In a move to monopolize the Toronto Blue Jays market, MLB.tv will no longer stream Jays games to residents living in Canada.
The Toronto Blue Jays are the MLB’s only baseball team that plays outside of the United States. The Blue Jays have called Toronto home since 1977, winning the World Series Championship in 1992 and 1992, back to back years which featured some of the biggest names in baseball at the time.
MLB.tv is a subscription-based service where customers can pay a yearly fee to access all the MLB televised games across the league on a daily/nightly basis. This is a great service for any fan, as the local fan will always have an avenue to watch their favorite team but the diehard fans can watch as many games as they want every day.
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This morning, those who already subscribe to MLB.tv were given an email in regards to their yearly renewal, and there was an important update for Canadian residents who had watched Toronto Blue Jays games in the past year.
The update reads, ” IMPORTANT BLACKOUT DATE: We know that in the past you’ve streamed live Toronto Blue Jays games from within Canada in MLB.tv. Starting with the 2020 regular season, live Toronto Blue Jays games will be blacked out on MLB.tv within Canada.
Live Blue Jays games will now be available for streaming on Sportsnet NOW. To find out more about Sportsnet NOW and what it offers, click here.”
In short, if you are a Canadian resident and are a Blue Jays fan, you cannot watch any live games on the MLB.tv platform. You must now have a subscription to Sportsnet NOW, which retails at roughly $20 CDN or $28 CDN a month, depending on if you prefer committing for an annual pass or not.
Considering most of the Toronto Blue Jays residents live in Canada, this a pretty significant blow to both MLB.tv and to the Canadian consumer.
MLB.tv is going to now lose a large number of its customers in Canada, mostly because they can’t watch the only Canadian MLB team.
Canadian residents will now also have to fork over more money to watch Blue Jays games, as the MLB.tv subscription comes in at $121.99 USD ($161.20 CDN) and Sportsnet NOW runs around $240 CDN a year, a roughly $80 difference.
Understandably with the NOW package, you do get access to NHL games and live Sportsnet TV, but those who are just baseball or Toronto Blue Jays fans, this is a $80 difference you will now have to incur if you wish to watch only Blue Jays games.
The Toronto Blue Jays are owned by Rogers, who also owns Sportsnet (wink wink), which makes sense as to why the games will no longer be on MLB.tv and can only be watched on Rogers’s specific programming. A move by the communications company which helps maximize on the Blue Jay’s market, which creates more profits for Rogers with the subscription to Sportsnet NOW.
If you are a Toronto Blue Jays fan living in Canada, I would suggest cancelling your MLB.tv subscription now, otherwise, you won’t be watching any of their games live this season.