The second Tuesday in July is here, and that means it’s time to play ball at the 83rd Annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game. This year’s Midsummer Classic is being played Tuesday night at Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas City, with the big leagues’ finest pitchers, catchers, and hitters squaring off July 10 at 8:15 p.m. EST, 5:15 p.m. PST. Yes, the game will be webcast so you can watch the MLB All-Star Game streaming live online.
Major League Baseball is the only major American sport with an All-Star Game that actually matters for something. The winning team’s league automatically gets home field advantage for the World Series in October. Both teams are coached by managers whose respective franchises are in the thick of their league’s pennant races, Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers and Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals. Both coaches figure their team has a great shot at making the World Series, and both will be serious about winning this game and getting that home field advantage.
This is despite the fact that National League manager Tony La Russa is actually retired from baseball. He’s coming out of retirement just for Tuesday night’s game, and it will almost certainly be the last baseball game he manages in his 33-year coaching career. You figure he wants to win, and much of his roster plays for teams that are in playoff contention. This is one All-Star Game where you won’t see players dogging it at half speed or screwing off on defense, as they so conspicuously do in football and basketball.
WATCH MLB ONLINE AND VIEW THE 2012 ALL-STAR GAME AT MLB.TV
The 2012 MLB All-Star Game is being televised by Fox Sports, which does not typically broadcast any of their events online. That leaves only one option for baseball fans who want to watch MLB online and the All-Star Game live legally – Major League Baseball’s paid internet streaming package called MLB.tv. It’s not free or particularly cheap, and there are plenty of restrictions that apply to your subscription.
MLB.tv streams video and audio of all Major League Baseball games and that includes Tuesday’s All-Star Game. There is no option for buying just the All-Star Game stream — the most affordable option is a one-month subscription to MLB.tv for $19.99. That one-month subscription to watch MLB online buys live and on-demand HD video feeds of just about every MLB game that particular month – the exception are your local team’s home games. All local teams’ home games are blacked out, regardless of whether they’re even on television. Additionally, all Saturday afternoon and Sunday night games are blacked out, because of contractual agreements with ESPN and Fox. Blacked out games are available on-demand roughly 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game.
The standard MLB.tv subscription only broadcasts the games on your computer – your smartphone and tablet are not included in the deal. If you want to watch live streaming MLB games online using your tablet or smartphone, you will have to upgrade to the more expensive MLB.tv Premium.
The restrictions are numerous, but it also offers some killer features to use to watch MLB online. You can use split-screen capabilities to watch as many as six games at once. You get DVR-style controls, allowing you to rewind or fast forward game footage. For those who like to listen to MLB online you even get a cool thing called Audio Overlay, which plays the audio of your favorite team’s hometown radio announcers over the HD video feed of the game.
If a $19.99 monthly subscription seems like a lot to pay just to watch live streaming of one All-Star Game, think about what those fans in Kansas City are paying. Forbes reports that All-Star Game tickets are selling for $606 on average.
LISTEN TO MLB ONLINE LIVE WITH MLB.TV
Your MLB.tv subscription also comes with Gameday Audio, a service providing the audio stream of the home team radio announcers calling the game. Gameday Audio, however, is not available when you buy just the one-month MLB.tv subscription. To listen to MLB online Gameday Audio requires a full yearly subscription, which is currently available at the reduced, mid-season price of $64.99.
There are even more audio benefits with an MLB.tv Premium subscription. Premium subscribers get a choice of the home team radio announcers or the away team radio announcers for all MLB games for the remainder of the regular season. Premium subscribers also get an additional audio feature called Park mode. Park mode features no commentary whatsoever, just the natural sounds of the ballpark — the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and the sounds of the stadium announcer and the batter walk-up music.
Some MLB.tv users have reported additional technical problems with the service. Games sometimes fall out of HD and stream a lower quality feed. Some fans say their Opening Day games weren’t made available on demand. Others note, quite happily, that the IP address recognition often works improperly, allowing them to watch local games that are supposed to be blacked out.
If you’ve had similar issues watching live streaming at MLB.tv, or if you just want to complain about Tony La Russa’s roster decisions, let us know in the comments section below.