I’m looking forward to the new Toronto Blue Jays season. I managed to get myself a ‘Fan Pass’ that allows me to reserve a seat at the SkyDome…err, Rogers Centre.
For those days when I can’t show up to the stadium? Well, there are always online options, right? Not quite.
Rogers tested an On Demand option that was available to only their customers at the end of last season. The service has been rebranded ‘Anyplace TV’ (though maintaining the original URL) and still seems limited to Rogers customers. Hopefully the CRTC ruling against Bell will see this open up to other internet users. The other legal option was to use MLB.TV (which I am so sure is not based in Tuvalu). The problem, though, is that MLB uses outdated ‘region’ designations. So you like the Blue Jays? Well, due to licensing and distribution rights, ALL of Canada is considered the Blue Jays ‘Region’. That’s right, with blackout restrictions (an absurd concept in todays digital/global age), NOWHERE in Canada can watch a Jays game live using the service. Live in Nunavut? Want to watch the game? Well, you’re restricted because they’re your ‘local team’. Seriously.
Either way, in the past I’ve managed to use my home computer as a server for the television-broadcast games. A small piece of hardware (the Elgato Hybrid Tuner) lets me encode the feed from my television on the fly, and an app on my iPhone lets me access it. For somewhere in the range of ~$80, and the ability to do so much more, it may very well be the most logical option for fans not looking to deal with the absurd media systems that we currently have in this country. Also, entirely legal.