MLB.tv: Blocking Ads

I have a feeling MLB.tvs annoying advertising won’t be addressed anytime soon, if ever. So I decided to block the ads. It’s a rather simple procedure.

After doing a little HTTP sniffing, I noticed that the MLB.tv service relies on a company named Auditude (fitting name really) for their in stream advertising needs. In order to eliminate the annoying advertisements that try their hardest to blow out your speakers or brainwash you with the same repetitive content, you just have to tell your computer to make all outgoing calls to their servers fail.

Just edit your computers hosts file to redirect all auditude requests to your localhost. On my mac, I opened up Terminal and ran this command:

sudo nano /etc/hosts

Once the hosts file opened, I just added these lines:

#for disabling ads on mlb.com
127.0.0.1 ad.auditude.com
127.0.0.1 asset.auditude.com
127.0.0.1 click.auditude.com

and saved it.

Viola, no more ads between innings. You’ll just see the un-intrusive and silent ‘Commercial Break in Progress’ screen. All is well in the land of streaming Tiger’s games.

EDIT: if you have a debug version of the Flash player, you will have to click ‘Dismiss All’ after the first unhandled SecurityError thrown by the MLB.tv player. It pauses playback while the dialogue box is visible, and just hitting ‘Continue’ will not suppress more of these errors throughout the stream.

29 Responses to 'MLB.tv: Blocking Ads'

  1. mattc says:

    Thanks for the IP’s – was about to dig them out myself but did a quick search to see if someone else had found them already, appreciate you saving me a few minutes :D

  2. Paul says:

    You are the man, it works. Those ads should be illegal.

  3. mr says:

    I love you man

  4. Ryan A says:

    Fantastic! Thank you so much!

  5. dave weaver says:

    These instructions WORK…but you have to restart your computer to enjoy the changes.

    Thank you…from a SF Giants fan in Florida!

  6. dave weaver says:

    I wonder….do you have a fix for NFL.com?

  7. Jan says:

    Thanks so much. This was quick and easy. Those ads are obnoxious insults to anyone’s intelligence and if they are 30 seconds or less, they play them twice, back to back.

  8. Aquaria says:

    How about blocking the ads on the highlight videos, too?

    I think paying for the premium service means I deserve not to have ads anywhere on their site, but MLB seems to think they can rip me off any way they want.

    Anyway, I found the site that those ads come from: (Freewheel Media). Now how do I get those blocked, too? Same basic code, but change a number somewhere?

    As you can tell I know just enough to be stupid about computers.

  9. you can tell your computer to block any web domain you would like. just add a new entry in your hosts file like so:

    127.0.0.1 some.domain.com

    just replace ‘some.domain.com’ with the desired domain to block (in your case something like ‘ad.freewheel.com’ or something).

    the 127.0.0.1 is the IP address to your local computer (127.0.0.1 is used by most computers to locate itself). so really, you just tell your computer to look at itself when requesting anything from a specified domain. that request will fail, and your computer will not be able to load any ads (ohh darn)

  10. Dave says:

    Thank You!

    For those that operate Windows XP the host file is located here:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

    The file is read only so be sure to use file properties to make it editable. Open it with notepad, add the above lines to the end and save.

  11. Mr.Dawkins says:

    Mr. Greene you are a gentleman and a scholar.Four years of frustration and annoyance has finally ended. I want to thank you for your help, research, and overall suburb intelligence in helping me resolve this problematic issue. Some day I hope to repay you, somehow, someway, but today you helped someone, and for that, may the Baseball Gods bless you.

  12. Matt says:

    Can you make it look at something else instead of your own computer? For example, I want to fuck with my friend and have it redirect to some streaming porn. Is that possible??? hahahaha

  13. Jerry Remy says:

    Is there a solution for mobile/ipad? I can only hear the song “Keep on keeping on” ~15 times per day and they are blowing that number out of the water.

  14. Captain says:

    I wanted to puke when I started seeing political ads (!!) between innings. I come to MLB.tv to get away from that crap. Lord knows it’s only going to get more obnoxious everywhere else over the next four months.

    Thank you so much for this tip. Eliminating the mind-numbing, repetitive bilge and now political blather has made my little corner of the world a little quieter and less irritating. Your help is tremendously appreciated. In return for your kindness, I hope the baseball gods arrange it so that you’re in attendance at Verlander’s next no-no.

    Hey, speaking of bilge and wanting to puke, if you have any, um, code or anything that will make my 2012 Phillies less mind-numbing and irritating to watch …

    Thanks again!!

  15. David Lake says:

    I have a different angle on this. I am a British baseball devotee of nearly 30 years and an MLB subscriber since 2008. This season I have had issues with having to resinstall NextDef every time I log in, but I’ve got used to that. I also have been used to the commercials. However a few weeks ago American commercials began to be replaced by British ones. I am guessing that this is to do with recent developments in “smarter” advertising on the internet that I am vaguely aware of. Somebody somewhere has figured out that it’s a waste of time persuading me to buy something that I can’t get because I’m on the wrong side of the Atlantic. But what this has brought home to me is the difference between US and UK advertising. I automatically do something else during TV commercials because otherwise I would throw something at the TV set. I am now getting the same feeling watching ballgames online. But this has made me realise that US commercials didn’t provoke the same reaction. At worst they are harmless, but often, like the “keep on doing..” commercial they are affecting and homely. You may find this surprising but compared to commercials over here I have found your commercials restrained and strangely comforting. They seem to have been made for folks in Iowa, not obnoxious big-city smart a**es. I’m not sure if I will implement your solution, it sounds too much like programming and I’m not a techie. But if there’s a way of blocking my own country’s advertising I’m all ears.

    • Jez Wyke says:

      David, it works for UK advertising – I was beset by the screeching loud adverts, (which nearly three years after they were first reported are still a problem) – the steps mentioned above are an elegant solution, and you’ve no need to be wary of the ‘programming’ required, it’s a very simple two minute job.

      Jonathan – thank you, and go tigers :)

  16. jim says:

    Works on Ubuntu 11.10! Thanks for the tips. I owe you one.

  17. TheDoctor143 says:

    Your comment appears as incomplete _ could you please finish the sentence that explains how to apply the fix for these awful ads in Win7? Thanks!

  18. the ADvocate says:

    Advertising is the reason why you can get all the seasons games for so cheap. It allows MLB to make the app affordable. If you don’t want to pay more than $20 for a season, then stop posting shit like this. Don’t be an asshole delete this article or they will end up raising the price.

    • Paul says:

      This is a ridiculous and ignorant comment. First, this has been posted since 2009. Second, anyone can block any stream that comes into their computer and that is their own business. Third, I’m sure mlb is losing money by offering this service right??? (even though the first few years had no advertising…I guess they were losing money those years but decided to keep the service). Fourth, why would you be arguing to be advertised to? MLB gets paid twice and the joke is on you.

  19. the ADvocate says:

    Advertising is the reason you get the whole season for $20. If you wanna get the price raised for the rest of us then keep posting stupid shit like this. Do us all a favor and delete the article and stop being a baby and go to the bathroom during commercials.

    • Jez Wyke says:

      ADvocate – I don’t get the whole season for $20 I pay $120. So thanks for patronising me, but no thanks. I’ll keep blocking these obtrusive, unwanted adverts.

  20. steven says:

    I have a different request. I HATE HATE ATHEIST COMMERCIAL BREAK SCREEN it breaks the flow of the game!
    6! Years ago Direct TV used to just show the ballpark with the sounds, I’d rather have that instead. Or just the local commercials. Also when one is viewing an archived games I’m always going a bit passed the inning. MLB needs to step into 2013

  21. mvw says:

    Hi, if this thread is still live, can I get some help?

    I have a mac, and tried to enter the command into terminal – sudo nano and restarted, but it didn’t work.

    So I’m probably entering it wrong. Where exactly do you add the command to? Just at the bottom of sudo nano after all the other lines? And how exactly do you save and exit?

    Thanks for the help. I can’t watch anymore Geico ads

  22. mvw says:

    nm. I figured it out. You just enter it in at the bottom of the sudo nano command screen just as listed. Then you push control “o” to save. Then press enter. Then control x to exit. Then restart your computer. Then enjoy the beautiful silence.

    Thanks to the OP. Screw you mlb tv

  23. So nice to get rid of that extremely annoying Windows 8 ad they have at every inning break.
    Thank you.

  24. Deborah says:

    I thank you and my entire family thanks you. The stupid, repetitive ads were so annoying.

  25. Steve Kaczmarczyk says:

    Thank you so much for this solution. What makes MLB think they can charge 120 USD a year and force advertising on you ? Arogant greed bastards.

    During the game is fine where there are commercial breaks on the ad driven revenue based games. What puts it into complete ridiculousness is FORCING the ADS on the archive and not allowing you to fast forward through them. I live in central Europe and watch the Sox games the following day.

    Thank you again !

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  1. [...] as all hell by being forced to listen to the same ad looped 2-3 times per commercial break: MLB.tv: Blocking Ads – greenethumb Takes 30 seconds to do and works great for me. In XP/Windows 7, navigate to: [...]

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