Jason Aldean will use his MLB.TV account during the 2014 Burn It Down Tour to follow his Braves, whether it's at the airport or between songs at sold-out concerts. Peter Malnati, a rookie on the PGA Tour, will rely on it via iPad Air to watch Royals games.
Bryan McKnight will watch live Yankees games on an array of devices in Tyler, Texas, and Summerly Brown will stay connected to David Price and her hometown Rays while attending grad school and working in admissions at Mississippi State.
They are among the millions of Major League Baseball fans from all walks who subscribe to MLB.TV to watch live out-of-market games from everywhere, and signups are underway for this year's MLB.TV Premium ($129.99) and basic MLB.TV ($109.99) packages, as the Internet's longest-running and No. 1 sports streaming product returns for a 12th season, priced the same as last year.
"Wherever I am, so is my game," said Aldean, the multiplatinum country music star and former high school first baseman. "Now it's cool, because it's kind of anywhere you go, you've got it right there. You can be walking down the street and pull [your iPhone] out and be watching on your phone. ... I can keep up with everything."
In addition to 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.
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, on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, supported Android smartphones and tablets, Amazon Kindle Fire and Windows Phone 8. Further details, including the introduction of additional device support, will be available upon the launch of MLB.TV Premium on each respective device.
"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 for MLB Advanced Media. "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."
All subscribers will have access to more than 200 live games from Spring Training in Florida and Arizona. Exhibitions start on Feb. 26. In the meantime, you can watch every pitch from the 2013 season on demand, and warm up by watching classic games on the At Bat app.
Aldean grew up following the Braves in Macon, Ga., and that usually meant being able to watch them on TV with Ted Turner's cable superstation. These days he follows them on an entertainer's schedule, needing access whether he's at an airport gate, hotel or ... on stage. His concerts are high-decibel happenings, and if you see a grimace or two while he's on stage, it could be that a Braves pitcher gave up a hit. That's what happens when you have MLB.TV going during a live gig.
"A lot of times what I'll do ... I'll have my cousin kind of keeping up with the score and then he'll relay the information to my [ear] monitor guy, and then between songs he'll kind of feed me the score," Aldean explained. "'Braves just scored, 3-2 or whatever, bottom of the seventh.' So I'll get an update every couple of songs or whenever something happens.
"I learned that when I try to record it on TV, DVR it or whatever, and I come in, by the time I get off stage, all of my friends have already texted me, 'Can you believe what happened?' So it usually ends up ruining the game for me. So it's better just to try to keep up with it in real time. ... If I seem like I'm in a bad mood on stage, and it's playoff time, then you know what happened."
Malnati, playing this week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, said that he is "pumped" to watch the Royals at each stop on the golf tour. He adopted the American League club while a student-athlete at the University of Missouri, and tour caddy Mikel Martin is a Rangers fan, so they will be watching plenty of baseball in 2014.
"I just got a new iPad Air, and I'll have that thing with me no matter what I'm doing," Malnati said. "If I'm sitting around in the evening with the guys or just laying in bed at my hotel, I'll be able to watch games on that and that's going to be the ticket. This will make it so much easier. This is a really cool year for me because I'm a rookie on tour, so I'm learning my way around."
McKnight, 20, said he became a Yankees fan in East Texas because of Derek Jeter and the team's frequent appearances on national television in the late 1990s. Now he is looking forward to seeing newcomers Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran in pinstripes, and he is curious to see if the Masahiro Tanaka signing was worth it, so he is and ready with an assortment of ways to watch live on MLB.TV.
"I haven't been this excited about a season probably ever," McKnight said. "I started using MLB.TV for the first time in 2013 and could tell right away I'd be using it for years to come. The majority of the time, I use it through the At Bat app, which is outstanding. I can watch games on my iPhone, iPad, Mac, and through my Xbox. You can also stream it via an app on smart TVs. It comes in handy when I am away from a TV and can watch my team live right on my phone or tablet. MLB.TV definitely gives you good bang for your buck."
Brown has been a Rays fan since going to the club's first Opening Day in 1998, and MLB.TV kept her in the loop when she went to Starkville, Miss. Now she is a social media specialist at Mississippi State's office of admissions and scholarships, ready to follow her team while working, going to grad school and training for triathlons. She watches most games via a Macbook Pro and iPad2, and said her new iPhone 5c will be key to the experience.
"Staying connected while always on the go is what MLB.TV means to me," said Brown, 24, from St. Petersburg, Fla. "I use these devices to watch the games home after work, during cycling training at the gym with WiFi, and downtime between work and my night classes during the season. Others should get MLB.TV for the 2014 season because it gives you access everywhere, anytime and the flexibility to watch the games that you might have missed. MLB.TV gives you the control to pick and choose what you want to watch, while giving you those extras that every baseball fanatic loves to know."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.