Big series this past weekend for the Dodgers. Fortunes turned up well for the Dodgers, who took two out of three from the reeling Giants.
The not-so-great part? Trying to watch the games on the blasted television. The Friday and Saturday games were carried nationally in HD on the MLB Network, and were carried locally (in the Giants’ market) in HD and over-the-air on NBC 14 (KNTV).
Sacramento also appears to have access to Giants’ broadcasts on KNTV via their CW affiliate, KMAX. Oddly, KMAX/CW is a duopoly belonging to CBS affiliate KOVR. KMAX, and thus CBS, carries the Giants’ broadcast unedited. This means that KNTV (NBC) logos are all over the graphics, and KNTV’s sports director (who works a sideline reporter during Giants’ broadcasts) Raj Mathai appears on their network.
No idea if KMAX comes in HD, but I’d have to assume yes since the locals broadcast in HD in Sacramento. WTF?!?
So let’s summarize:
Live in the San Francisco viewing market: watch on KNTV (NBC)
Live in the Sacramento viewing market: watch on KMAX (CW/CBS)
Live anywhere outside of Los Angeles/San Francisco/Sacramento: watch on MLB Network.
Live elsewhere, but still in Giants’ viewing territory (e.g. southern Oregon, northern Nevada): watch on a regional sports network that your cable/satellite provider presumably carries. If the game is OTA, or your provider doesn’t/can’t carry the correct RSN? You’re SOL.
Confusing enough for you? It gets better. I have access to MLB.TV, but not MLB Extra Innings. Not that either would matter — since I live in Giants territory, I’m blacked out in both instances.
I have DirecTV, which doesn’t carry our locals in HD. It also doesn’t carry our local My Network affiliate, which carries certain Giants games — using the OTA KNTV feed (which originates in San Jose). Instead, DirecTV provides our market with CW/My Network programming via Sacramento’s KMAX. KMAX, again, carries Giants games in Sacramento using the KNTV feed.
And of course, although DirecTV has access to not only an HD feed via KNTV, but also presumably carries KMAX in HD as well. Yet, locally, here, they provide viewers with an SD feed of the game. I suppose this is understandable, given that officially, DirecTV doesn’t broadcast our locals in HD — the locals do broadcast in HD, DirecTV just hasn’t added them.
But what’s infuriating is that KMAX ISN’T a local here. Although it isn’t a local, it plays the part of one. And even though they (presumably) broadcast in HD, DirecTV doesn’t carry our locals in HD. Does any of this begin to make any sense?
Fortunately, since Comcast SN-Bay Area (which is available here) carried Sunday’s game in HD, so we were at least able to watch that. I assume we would’ve also been blacked out of the national TBS HD broadcast of the same game.
Even better? Since we’re also blacked out of A’s games, you’d assume DirecTV would provide Comcast SN-California, right? No such luck. So even living in A’s territory, and thus blacked out via MLB.TV/EI, there is no local broadcast of A’s games here.
Of course, this hasn’t even touched on the lunacy of Comcast SN-Northwest also not being carried by DirecTV locally, thus locking out most of the state from viewing UO and Blazer games.
As has been touched on in so many other places, MLB’s blackout rules are beyond archaic. They’re just flat-out stupid. Since your typical MLB owner is obviously focused on increasing revenue, you’d think they’d follow a simple maxim of making sure as many viewers as possible are watching your team.
I live in Giants territory, yet I don’t have access to all of the best feeds available for this team. Often, I’m forced to relinquish better national feeds in favor of worse local feeds. How does this make any sense, for either DirecTV or MLB?