MLB.TV is back.
The Internet's longest-running and No. 1 sports streaming product has returned for a 12th season. Signups are underway for the MLB.TV Premium ($129.99 a year, $29.99 a month) and MLB.TV ($109.99, $19.99) packages. More than 200 Spring Training exhibitions will be streamed live as part of the subscription, with no blackouts.
The first games were streamed on Wednesday, and Thursday brought five more live games.
Friday's slate has six MLB.TV games: Marlins vs. Cardinals, Pirates vs. Blue Jays, Tigers (ss) vs. Phillies, Nationals vs. Mets, Cubs vs. Angels and White Sox vs. Dodgers. The return of at least one of those clubs to action will be an MLB.TV treat for one particular subscriber of note.
"Having MLB.TV is a great thing for me, having the passion I have for baseball and the love I have for the game," Mets legend Dwight Gooden said in a recent visit to the MLB.com studios in New York. "Obviously, I'm a Met at heart, but there are a lot of teams I like to follow. I like to follow a lot of the young pitchers, so if I'm traveling or doing anything and can't get to my TV, I have my laptop right there where I can keep up with the game instead of waiting for it to come on with the postgame stuff. I get the live action right there."
MLB.TV Premium subscribers again will have access to every live out-of-market game across all supported devices, home and away broadcast feeds and a free 2014 subscription to the top sports app of all-time, MLB.com At Bat, which was just released on Tuesday. You can watch live games on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, supported Android smartphones and tablets, Amazon Kindle Fire and Windows Phone 8.
In addition to its already more than 400 supported mobile and connected devices, MLB.TV Premium will be accessible later this spring across new connected platforms, including Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Further details, including the introduction of additional device support, will be available upon the launch of MLB.TV Premium on each respective device.
"It's totally different than when I played," Gooden said. "Back then, WOR covered the Mets, so you got to catch it at night, or maybe ESPN, but now they have so many networks, and with MLB.com, I can watch it on my laptop. Technology is amazing. Who knows what it's going to be like in a couple of years? I'm very happy where it's at now."
Watching live games also means a chance to start evaluating fantasy draft possibilities, and for all fans, just a chance to while away some time seeing the long-awaited return of pitcher vs. catcher, and the sound of the crack of the bat. Who knows, you might even see a first test case of the new home-plate collision rule. For the most part, you're going to see a lot of players shuttled in-and-out, especially pitchers. It's time for MLB.TV again.
"Our guiding principle for more than a decade has been to build the best and most reliable live streaming experience for our fans, and our developments for 2014 will be another emphatic step in that direction," said Bart Manning, vice president of consumer paid content at MLBAM. "We are excited that baseball fans will have even more ways to access and enjoy baseball games across the rapidly expanding universe of connected platforms and devices."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.