Major League Baseball May Call Strike Three on Cable Television with Potential New Streaming Service
Local games with no cable required will be a home run for consumers
Cable television may soon be striking out for good as Major League Baseball is discussing offering a streaming option for local games that will not require a cable subscription.
If this happens, this is great news for fans across the country, including here in Georgia.
Currently, Atlanta Braves games are not available on Dish Network, YouTube, and other providers because Sinclair Broadcasting’s Diamond Sports subsidiary, which owns Bally Sports, the network with the TV rights to the Braves, has not worked out a carriage agreement with providers.
It’s a situation that has made many fans unable to watch games for years even though they live down the road from Truist Park in Atlanta.
For fans living in Braves Country, 2023 cannot come soon enough for the potential launch of the new streaming service.
Baseball fans across the country face a similar situation as Atlanta fans, as Sinclair owns regional sports networks across the country.
MLB’s Commissioner Rob Manfred has promised the cable operators games will still air on traditional cable networks, with baseball potentially offering cable companies a cut of the revenue from the new streaming service.
To sell this idea to cable systems, Manfred is trying to convince the cable companies they will not lose a lot of subscribers as they plan to promote the new service to young fans that already have “cut the cord” from cable.
While he is right that many younger viewers have already cut the cord, the problem for cable companies buying his sales pitch is the cord-cutters are the ones that are the future subscribers to cable and satellite TV that are not going to be there when they reach middle age. They are already going to be long gone to streaming services, and Generation Z’s kids will not even know what cable TV was.
I am sure he knows that, and he is just trying to buy some time and make some more revenue from cable while he can. Cable companies know it, too, if they are honest with themselves.
Another issue with his sales pitch is it is no longer just the young cutting the cord. Older Americans are canceling cable and going Over-the-Top as well because they are tired of the price of cable.
The new app could cost somewhere between $10-$20 per month, which could be cheaper for some consumers. MLB is also in talks with the NBA and the NHL about adding their leagues to the service as well. If they choose to join, the app could become a solid competitor to ESPN+.
This is by no means a done deal, and the service could never go live online. However, if the service does happen, cable’s only hope will be the NFL and ESPN keeping their content on linear networks.
If the NFL follows baseball’s lead, it’s lights out for cable.
Subscribe to The Chad Whittle Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and listen at ChadWhittle.com. For a full list of available podcast platforms to listen to Chad's podcast, visit
Chad on Substack: Subscribe to Chad's newsletter to receive podcast updates and his weekly articles.