NEW YORK -- Now that we're a month into the 2013 Major League Baseball season, the yearly price to watch live out-of-market games has been lowered to $114.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $94.99 for basic MLB.TV.
Bud Norris and Travis Blackley highly suggest joining them as longtime subscribers.
The two Astros pitchers were talking about the technology during this series against the Yankees, each citing examples of girlfriends and family and other friends around the world who are able to constantly keep track of them around the American League.
"All the time," said Norris, the right-hander who christened this season with the historic first Houston AL victory on Opening Night, now awaiting his next start Friday at home against Detroit. "I remember when they first got it, we had a package for free, but now I'm getting it for myself. I know my girlfriend does it all the time, my mom's on all the time.
"They definitely go on MLB.com and watch the games all the time. Whether it's at their workplace or at home, they have a lot of ways to go watch the game."
Blackley entered Tuesday with three scoreless relief appearances during Houston's present trip that started in Boston and now is at Yankee Stadium, and he continues to pitch to one of the farthest-flung followings in the game. The lefty is from Melbourne, Australia.
"I've got my family in Australia and they get to watch me [with MLB.TV]," Blackley said. "I mean, yeah, it's 3 o'clock in the morning for them, but they get to stay up and watch it. My girl likes to watch me play, and her family. So it's really good to have that available for us."
He said his girlfriend, model Jenna Cecil, will be in Houston for the next homestand. But when he is on the road, she can use any number of devices to watch him work in relief.
MLB.TV Premium will continue to support a growing variety of mobile and connected platforms. Additional distribution platforms for MLB.TV live streaming will launch this season, and each will be announced as it becomes available.
Subscribers get HD-quality video, thanks to speed detection that delivers high-def on any size monitor. Alternate Audio Options allow you to overlay the home or away teams' radio broadcasts over live video feeds or use the "Park" option to enjoy the ballpark's natural sounds. Pause and rewind or fast-forward live games. Use Clickable Linescores to go directly to any at-bat or half-inning of a game. Watch up to four games simultaneously.
Take advantage of Picture-in-Picture to choose one game and track another or watch in-game highlights simultaneously in a secondary window. Track the location, type and speed of every pitch. View real-time highlights and player stats that automatically load into the media player, instantly launching a Picture-in-Picture window with one click. Customize a list to feature entire fantasy rosters and receive on-deck notifications to watch live look-ins for each player.
If you sign up for MLB.TV Premium, you will receive an exclusive offer for a subscription to MLB.com At Bat 13, the top sports app of all time. This offer is only available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets. At Bat 13 is part of the suite of apps from MLB Advanced Media that also includes MLB.com At the Ballpark and Beat the Streak Presented by Dunkin' Donuts.
BlackBerry Z10 owners can now access the games via At Bat 13 as well.
Another perk that comes with having MLB.TV Premium: watching tomorrow's stars today. You can save $20 on a yearly subscription to MiLB.TV, which allows you to watch live games involving all Triple-A teams, select games from other classifications, select All-Star and playoff games and on-demand archives.
Again, just ask Blackley. Keeping his career alive back in 2011, he pitched with the KIA Tigers in the Korean Baseball Organization that year, going 7-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 25 appearances. He then signed on for a second stint with the Giants, then a second stint with the A's, and was traded this Opening Week to Houston.
"When I was in Korea, I watched MiLB.TV to keep up with the Minor Leaguers," he said. "It was invaluable for me. Having access to games is important to people everywhere."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.