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MLB.com At Bat 2009 app expanding

Watch At-Bat games for 99 cents

In another first for Major League Baseball fans, all live out-of-market games are now available for only 99 cents each -- the cost to download a typical song -- for those who have the popular MLB.com At Bat 2009 app on their iPhone or iPod Touch devices.

For the rest of this season, simply choose any game anytime. Let's say you want to watch your favorite team clinch or your favorite pitcher start, or you want to see a milestone like Ichiro Suzuki breaking the record for most consecutive 200-hit seasons. Whatever the game, just buy it as easily as you would a must-have song in Apple's iTunes Store.

This follows the recent announcement that all MLB.TV and MLB.TV Premium subscribers who have the MLB.com At Bat 2009 app can see all out-of-market games live over their iPhones or iPod Touch devices, just as they can over a computer.

Now fans can have it both ways, just as the pennant races are hitting overdrive. You can use your MLB.TV subscription to immediately watch any live out-of-market game at any time. The 99-cent games are great options to those fans who do not have MLB.TV and who want the a la carte convenience.

Apple's newest feature also includes customizable notifications, so if you have MLB.com At Bat 2009, then you will be notified whenever a game is about to start. Many fans will thus be prompted to order that game immediately and start watching it live wherever they are.

Fans can access every out-of-market game in high quality video over either a Wi-Fi connection or the carrier network as part of At Bat 2009. Leveraging standards-based https streaming technology enabled by the recent iPhone OS 3.0 update, the MLB.com app includes controls to give users the ability to pause a game or rewind the action. Additionally, adaptive bitrate technology is constantly working automatically to give users the highest-quality voice stream their network connection can support.

MLB.com will continue to make up to two free games per day -- the AtBat.TV Game of the Day -- available for all At Bat 2009 subscribers, subject to blackout restrictions.

The application also offers live audio broadcasts without blackout restrictions, a continuously updated scoreboard, MLB.com Gameday functionality, real-time video highlights and Condensed Games, a short-form video recap of every payoff pitch from every game.

This is the latest in a series of big baseball-tech breakthroughs this season, many of them involving mobile technology. Fans have raved the past year about the MLB.com At Bat app, which has been a steady No. 1 among top-selling sports apps.

"Having MLB.TV was already awesome in itself. Then came MLB.com At Bat 2009 on my iPhone," said Cristian Podar, a 31-year-old Tigers fan in the Detroit area. "I thought I had it made until now. Now I have the ability to watch every out-of-market game on my iPhone wherever I go.

"I am a baseball nut and a Tigers fan. I follow what every team in the division does constantly throughout the day. Now I can actually watch the action live on my iPhone. This is an absolutely revolutionary way to provide fans with the complete experience. This will literally change my daily routine."

Wade Strange, a 30-year-old Red Sox fan transplanted from Western Massachusetts to "the heart of Yankees country" -- East Rutherford, N.J. -- said being able to watch live games on his iPhone changed life for the better.

"As a complete workaholic, I spend more time at the office than I care to admit," Strange said. "I need access to my Sox. My normal routine of using MLB.com At Bat audio on my iPhone to listen to the start of night games, and then racing home to log on and finish the game in HD using MLB.TV will now get a significant upgrade with the recently updated MLB At Bat app for iPhone. I was happy with just the audio and now I'm ecstatic for video access to every game wherever I am. I consider myself a modern, technically savvy baseball fan and I'm still amazed every time I pull out my phone to watch a Sox game. We are truly living in the future."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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