Signups for 2015 MLB.TV are underway
Signups are underway for MLB.TV, which surpassed 100 million streams in 2014 for the first time in a single season and returns with a completely re-engineered web-based HD media player and an Emmy Award for the advanced technology enjoyed by millions of fans.
Since it debuted in August 2002 and evolved as the modern way to see live out-of-market Major League Baseball games from everywhere, MLB.TV has been the most widely distributed and No. 1 sports streaming service. Media's first OTT (over-the-top content) will expand its offerings this year with new interactive features and connected devices, while maintaining the same 2013-14 yearly pricing of $129.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $109.99 for basic MLB.TV.
All MLB.TV subscribers will have access to more than 200 live games from Spring Training in Florida and Arizona -- including via supported connected devices for the first time. Cactus and Grapefruit League exhibition broadcasts are scheduled to begin on March 3. In addition to all live out-of-market regular-season games, MLB.TV once again will stream every game of the World Series and the 86th All-Star Game, scheduled for July 14 in Cincinnati.
"MLB.TV is brilliant, especially for me here in the U.K. where we have limited games on our TV," said Chris Bailey, a Giants fan and native Brit in Leicester, England, who is subscribing to MLB.TV for a third consecutive year. "I play fantasy baseball, and it is great for keeping up with your teams and how you are doing. I also love the in-game highlights that flash up so if there are runs in another game you can watch during innings of the game you are watching."
"I've been an MLB.TV Premium subscriber for four years, and this will be my fifth," said Greg Martin, a Brewers fan in Baraboo, Wis. "I run MLB.TV on several different platforms, including iPad, iPhone, Xbox One, Apple TV and a Sony Blu-ray player. A Roku Player for the deck is next in line. I am in the blackout area for Brewer games, so during the season my main use is to watch MLB.TV in snap mode on Xbox One while I watch the Brewers on regular TV. Sometimes, depending on what the Pirates and Cardinals are up to, I will also get the iPad fired up, so I can watch three games at once."
Both of those fans also have MLB.com's At Bat App, the highest-grossing sports app of all time, and MLB.TV Premium comes with a free subscription to that. MLB.TV Premium also gives you full portability to more than 400 supported devices, as well as your choice of home or away feeds.
Last month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), which powers MLB.TV and dozens of sports, news and entertainment partners, was awarded a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for Pioneering Delivery of Pay TV Linear Video to Consumer Owned and Managed Devices Over a High Speed Data Connection.
Now MLBAM is adding another game-changing feature to MLB.TV with its new HD media player (version 5.0). The web-based player will be powered through a responsive, in-page layout with re-designed features such as simplified user controls and game-event milestone markers. Live HD for MLB.TV broadcasts will no longer require a software download (NexDef) for subscribers with optimal bandwidth. The new media player is expected to debut this spring.
Another major upgrade for 2015 is MLB.TV en Español. MLBAM pioneered its patented live audio overlay technology (U.S. Patent Nos. 8,640,181 and 8,832,768) in 2012, delivering the capability to switch the live audio feed on MLB.TV broadcasts from the television to radio announcers without disrupting the live video stream. In 2015, MLB.TV will introduce a Spanish-language audio overlay option for every available game on supported devices.
In addition, MLBAM will bring MLB.TV Premium subscribers access to their accounts on new hardware platforms, including PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV, in 2015. Additional details and specific launch dates will be announced at a later date.
Since 2009, MLB.TV Premium subscribers have been able to access live baseball games on any supported smartphones, tablets and connected devices. Now accessible across more than 400 devices, MLB.TV subscribers again reached new standards in 2014, watching more than 108 million live video streams on connected and mobile devices.
Be careful with MLB.TV, though, because it can be all-consuming. Just recently, Martin was running on his treadmill at home and watching an archived 2014 Brewers game via MLB.TV over Apple TV. "When Scooter Gennett hit a home run," Martin recalled, "I threw my arms in the air and I lost my balance and bit the dust, so to speak."