Could MLB TV Blackouts Be Coming To An End In Iowa?
One downside for sports fans living in the state of Iowa is there isn't a professional sports team for Iowans to call their own. Whether it's football, basketball, hockey, or baseball, Iowans are left cheering for teams from different parts of the country. While not having a pro sports team to root for is a bit of a bummer, the upside is that Iowans can choose whatever team their heart desires.
I grew up in Minneapolis and at my own fault, I'll be loyal to the Minnesota sports teams for the rest of my life. I'm too invested after 32 years. Iowans aren't stuck with cursed sports franchises located in Minneapolis and St Paul if they don't want to be.
If you're a fan of the MLB and are from Iowa, chances are you root for one of these 6 teams; Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, and the St. Louis Cardinals. If you're a fan of 1 of those 6 teams, you've had one hell of a time trying to watch the games on TV, unless you subscribe to the team's regional network. KCRG does have some possible good news for MLB fans from Iowa. Could the TV blackouts that plague Iowa baseball fans be coming to an end?
J.D Scholten (D) and Bobby Kaufmann (R) have teamed up for a new bill called HF 577, which aims to end MLB TV blackouts in the state of Iowa. According to KCRG, Scholten said
I think there are too many multinational corporations that are screwing over regular folks, and to me, this is another example. These owners are all billionaires. The owners are represented by the commissioner, the players are presented by the player’s association (the MLBPA), and we need something for the fans.
To be fair, this is not just a baseball problem. I grew up in a family that is pretty big hockey fans. We grew up watching the Gopher Hockey team and the Wild. With college sports, it's a bit different but NHL games are also constantly blacked out here in Iowa. Unless the Wild are playing on national TV, or you pay $189.99 per year for Bally Sports North, good luck ever being able to see a game that isn't on TNT or ESPN.
I've often wondered why are games blacked out. At the beginning of games being blacked out, there has to have been an idea that was intended to get fans to buy something in order to watch the games.
In regards to baseball, FOX News Sports says "Blackout restrictions are designed to protect local TV partners so fans can watch that broadcast instead of streaming the game. However, with streaming being the preferred choice of viewership for many now, MLB is trying to fix the current set-up."
As the world progresses and streaming becomes more popular, the MLB hasn't done a good job of advancing with the times. Right now, if you wanted to watch your favorite team, MLB TV costs $119.99 per year. Who would want to pay for that every year if every game around the Iowa region is blacked out? Sure, if you're a fan of a team on the east or west coast it might be worth it but if you're not, it's literally wasting money.
KCRG reports J.D Scholten will be meeting with a representative from the MLB commissioner's office today (March-27) and believes states should have a chance to fight back. He said
Because it’s state by state, I feel we have precedence as a state to say ‘you are disproportionately hurting us. That’s (an) undue burden.