With Sony partnership in hand, MLB has basically pulled a Netflix. The service is on at least one device for every screen: There’s the iPhone for mobile phones, the iPad for tablets, the PS3, Roku and Boxee for your television and of course the computer, where it all got started. Clearly, MLB gets the idea that the more devices you’re on, the more enticing your service becomes.
Other sports are catching on. Earlier this week, Boxee got support for streaming National Hockey League games. The NBA is moving a bit slower, offering playoff highlights on Roku boxes, but it’s a start. I’m not sure what the NFL is doing to get live streaming on lots of platforms. I’m hoping the buzz over today’s MLB/PS3 deal will get the other major sports to wake up and realize this is what people want.
That’s not to say MLB’s plan is flawless. Blackout restrictions apply for all games, so you can’t watch your favorite team if you live in the same market. It’s all about the contracts between local broadcasters and the league, but I don’t know a single baseball fan who thinks this is a good idea. Fortunately, I’m a Yankee fan in Los Angeles.
Also, what’s the deal with charging $15 for the MLB iPhone and iPad apps, and then releasing a new app every year costs even more money? None of the other platforms cost a dime, and I’d think the $120 per year MLB.tv subscription would be enough to throw in the apps gratis.
Gripes aside, baseball’s been the blind spot in my quest to be sufficiently entertained without cable. I’ll probably jump on when the $25 monthly price drops below the annual subscription cost.