Written by Michael Rohde Thursday, 28 October 2010 08:00
It’s the Fall Classic. It only happens once a year. The best that baseball has to offer takes center stage. It’s the World Series. The San Francisco Giants hosted the Texas Rangers last night in Game 1 of the 2010 match up. If you wanted to watch it on MLB.TV, you were sorely disappointed.
As I’ve stated in my past article on Google TV, I do my research before typing in my credit card number into a site’s secured form field. In the case of MLB.TV and the World Series, not only did I take two days to decide if I wanted to plunk down roughly $20 to watch the World Series online through my Logitech Revue Google TV, but I even sent MLB.TV’s customer service an email. I wanted to know, in no uncertain terms, that this service was going to work.
In two different places on MLB.TV’s website, they clearly stated no blackouts for the postseason, so this really wasn’t my concern. My main concern was whether or not they were going to block it from Google TV. I never received any kind of response from MLB.TV’s customer service. So, I went online and tested the service to make sure the archived videos actually played. And they did. I was happy. I offered them my credit card.
Then came game time. I turn on the TV, navigate to MLB.TV, and click Watch Now for the World Series. It went through the expected loading screens and so on and so forth. Then, I get the unexpected: this game is blacked out. I went ballistic. I read the fine print and it turns out I could watch the game, in it’s entirety and in HD, AFTER the game was OVER! I could not believe it. We like to consider Goozernation a family site, so I will not relate the string of expletives that ran through my mind.
I immediately went to the email receipt, and yep, saw the statement that informs you that you can’t watch the game until after it’s over. I was beyond livid. I would never have bought the service if they clearly stated that before typing in my credit card number.
To confuse matters even worse, MLB.TV also offered some kind of sister service called PostSeason TV. This option was roughly $10 and was touted as a companion service to the FOX broadcast. In my state of mind-blowing confusion, I purchased this option as well. And, yes, that option did show the game live in a stuttered kind of HD manner. However, the camera angles are completely bogus and done in such a way you really can’t follow the game.
They give you the option of choosing several different camera angles, and you can view up to four of those angles at a time. If you choose to pick just one camera and view it full screen, you’re bound to miss some of the action. For example, if you view the Pitcher camera, you’ll never see the batter swing. If you choose the Batter camera, you’ll never see the pitcher throw the ball. This was completely maddening and was no way to present a baseball game.
In short, MLB.TV came up short with their offerings and baseball fans world wide suffered a major injustice. What makes matters worse is their complete lack of customer service. I never received a response to my initial email, when I called last night to demand a refund I was kicked off the line due to the influx of callers, and the email I sent from the receipt bounced back saying that no one monitors that email address.
MLB.TV equals massive World Series failure.
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