http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/25430538/mlb-to-offer-single-team-mlbtv-packages-in-2016For diehard baseball fans, MLB.tv is a must-have service. For the very reasonable price of $129.99, you can watch every out-of-market game for the season. Baseball nerds like me more than get their money's worth.
But, for casual fans, dropping $130 for the full service might not be so appealing. Rather than watch multiple games each night, some folks just want to watch a few innings of their favorite team a couple days a week. Paying for the full package in those instances is not ideal.
Thankfully, MLB will introduce single-team packages next season, allowing fans to subscribe to their favorite teams rather than the entire league. The all-or-nothing aspect of MLB.tv will be eliminated.
The news comes not from MLB itself, but from a lawsuit filing passed along by Nathaniel Grow of FanGraphs. The lawsuit, Garber vs. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, is challenging various league broadcasting practices under federal antitrust law. Buried in the filing is this tidbit:
"... beginning next season MLB will make single-team, out-of-market streams available for purchase (alongside the out-of-market package) on MLB.TV."
So yes, the single-team package does still only cover out-of-market games. MLB has reached an agreement allowing in-market streaming of clubs broadcast on Fox affiliates starting next year -- that covers 15 of the 30 clubs -- but that is a separate service. You have to be a cable subscriber to have access to that.
The single-team MLB.tv package is its own plan. A Pirates fan in California could subscribe and follow their favorite team without getting stuck paying for all the broadcasts they never watch, for example. That's a pretty great service for fans who only want a piece of the pie and not the whole thing.
MLB has yet to officially announce the single-team plans and there's no word on the cost just yet. We'll find out soon enough.