Playing Now: Live MLB Streaming on the iPhone, iPod Touch

Erik Linask : Sports Technology
Erik Linask
writer

Playing Now: Live MLB Streaming on the iPhone, iPod Touch

MLB at bat.png 
About two months ago, just as this year's baseball season got underway, I reviewed the $10 "MLB.com At Bat 2009" from Major League Baseball Advanced Media for the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch.
 
It's a very, very cool product - the best of its kind, despite the price tag - and one of its best features was the high-quality video highlights for each game (audio included) that came with any kind of WiFi connection.
 
Way, way back before MLB truly began leveraging cable and digital TV technology to deliver its wife-hating "Extra Innings" package for television viewers (basically every out of market game, each night), we baseball fanatics had to go to a sports bar to watch 15 games at once.
 
Even with the MLB At Bat application, the best we could do - and there's nothing wrong with this - was to tune into each game's radio broadcast (home or away team) for a live Internet stream, and the visual we had to accompany that broadcast was a Gamecast-like experience, which was only about 2 seconds behind the real-time action.
 
Now, we hear from MLB.com's Mark Newman, the At Bat application - at no additional cost to current subscribers (yeah me!) will also introduce live video streaming during games.
 
"Beginning with the White Sox-Cubs Interleague Play matchup from Wrigley Field at 2:20 p.m. ET, up to two live games per day, subject to blackout restrictions, will be included in MLB.com At Bat 2009," Newman reports. "The other game scheduled for Thursday is Detroit at St. Louis at 8:15 p.m. ET. These will be historic broadcasts, the first MLB games ever to be aired live in streaming video to a mobile device."
 
Wow.
 
In other words - though it isn't quite the MLB Extra Innings package (which MLB makes out on, as well, of course) - the screen-watching options for baseball fans just got a whole lot wider and a whole lot cheaper.
 
I don't know about you, but for us baseball fans in the New York City metro area, the Extra Innings package costs $170 per season for a full season, and a little more than half of that if you order it after the All-Star break. The price is worth it, of course, for people who follow a team whose network or broadcasts are not delivered through a regular cable TV package.
 
Now, as Chad Evans, mobile product manager at MLB Advanced Media, says, "It's hard to express how cool the new streaming technology really is."
 
"Being able to watch a live game on your phone for the first time - I think everyone here's really excited about that."
 
So am I, Chad.