MLB.TV 2017 subscription details announced

The 2017 MLB.TV subscription details have been announced today.

Once again we can sign up to watch and listen to every MLB game across the season, alongside Spring Training games and the post-season (the latter available to non-US subscribers like us, so not mentioned prominently in the promotional material).

The subscription includes the $20 MLB At Bat app to allow us to use one of any number of different ‘connected devices’ to follow the action, as well as directly through a PC/laptop/Mac.

Same great service, but a Brexit-inspired real-term price increase

The yearly subscription has increased ever-so-slightly on last year’s price, going up from $110 to $113 (note that it was $130 in 2015) and UK fans have to add the 20% VAT on top of that as we have done the past couple of seasons. MLB.com calculates that tax as $22.60 making a total cost of $135.59.

The main change for UK fans is nothing to do with MLB and instead comes back to the Brexit-bashing to the pound which has hurt the exchange rate our end.

Whilst last year’s subscription ($132 with tax) worked out at approximately £91, 12 months on the $135 will set us back £108.  That’s a fair-sized increase for what predominantly will be the same service as last year and whilst that’s no fault of MLB, it will be something UK fans will take into consideration.

As I state every year, the service provided by MLB.TV really is fantastic and the ability to watch live or on-demand every single game across the season (plus Spring Training and the post-season) is something those of us who started watching baseball before broadband could only have dreamed of.

Whether the cost is worthwhile simply comes back to how often you will use it. If you just catch occasional games, especially if you already have the tv coverage via BT Sport, then £100+ may be a bit steep.  If you use it to watch plenty of games (or at least bits of games) every week then it will prove worth every penny.

New features

The new features are described as follows in the promotional details:

“The new array of features, debuting for regular-season games, includes a “team view” in which fans can designate a favorite team and enjoy a custom team-centric experience on supported platforms. Redesigned apps will launch on connected platforms Android TV, FireTV, Xbox and Roku. The HD media player, a responsive, in-page layout experience, will introduce additional playback controls, milestone markers and support for Chromecast and Chromebook”

A redesigned app for the Roku box will be welcome to me as that tends to be the way I watch through my TV, but otherwise the new features don’t look overly exciting at first glance. To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot MLB could add to the service as the reason to buy it is simply the ability to watch lots of games online, rather than too many bells and whistles adding to the mix. It does what it’s there for and does it really well.

Single Team subscription

Last year was the first time that MLB.TV offered a lower-cost subscription for people who bought the service to allow them to watch all of their chosen team’s games. That’s on offer again this year for $87.49, with the sales tax on top ($17.50) making a total of $105 and therefore costing approximately £84.

That’s the theory anyway. There were mixed messages last season as to whether the team package was available to non-US fans. The fact that the payment process allows you to select UK suggests that we will be able to buy this product but it will be good to get confirmation from other British fans in the comments to confirm.

World Baseball Classic excluded

One thing we do know is that the WBC this March will not be available as part of the MLB.TV subscription for us, even though it will be for US subscribers.

The same approach was taken four years ago. It was announced on that occasion that ESPN America (as it was known then) had got the rights for WBC and they did show the vast majority of the games live – with the rest on-demand – so it’s likely that BT Sport will be broadcasting the games this time around.

The rights to WBC are sold separately so it makes some business sense for the national broadcaster (whoever it is in each country) to get exclusive rights to show the event; however it is slightly odd that this international competition – designed to help sell baseball around the world – is only bundled into the MLB.TV subscription for those in the States.

Lots of baseball to enjoy

The annual full MLB.TV and Single-Team subscriptions are available to sign up to right now, with a monthly subscription option likely to be announced in the near future. Those of us on the auto-renewal list should see that take effect just before the Spring Training games get underway on 24 February.

If you have any questions about the subscriptions, please leave a note in the comments and either myself or other MLB.TV subscribers will do our best to help.

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35 Responses to MLB.TV 2017 subscription details announced

  1. UKBlueJay February 8, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    When catching up with highlights of a game the next day is the score displayed on the game selection screen as is the case with the at bat app?

    • Matt Smith February 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

      Hi – you can change it in your settings so that it hides the score

      • UKMet February 8, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

        The exception being the Post Season games -If you are watching the next day even with the scores disabled, it still told you the amount of games each team had won in the series e.g 3-1, 1-2 etc

        • Matt Smith February 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

          Oh, well that’s not very clever then!

      • UKBlueJay February 10, 2017 at 8:42 am #

        Great, cheers.

  2. Leigh February 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    Does the single-team subscription include the post-season, whether or not your chosen team makes the post-season?

    • Matt Smith February 8, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

      Not sure, unfortunately. Trouble is the promo stuff is aimed at US and they don’t get post-season via MLBTV, so not something they actually go into in the details anywhere.

  3. mic February 9, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

    if you go to MLB.com under the mlb tv section there is a support forum where people from Europe etc are asking about WBC,and whats in packages etc which may be worth a look for some people also faq section but prefer the forum.Noticed people in Europe wanting Mlb network but no joy yet ,have tried asking myself plus WBC

    • Matt Smith February 9, 2017 at 8:42 pm #

      MLB Network would definitely be a nice addition.

  4. JC February 9, 2017 at 4:47 pm #

    Do both packages produce a highlight show of each game? E.g. if I don’t have time to watch the A’s full game from the previous day is there a shortened highlights programme on the next day?

    • Matt Smith February 9, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

      Hi JC – you can do that to an extent without a subscription. They publish a Daily Recap that’s normally approx 3 mins long, then also a Condensed Game that’s approx 10 mins long. For example,

      A’s vs Mariners Recap from 1 Oct:

      http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/8879974/v1200222283/10116-wendle-leads-as-past-mariners

      A’s vs Mariners Condensed Game from 2 Oct

      http://m.mlb.com/video/v1201901583/10216-condensed-game-oaksea/?game_pk=449293

      • JC February 10, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

        THanks for that Matt….interesting though there’s no commentary…..think I might just pay and see. Was also wondering whether there’s any value in the BT Sport packages? What do you think?

        • Matt Smith February 12, 2017 at 11:48 am #

          There’s no commentary on the condensed games just because it’s much quicker for them to edit the videos neatly by taking the commentary audio track out. Does seem a bit odd at first, but you get used to it and can then watch the key moments as individual videos if you want.

          BT Sport is pretty good for MLB, usually offering quite a few live games every week (varies, but can be 8-10 some weeks), with a couple of breaks where they show College World Series and Little League instead.

  5. JohnnyB February 9, 2017 at 9:47 pm #

    Just signed up for my third season. MLB.TV is a FANTASTIC service and worth every penny in my book, roughly 2 quid a week over the year and I watch on desktop, Fire TV Stick, Android and iPad depending on whether I’m at the desk, in the back room, on the move or in the pub! The iPad App in particular is outstanding.

    Nothing better than having a pint in my local, hooked up to their WiFi on my iPad with my custom made scoresheets, pencil and eraser in front of me…. Baseball geekdom nirvana! ;-P

    • mic February 10, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

      still think even with the pound and the vat (which was only added a couple of years back and is not to do with MLB) that while not cheap it is still good value.When you look at the price of the others NFL,NBA & NHL it still seems the cheapest and when you add in the fact of game time’s being better then the others for watching in the early evening our time, its even better.

  6. Kieran February 10, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    I would be getting this again but having a new baby means i won’t have the time to enjoy it fully. I will likely get the app though.

    Also, worth noting that MLB.TV usually have a free game of the day and also I think they have another game either every day or close to that on YouTube for free (these can often be daytime games, so good for UK viewing)

    • Matt Smith February 12, 2017 at 11:49 am #

      Very good point, does give you the option of watching a game every day without the subcription.

  7. GazzaP February 13, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

    Why is there no option to watch any of the programmes on MLB network? You can access shows on NFL Gamepass and NBA League Pass. This would be a fantastic addition to the App.

    • mic February 14, 2017 at 11:59 am #

      with regards MLB network ,it is one the most requested things on their forum from overseas viewers and the answer given is that in America it is a separate cable channel paid for within a tv package same as HBO,ESPN etc so not put in the MLB tv package.But i still try asking every year in hope.On my Roku i use the nowhere tv app which shows MLB network – intentional talk updated every day with no adds 20 minutes off season 40 mins from spring training.It is a light hearted show with a bit of everything news,interviews,comedy but better then nothing its also on the filmon app and web and its legal so the picture quality is good

      • mic February 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

        also with intentional talk the shows are archived and the winter meetings & w/s coverage shows are worth a watch

  8. Jo Lenton February 13, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

    The single team subscription worked for me last season and was great – already signed back up to follow the Meta again this year 🙂

    • Matt Smith February 15, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

      Thanks Jo, very useful to know. Definitely would be a good option for some, especially if people have a BT Sport subscription and buy MLBTV primarily so they can follow their chosen team

    • James February 15, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

      @Jo Lenton
      ‘The single team subscription worked for me last season and was great – already signed back up to follow the Meta again this year’

      Were you able to watch any playoff games through the single team subscription?

  9. Jo Lenton February 15, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

    Hi James,

    I must admit I can’t remember! I follow the Mets and watched their game against San Fran but I think that was on BT sport. Wouldn’t work for any of the other teams playoff games so watched them via bt sport as well.

  10. Stu February 15, 2017 at 8:50 pm #

    Hi, sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, haven’t had a chance to read through everything yet.
    I’m undecided if I’m going to renew this year. Where do I go to cancel auto renewal? Also does anyone know what ‘follow your team’ entails (under premium subscription)
    Thanks in advance

  11. Stu February 16, 2017 at 9:19 am #

    Well it looks like they auto renewed whether I liked it or not

    • Matt Smith February 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

      Have they actually taken the money from your account? The email they sent to subscribers said this would happen “on or about 28 February”. All you should have to do to cancel is log into your account on MLB.com and click on the Audio/Video subscription option. This will currently state that you’ve got the 2016 Premium Yearly subscription (if that’s the case for you) and then there’s a blue button to click if you want to cancel the auto-renewal. Haven’t tried it myself, but in theory should be simple (not always the case with MLB.com!).

  12. Matt Smith February 16, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    Follow Your Team is just something for US fans. It allows them to pay an extra $10 on top of the normal MLBTV deal to watch their local team broadcast (e.g. YES for Yankee fans) if they already have a TV subscription for that. For those stateside, their MLBTV experience is restricted to only out-of-market games, so this was a new addition (from last year, I think) that meant those who were already paying to watch their local network on TV could also watch those games online via MLBTV.

  13. Stu February 16, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

    Thanks for the reply, looks like I spoke to soon. I just saw an email from them saying they were notifying me of the auto renewal of my subscription but it led me to a page(that I couldn’t find before) where I can cancel so hopefully that’s sorted.
    I’m thinking of just getting the single team subscription, does we know yet if playoffs (for all teams) are included?

    • Kieran February 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

      Don’t know about the single team and playoffs thing but worth bearing in mind that MLB.tv usually have a number of sales during the season (think it can go down to as low as $10 in the last month).

      You could buy the follow your team thing and then upgrade to the full package right at the end of the season and thus have playoffs access (as well as the whole archive of the season)

  14. Nathan February 16, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

    Matt,

    Have you any idea where we on this little island will be able to catch the WBC? Have BT picked it up?

    • Matt Smith February 17, 2017 at 10:40 am #

      No formal announcement yet, but pretty sure it will be on BT Sport

      • Nathan February 17, 2017 at 7:42 pm #

        Also, would you be looking for a contributor? I’ve been watching baseball for the last decade (I’m 24), have educated myself (as much as is possible given the amount!) on history, and I’m a cricket scorer in the summer here, so could draw some laterality between the 2 sports (not that there is much!)

        • Matt Smith February 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

          Always happy to hear from potential new contributors. Feel free to use the Get in Contact form to let me know if/how you’d like to take it forward

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