MLB Extra Innings vs. MLB.TV

Best overall
In-market games
Cable subscription required
Good for the price
More affordable, no contract
You must live out of market

The takeaway

If you live in the market where your favorite team plays, the MLB Extra Innings package is going to be the way to go. You’ll get access to every out-of-market game, and you’ll still be able to watch your team on the local regional sports network.

If you live outside of the market of your team, consider MLB.TV.  You will save at least 35% versus the cable premium package, and you’ll be able to take your games with you as long as you have s streaming device and internet access.

Find the best cable TV providers in your area.

MLB Extra Innings or MLB.TV?

There are more options than ever when it comes to watching live Major League Baseball games. Gone are the days where you might be able to watch the hometown team on your local cable system—instead, there are multiple options that allow the consumer to watch dozens of baseball games each week. If you are looking into some of these options, is the cable package MLB Extra Innings or is the streaming option MLB.TV the way to go?

If you already have cable or satellite television with a major provider (DISH, DIRECTV, XFINITY, etc.) or you live in the market where your team of choice plays, then the MLB Extra Innings package, while more expensive, is probably going to be your best bet.

MLB Extra InningsMLB.TV
Annual prices$173.94 (DIRECTV), $164.12 (XFINITY), $165 (DISH)$109.99 (MLB.TV Premium), $84.99 (MLB.TV Single Team)
Month-to-month plansNoYes
Streaming optionYes (via MLB.TV)Yes
Cable subscriptionRequiredNot Required
ExtrasMLB.TV, Game Mix, MLB Network Strike ZoneMLB Gameday Audio, At Bat Premium app

MLB Extra Innings subscriptions now include access to MLB.TV, so you’ll want to decide if you need the additional features the cable package offers.

Plans and pricing

MLB Extra Innings

Most providers allow you to break up the cost of MLB Extra Innings. For example, DIRECTV charges $28.99 per month for six months or $173.94 at once. XFINITY charges four payments of $41.03 per month ($164.12 total). DISH charges $165 for the full season or four payments of $41.25. One downside is that you aren’t allowed to cut off service mid-year with MLB Extra Innings, while MLB.TV offers monthly subscriptions.

Some MLB Extra Innings subscriptions include several additional perks. With DIRECTV, the subscription includes Game Mix Channel, which allows viewers to watch up to 8 games at once, as well as the MLB Network Strike Zone Channel, which gives live updates and highlights.

On the other hand, price is going to be a deciding factor for some, as MLB.TV offers multiple options, all cheaper than the full MLB Extra Innings Package:

MLB.TV Premium – Yearly $109.99

Almost 100 games per week available on streaming devices. Includes a subscription to MLB Gameday Audio, normally $19.99 per year if purchased as a standalone product. Gameday Audio allows customers to listen to all 2,430 games without any blackout restrictions.

MLB.TV Premium – Monthly $24.99

This monthly plan offers you the option of getting on board later in the season if you just want your subscription for a shorter time frame.

MLB.TV – Single Team  $84.99

The single team option offers access to one team of your choice for all out-of-market games.

With MLB.TV’s full-season options, subscribers will also get access to the At Bat Premium app, which is normally $19.99. All packages also allow you access to both the home and away feeds.

You will need a compatible streaming device to watch all the action on MLB.TV. For a full list of compatible devices, visit the MLB.TV site.

In essence, with MLB Extra Innings, you are paying at least $55 more for full access to both products. And of course you are paying your regular monthly cable or satellite provider for access to the package, something you won’t have with MLB.TV.

Beware of blackouts

In addition to cost, there is another very important factor to consider before you commit your hard-earned dollar: the Blackout Factor. A warning in advance—you may not like this.

Each baseball team has a deal in place with a regional sports network (RSN) serving that market.  For instance, the New York Yankees broadcast almost all of their games on the YES Network, with a few games broadcast on national providers like ESPN or FOX. If you live in the New York market, you won’t be able to see Yankee (or New York Mets) games on either MLB Extra Innings or MLB.TV, as baseball “protects” the RSN by blacking them out from the local market, defined by zip codes.

So if you live in the area where your favorite team plays, you won’t be able to watch local games unless you continue with your traditional cable or satellite provider and watch on the regional sports network—YES Network in this example.

On the other hand, either package works great for the fan who doesn’t reside in the home market.  Yankee fans living in Florida have fairly inexpensive options available between the two packages that allow them to keep tabs on their team day in and day out.

This particular issue remains a point of contention for many who want to dump traditional distributors like DISH and DIRECTV and go with a streaming setup. Some markets with FOX RSNs now allow you to stream in-market games, but you have to use your username and password from your provider, meaning you are still paying for cable or satellite service.

Not sure which team or teams are blacked out in your area?  Enter your zip code and see which teams aren’t available in your area based on the current rules and regulations.

Find the best cable providers in your area.

  • grote15

    A lot of people say they have problems streaming their MLB TV onto their TVs. I have a ROKU device and a reg HD TV. Will I have any problems.? What other devices work well if I want to stream to a 2nd TV?

    • Scott T.

      The ROKU should work fine. Here is the MLB page for more info:

      If you want to try another device, there’s plenty to choose from:

      Still, we hear the ROKU is the best; however, aside from the streaming device, an internet service that can handle streaming is the most important thing you’ll need.

      • Lyle

        If I get MLB.TV can I record games? I’ve had extra innings on direct tv for 4 years now and love it

        • Scott T.

          No, but you can watch games live or on demand.

    • Chris

      I’ve never had issues with MLB TV on Roku. It obviously all depends on your internet but you get great options with audio. If I remember correctly, you can watch the TV broadcast with the radio broadcast audio, or even just cut out all audio and you get the sound in the park as if you were there!

  • Scott T.

    Sounds like it, and that’s a nice benefit.

  • Scott T.

    Yeah, that sounds terrible. We’re curious if others have a similar experience…

  • Donald Banhart

    I have had both of these services. And in my honest opinion. I’m going to pay for TV regardless so that is not an issue. While Yes MLB TV is cheaper. I like the extra innings pkg because. I can switch between games much faster plus. I don’t have to rely on internet connection. Plus it comes with MLB TV, which I love for streaming on the go. And lastly, I really enjoy watching the commercials from other cities, and Canada. Well that’s my opinion. Hope it helps.

    • Birch

      Go easy on the periods there, Donald.

  • Beverly Griffen

    I’ve watched at least one game every day on MLB.TV since 2013 and can count the number of streaming issues I’ve had on one hand. So I don’t believe this is a problem MLB.TV as much as with various internet providers. However, if your internet service isn’t consistent or is hated with a lot of other users, I see where it would be impacted.

    I got Extra Innings in 2015 to try it as it seemed like it would be more convenient. I was extremely disappointed. I wanted to watch the Giants games, which are usually one of the the later games of the day. Over 75% of the games had another gam still going on on that channel so I missed the first few innings of my game. Also, they didn’t have both Home and Away broadcasts for every game – they did for most but it wasn’t 100% of the time (and I’m. It just talking about when it was a national broadcast. The other big frustration that they didn’t mention was that only about 25-30% of the games shown were in HD – most were in SD. I know I’m picky about this but I don’t like to watch sports in SD. ALL games on MLB.TV are in HD.

    These two issues could have changed and improved since 2015 – I haven’t tried it again since then. Also, I don’t need to view local games as I can do that on regular cable and I understand MLB.TV isn’t as effective for local viewers.

    With Extra Innings, Comcast automatically renewed it the following year even though I cancelled it at the end of the season. I ended up having to call 3 different times to get it off my bill.

    One other perk MLB.TV offers now on tablets & smartphones is access to MLB Network live programming (once you log in with your cable provider). I don’t use that a ton but it has been nice when traveling and MLB isn’t part of the TV service where I’m staying.

  • disqus_obmuiGNhJz

    I hate that they post the real time scores on the Roku app. You have to go through the screen to get a game. I want to watch the game from the beginning and not have any spoilers. If I want the scores, I’ll go to my phone.

    • Craig Hanks

      Go to the settings and turn on the “hide scores” option. It will hide all spoilers across the app.