MLB.com has released the details of the 2010 MLB.TV and MLB.TV Premium subscriptions. A British perspective on the new offerings, and the new prices, is available now at BaseballGB.co.uk
Read our story on the rumours that MLB could find a new home in Britain with the BBC.
A full analysis of the 2009 MLB.com subscription packages is now available at BaseballGB. Including:
- A reduction in the listed price (although an ultimate increase for Brits)
- New features such as the Flash media player and game highlights.
- The tried and tested three level subscription packages: Gameday Audio, MLB.TV and MLB.TV Premium.
Lots of topics were covered at BaseballGB this week. In case you missed them, here’s a summary with links to the full stories:
One of the many details Wordpress tells a blog owner is how people are reaching the site.
This is useful to know, as lots of people have been reaching this blog after searching in Google (etc) for details regarding MLB.TV prices. My post from 2007 has been getting quite a few hits, so I thought it worth stating that a full round-up of the MLB.com multimedia subscription packages available in 2008 is now available on my main blog: www.baseballgb.co.uk. Many recent MLB topics are discussed on the blog alongside news about International/British baseball and, most recently, a growing set of baseball book reviews. A series of baseball primers for British fans will also be launched in the lead-up to the new season.
Those of you who are most interested in the MLB.TV info can access the post directly here.
MLB.com have just released the options available to baseball fans for listening and watching baseball over the Internet in 2007. As always, there is a decent amount of choice to cater for different needs and systems.
The main shift this year is the launch of a MLB.TV Premium package to sit alongside the standard MLB.TV package and Gameday Audio. In previous years, “All Access” was the top product. This combined MLB.TV with Gameday Audio and added a few extras, such as access to condensed games. The MLB.TV Premium package gives you the “All Access” content and adds to it with a souped-up streaming rate of 700K and the fancy Mosaic feature that was trialed last year.
What stands out to me at first glance is that people who don’t quite want the top package will have a relative bargain on their hands. MLB.TV is now effectively last season’s All Access package, yet you only have to pay £46 ($89.95) for it instead of £52. Considering it seemed reasonably priced last year and a small price hike was expected, that’s a great result . The slight down side of course is that people can no longer buy MLB.TV on it’s own; however I doubt many will mind paying a bit extra considering the new price and the extras you receive.
MLB.TV Premium does look an enticing package, yet it’s probably best to check that Mosaic will work on your machine and with your internet connection. My PC is a bit cobbled together and I couldn’t get Mosaic to run when I tried it last year! There is a demo clip showing what games streamed at 700K will look like and if the clip is an accurate representation (not guaranteed!) then it will be a considerable improvement. I like to watch games on full-screen mode and I can get away with it by sitting further back from my screen than I would when I’m doing things such as writing blog posts. The picture isn’t crystal clear, but it’s more than good enough. Watching the 700K demo clip, I can send it to full-screen and keep sitting in the same place and the picture quality is impressive (again, not perfect but pretty good). Obviously this has to be balanced against the possibility that the doubled streaming rate might leave you “buffering” every minute or so.
Right now, I’m in a bit of a quandary over whether I should go for the Premium package or not. Even if I can get the mosaic feature to work, I doubt I will use it much (not least because the time difference means there are far fewer occasions as a Brit when there are six live games going on at one time that you want to keep an eye on). The 700K picture is fairly seductive though and my 2MB connection should cope! Premium will cost £62 so that will mean a £16 extra outlay over the MLB.TV package, which isn’t much over the course of the season. I will have to think it over!
So the main points are:
- Gameday Audio is an absolute bargain at around £8. If you haven’t got the spare cash or the technical set-up for MLB.TV, I would heartily recommend investing in this. Even with MLB.TV, I still listen to plenty of games on Gameday audio over the season.
- MLB.TV is essentially last year’s All Access package for just approximately £46: an absolute bargain! The live action at 400K is perfectly watchable and the condensed games (generally 9-10 minutes of highlights of every single game) are fantastic for those of us who can’t spend their days and nights watching live games.
- MLB.TV Premium will cost you approximately £62 and the extra £16 gets you a much better picture than the standard MLB.TV, and MLB Mosaic.
Don’t forget, you may be liable for a small overseas transaction charge as well depending on who you bank with (generally only around £1).
MLB work on the policy of an automatic renewal, so I imagine people like myself who subscribed to All Access last year will immediately be charged for the Premium package (although you can cancel it before it goes through).
Check out the subscriptions section on MLB.com for more info.
As a follow up to my post from yesterday, Maury Brown at his Biz of Baseball site has reported that the video feeds for MLB.TV will be improved for the 2007 season. The game video that has previously been streamed between 350 and 400kps will now be streamed at 700kps instead. Maury raises this point in relation to the DirecTV saga that I mentioned yesterday. With access to the MLB Extra Innings package potentially being restricted, MLB will no doubt be looking to entice even more baseball fans to their online subscription service. They will have a hard time doing this if they alienate the potential new recruits though. The latest news being reported by ESPN is that Senator John Kerry is going to take up the issue with the Federal Communications Committee.
As for MLB.TV, they generally release full details of the new season package at the end of February (i.e. after people have bought their Spring Training package!). The 2006 price for the full All Access package was $100 (£60) and if the streaming/picture quality is improved then paying a bit extra won’t be much of a hardship.