Baseball has plenty of rules when it comes to its television arrangements. One of them is being attacked by a lawsuit that's been allowed to proceed in federal court. That could change the game lineup on your TV, and for the better.
Because of MLB's blackout policy, you're already limited as to which games are on in your market. You can't watch the ESPN broadcast of a "local" team because a regional carrier has those rights, for example. And the blackout is in place even if the area can't get that regional carrier that's carrying the game. And in some places, the rights border on ridiculous. In Iowa, for example, games of the Cubs, White Sox, Brewers, Twins, Cardinals and Royals are subject to the rule, and not all of those teams are actually on local TV. For some reason, parts of North Carolina are considered in Cincinnati Reds territory, even though they can't get Fox Sports Ohio, which owns the regional rights, for example.
But there's hope for those who want to change the policy. U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the media structure is anti-competitive, allowing a class-action lawsuit brought by a fans' group to proceed. They argue that MLB is in violation of antitrust law. The NHL is also a party in the suit, as are several regional sports networks, along with Comcast and DirecTV.
As in many class-action suits, a settlement could be the end game here -- as Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan wrote. MLB won't want their books examined so closely.
And perhaps, if you live in Charlotte, you could watch a Washington Nationals game sometime.