The Loop

Dear Commissioner

Iowa hero puts up billboard slamming MLB.TV blackouts ahead of "Field of Dreams" game

August 11, 2021

If you’re a baseball fan in Dubuque, Iowa, you’re screwed. Dubuque and nearby Dyersville, where this week’s “Field of Dreams” game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox will be played, lie somewhere between 200 and 300 miles from the nearest MLB ballparks. That’s too far to go see the games and, in many cases, too far to catch them on local broadcast networks. So what do you do if you want to watch your favorite team from the comfort of your own living room? Well, you hop on MLB.TV, sign up for a $100 subscription, and then punch in your zip code to see which teams are blacked out for you. If you happen to live in eastern Iowa, you’ll see something like this:

Like we said, if you’re a baseball fan in Dubuque, Iowa, you’re screwed. This isn’t like living in Boston, where you won’t be able to watch the Red Sox. Dubuque lies in the Bermuda Triangle of baseball broadcasting, meaning local fans can’t watch the Brewers, the Cardinals, the Cubs, the Royals, the Twins, or the White Sox. That’s a full 20% of the MLB for those of you crunching the numbers at home. Thankfully, however, one local stepped up ahead of baseball’s big arrival in the Hawkeye State, putting up a giant digital billboard in Dubuque blasting Manfraud and co. for their archaic broadcasting restrictions.

Capes, not all heroes need ‘em. Truth be told, however, this probably won’t get anything done. Appealing to the humanity of the same people who put runners on second in extra innings and made doubleheaders Little League length is a lost cause. But still, kudos to this lone patriot, who can hold their chin up high while forking over $4,000 to watch the White Sox lose in a cornfield on Thursday. That’ll show ‘em ...