A service called Unblock-Us allows customers to get around MLB.tv’s blackouts of local games, which have long been an obstacle for fans who want to pay for online or TV viewing of their home teams but can’t.
MLB.tv allows viewers to watch any baseball game, with the catch that you can’t watch your team within its coverage area. This restriction limits the promise of MLB.tv, rendering it useless to fans who live in the same cities as their favorite teams.
Unblock-Us avoids blackouts by routing an MLB.tv subscriber’s Internet connection through remote servers, making it appear that the subscriber is located outside of the blackout area. It works on desktop computers as well as media players such as Roku and Apple TV.
Being able to watch baseball through the Internet instead of on cable TV is a major benefit to fans who want to avoid paying for cable, watch game replays, view games across the league or listen to broadcasters different from those in their home market. In the Atlanta area, being able to switch to the visiting team’s broadcast is a great relief from the Braves’ regular crew in the booth.
Setup of Unblock-Us should be easy for most users. I had a harder time setting it up because of how my Internet service provider wired my home. A previous post titled “Make AT&T Uverse i38HG access point behave” explains how to address the same technical problem I had.
Fortunately, Unblock-Us comes with a seven-day free trial, and it costs $4.99 per month afterward. Unlike some VPN or proxy services, Unblock-Us does have any monthly data usage limits or require additional software.
I was surprised I hadn’t heard of Unblock-Us before now. If more baseball fans knew about it, they’d swarm to this kind of solution and MLB.tv would profit from new subscriptions.