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12 reasons to sign up for MLB.TV now

Here are a dozen reasons to sign up right now for MLB.TV, the No. 1 live streaming sports service:

1. Teams reach the official halfway mark in the Major League Baseball regular-season schedule this week, so MLB Advanced Media announced on Wednesday that the cost of a yearly MLB.TV subscription is now nearly half of its original 2015 price. Signups are underway at $79.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $59.99 for MLB.TV.

2. Players like it. That includes Curtis Granderson, the Mets' right fielder. "MLB.TV provides my parents in Chicago and friends across the country the opportunity to watch us play every time we take the field," the Chicago native said Tuesday.

3. The new Web-based media player (version 5.0) introduced just recently by MLBAM. You'll notice the difference right away as the HD media player has an in-page layout with simplified user controls, so it all happens in your browser with no need for an additional download.

4. You can watch the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, plus the World Series. It's all part of the deal, with access through FOX's participating video providers.

5. The Races. Yes, four teams were all within a single game of the lead in the American League East entering Thursday. Who knows where that winds up. There will be plenty of scoreboard-watching throughout the summer, and MLB.TV is the best way to do that, with its new game scoreboard and multi-view design to watch multiple games and highlights at once.

6. A clickable linescore that lets you jump between innings or to single-game highlights. Let's say you just went to see a game at Dodger Stadium and nearly caught a foul ball. Come home, fire up the archived stream and go right to that moment and see if you find yourself and your crew. Or go straight to players you want to see again.

7. More than 1,215 remaining live out-of-market games -- half the number scheduled during an entire MLB regular season.

8. Final All-Star verdicts. You can watch Todd Frazier continue his bid to give Cincinnati a hometown starter in the All-Star Game, as voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday in the Esurance All-Star Game Ballot. Picture yourself on Thursday night, immersed in the live out-of-market streams as you use up those 35 allotted votes.

9. Cool discounts. You can get 35 percent off of MLB.TV Premium if you're a college student using at checkout. You can save up to 30 percent on MLB.TV Premium by inviting your friends when you sign up.

10. TV and movie stars use it. "I use it on Apple TV," said "Modern Family" actor Ty Burrell during a recent visit to the studios in New York. "Much to my wife's chagrin, I go to 'Today's Games' every day and scour them, and basically look for the Mets. As soon as they're up and available, I start tracking them."

11. A subscription to At Bat Premium is included for free with MLB.TV Premium, a $19.99 value. You can enjoy complete mobile portability to compatible smartphones and tablets, and that includes more than 400 supported devices.

12. We just hooked up the International Space Station. Before he returned to Earth a couple of weeks ago, Terry Virts was NASA's commander aboard the ISS and MLBAM worked with his Behavioral Health and Performance team to deliver full-game archives so he could watch his Astros while exercising between scientific experiments or spacewalks. "It brings a piece of Earth to me up here in space. I always love the baseball season, and this just allows me to experience a small part of it. It really is a bright spot in the day," he said.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Read and join other baseball fans on his community blog.