As spring games return, so does MLB.TV
More than 150 spring games streamed to your favorite devices
A way of life is gradually returning for Major League Baseball fans around the world with more than 150 Spring Training games streamed live on MLB.TV without blackouts. The schedule includes five more games on Tuesday from the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues -- including the first televised looks at the Cardinals since their World Series title and at the superstar who left them for the Angels, Albert Pujols.
Signups are under way for MLB.TV Premium ($124.99 yearly or $24.99 monthly) and basic MLB.TV ($109.99 or $19.99), featuring select exhibitions plus every out-of-market regular-season game live or on demand. This also is a good time to use the new MLB.com At Bat 12 app that was recently launched and allows fans to log in and watch anywhere using their MLB.TV Premium subscriptions.
No matter what team you follow, having MLB.TV is useful from start to finish, letting you follow MLB trends and prospects and fantasy rosters, as well as your own club.
Not all spring games are televised, so MLB.TV streams those available to viewers. It is all about building toward Opening Day and getting back into a baseball routine, just like the players. It is the time when pitchers start with an inning or so and gradually build their pitch counts, and a time when you will see lots of prospects with high jersey numbers -- but also your favorites back in action.
This will mark the 10th anniversary season of MLB.TV, a technology that broke ground when MLB became the first sports league to stream live video broadcasts of its regular schedule, starting with a Rangers-Yankees pilot stream in August 2002. The technology has improved in numerous ways every year in terms of quality and availability, and here are a couple of important new reasons to go with MLB.TV Premium in 2012:
MLB.com At Bat 12, already No. 1 among top grossing apps in the Apple App Store, will be included with your subscription at no additional cost. Download the app and then your MLB.TV subscription will be authenticated, so you can enjoy complete mobile portability to iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and most Android phones and tablets.
MLB Advanced Media continues to listen to fans' needs regarding usage habits, whether watching live on your favorite mobile, online or connected device. Now you will be able to add another major platform to the list: Xbox Live. This feature will be coming when games begin, and at that time you will simply log in with your MLB.TV username and password to access live and on-demand baseball. A real game is even better than a video game.
MLB.TV Premium lets you choose between home or away broadcasts. DVR Controls allow you to pause and rewind live games. Multi-game View lets you watch two games at once in Picture in Picture mode or split screen. With Quad View, watch up to four games or highlights at once.
Both packages give you In-Game Highlights and Stats update automatically in the media player. Full-game archives and Condensed Games are available. You'll have access to Gameday Audio and the Pitch by Pitch App, which includes PITCHf/x and batter/pitcher tendencies. Managing a fantasy roster is easier, because you can watch live at-bat look-ins of your players.
Twitter is incorporated, so watching live games is always a social event as well. Use the official team hashtags when you tweet, and be sure to follow @MLBTV for ongoing updates. Fans with questions about their subscriptions can access MLB.com's Support Forum.
If you want to watch Minor League prospects throughout the season, then consider bundling an MiLB.TV subscription with your MLB.TV signup. MILB.TV is normally $39.95 yearly, but it costs just $20 if you bundle it with an MLB.TV subscription. The monthly MiLB.TV bundle price will be $5 (available in March), half the normal monthly cost. You'll get access to more than 2,500 additional baseball games, including nearly every Triple-A game, live online. MiLB.TV will be available when the Minors get under way on April 5.
For fans who want only Gameday Audio, signups are under way for a yearly cost of $19.99. You will be able to listen to 150 Spring Training games live online, plus every regular-season and postseason game, all with no blackout restrictions. You can choose from home, away or alternate feeds (where available), and listen to full-game archives.
"I've used MLB.TV for the past three or four years, in conjunction with the MLB.com At Bat App for iOS, and it's really a fantastic combination," Dan Nesbitt, a 25-year-old Tigers fan and Steel City Brass musician in Pittsburgh, said in an e-mail to MLB.com. "The multi-platform capabilities of MLB.TV allow me to jump from watching on a PS3 to my iPad or iPhone, and that's one of the best features. ... I travel quite a bit all over the country, and with my mobile devices, I'm able to access that account anywhere, which is absolutely the most valuable thing about MLB.TV, and worth every penny of the subscription."