Tonight’s NLDS Game 2 (STL-LAD) Will Only Be Available To A Select Few In Canada

mlbpostseason2014Tonight’s second game of the National League Division Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers is available exclusively on MLB Network.

If you recall correctly, Rogers sponsored MLB Network’s bid with the CRTC to be approved for Canadian carriage and the channel was launched in January of this year. Rogers subscribers in Ontario had access to the network from day one. Flashforward ten months later and this hasn’t changed. Bell, Shaw, et al. have yet to add the channel to their lineup. When I asked a Bell rep earlier in the season about it, they gave the following response:

bell rep mlb

Whether this is actually the reason remains to be seen. Other fans wanting the channel have speculated that MLB Network is asking for more money than Bell, Shaw, etc. are willing to pay for a sports channel that is only really relevant six months a year and features 5–10 live games a week. One can only presume Rogers is paying a significantly cheaper carriage fee as an MLB rights holder and/or due to their sponsorship of MLB’s application.

As for tonight’s inability to watch the game, it seemed to sneak up on most. Sportsnet has constantly advertised that they are they exclusive home of the postseason in Canada. For numerous years gone by, Sportsnet has shown every playoff game every year, so why would this season be any different? MLB Network has had exclusive games in the US before, but this has never mattered here. In Sportsnet’s announcement of their MLB rights renewal and MLB Network launch, no mention was made of MLB Network carrying postseason games or that Sportsnet were no longer exclusively carrying playoff games.

If you want to actually watch the game, there’s the obvious of going to a bar or a mate’s house who has Rogers. You could spend $5 and signup for MLB’s streaming service, though the information on their webpage gives no clear indication if the game is available for Canadians to watch blackout-free. I suggest First Row. If you’re one of those people that have morals, just remember, it isn’t illegal streaming if there is no legal way to actually watch it.*

Sportsnet is more than capable of carrying the game tonight on their plethora of channels. They have pre-season hockey on the four regional networks as well as SN One. SN 360 is showing UFC all night. For those with French-language channels, TVA Sports is carrying the game.

* Not a lawyer. Not real legal advise.

Dan — @SportsOnCdnTV

12 thoughts on “Tonight’s NLDS Game 2 (STL-LAD) Will Only Be Available To A Select Few In Canada

  1. That game is also on TVA Sports, which is in free preview on Videotron.

  2. Simply put, this stinks. Rogers owns the rights to tonight’s telecast in Canada, but instead decides the vast majority in Canada don’t really need to see it. THIS is what happens when a single entity (in this instance, RSN), is given exclusive and complete control over broadcasting rights. It inevitably leads to greater restrictions.

    And so, it’s a great big F*U* to Canadian baseball fans from our good friends at Rogers Sportsnet. You’re doing a great job, guys! Meanwhile, all of the RSN regionals AND SN1 are carrying the exact same NHL EXHIBITION GAME at the same time as the ball game. Even a dullard could figure out that putting the baseball game on SN1 would immediately resolve the conflict.


  3. I no longer watch baseball but Sportsnet just posted this on Twitter…
    @Sportsnet: Tonight’s #NLDS Game 2 – St.Louis vs. LA Dodgers is available exclusively on MLB Network and is not available to Sportsnet

    Seems they are claiming it isn’t available to them to show which really doesn’t make sense otherwise they are simply lying

  4. This is pretty fucking stupid. I’m with rogers and I pay extra for the full sports package: MLB Extra Innings, NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass etc. How the fuck can I not get MLB playoffs. I’m so angry right now….


  5. BR, how did you not get that game? You are a Rogers customer and they are the only pricks to even offer MLB Network Canada?

  6. Glad that TVA Sports showed the game for those who have Bell and Shaw Direct. I went to a friends house with Shaw Direct to watch the game.

  7. From what I can see today’s (monday) Washington Vs San Fransisco game at 5pm est is also exclusive to the MLB network

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