**Update April 4, 2013**
It turns out I will be able to see the Braves games on Fox Sports South through Time Warner. While it is still true that I was not able to watch the game on Opening Night on Fox Sports Carolinas I was able to watch the game last night on Fox Sports Carolinas because Fox Sports South took the channel over in order to show the Braves game. My on-screen guide called the channel I was watching Fox Sports Carolinas but the advertisements I saw said I was watching Fox Sports South. Very confusing. Why this arrangement wasn’t in place for Opening night is still a mystery but so long as this holds I am content. I still think blackout rules and cable companies can go to hell for all I care but I’ll still use Time Warner for now because it is the cheapest option to get the Braves games, at least for me.
**End of Update**
I am not one to curse very often and it takes a lot to get me to that point but tonight I well exceeded my limit. This is the first full day of baseball and my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, started their first game at 7pm. It was supposed to air on ESPN2, unless of course you live in the blackout regions of either the Phillies or the Braves. I live in Charlotte and for some inexplicable reason I am considered to be local to Atlanta which is 245 miles away and is in the Braves blackout region. Other fun facts about Charlotte, they are in the blackout regions of the Cincinatti Reds, 479 miles away, the Washington Nationals, 398 miles away, and the Baltimore Orioles, 437 miles away. So if you live in Charlotte and you like baseball you’re pretty much fucked.
MLB.tv or the extra innings packages on satellite and cable follow these blackout rules, the only way to see these teams play is to have access to the channels that those teams have contracted with to broadcast their games. Simple, you say, I should go to my cable provider and get the channels that the Braves air their games on in their blackout areas. I wish it were that easy. The Braves air their games on Fox Sports South and Sport South for 2013. Confusing, I know, and this is a distinction I did not realize existed until tonight. The only cable provider I have available to me is Time Warner. Those bastards are willing give me Fox Sports Carolinas and Sport South but not Fox Sports South. It is not just a matter of upgrading my cable package, they don’t provide Fox Sports South in my area, period.
So here I am, a die hard Braves fan that can’t watch his favorite team on opening day because of blackout restrictions and idiotic cable companies. Thanks, thanks for a whole lot nothing. Go to Hell Time Warner and blackout restrictions, for as of tonight I am not paying them another dime for tv, even if it means I either don’t have cable tv or have to pay more for a lesser service through Dish or DirecTV.
The blackout restrictions for every MLB team, sourced from the wikipedia page on the subject: