008: $199
- 2009: $190 (early renewal price)
- 2010: $180
DirecTV has historically charged less for their SD only package than cable ($169 to renew & $179 for early birds in 2008) & instead offered HD &'Superfan' for an additional charge