We already know that the average modern family watches live out-of-market Major League Baseball games with a subscription to MLB.TV streamed to widespread connected or mobile devices.
What you may not realize is that Ty Burrell, the Emmy Award-winning actor behind Phil Dunphy's character in "Modern Family," does that as well.
"I use it on Apple TV," Burrell said during a recent visit to the MLB.com studios in New York, while promoting the "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" movie starring his voice. "Much to my wife's chagrin, I go to 'Today's Games' every day and scour them, and basically look for the Mets. As soon as they're up and available, I start tracking them.
"During the regular season, we spend a lot of our time in Utah, which is where my wife is from. So the timing is a little bit different. A lot of them are on at 5 or something there. So I have to cut into my kids' cartoon-watching time. Daddy butts in to watch the Mets."
If you are among the millions who also have subscribed to the Internet's longest-running and No. 1 streaming sports product, then you can relate. If you are not, then the time is right to join in. MLB Advanced Media announced on Thursday that it has lowered its annual price to $114.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $94.99 for MLB.TV.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers have access to every live out-of-market game across more than 400 supported mobile and connected devices, and so far this season it has added Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to the list.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers also get home and away broadcast feeds, plus a free 2014 subscription to the highest-grossing sports app of all time, MLB.com At Bat -- on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, supported Android smartphones and tablets, Amazon Kindle Fire and Windows Phone 8. The All-Star Game and World Series will be streamed for the first time live over MLB.TV, and Burrell wouldn't mind seeing his favorite team back in that Fall Classic.
Hey, a 15-11 start means the Mets are one of the biggest surprises so far this early season.
"I'm so excited. I'm an eternal optimist. It's like a disease," Burrell said. "I'm constantly setting myself up for a fall basically, because I always think -- and this goes for all of my teams. I'm a huge Rams fan, and the Ducks have been playing well. But every year I think the Rams are going to the Super Bowl. Not the brightest of sports fans, as you can clearly tell."
Fans like Erin Looney will be watching live out-of-market games along with him this season from outposts near and far. She is a communications major at Florida State, originally from Altoona, Pa. It is her first season as an MLB.TV subscriber, and she joked in an email to MLB.com this week that her At Bat app, next to her dog, "might be my best friend in the world."
"For me, it's baseball first and a team second," Looney said. "I get a lot of [flak] from friends who can't figure out why I'm watching the Cardinals and Brewers on one screen, Indians and Mariners on another, and then my Phillies. Hey, it's baseball, and MLB.TV is a great way to make sure I don't miss anything awesome -- like Chris Colabello's 'Happy Birthday, Mom' home run, Wrigley Field's 100th birthday game, Scott Carroll's first Major League 'W,' or whatever that is on Michael Pineda's neck. ... I saw all those things as they happened during the games in real time.
"Usually, I have a game on my iPhone 5s while I'm at an FSU game ... and if it's the Braves, I end up with a crowd of fans checking in on it between FSU's innings. I am also super guilty of using my laptop and/or phone in class. ... When I'm in my apartment, I have a game on my TV through Roku and as many as four games on the game mix on the laptop. I love that I can use it anywhere, too, so when I travel, I don't have to search for a place to watch a game. All I need is a USB, a compatible TV and my laptop."
Everyone has an MLB.TV story and a reason for subscribing. As a doctoral student living off campus, Looney is 4 1/2 hours from the nearest Major League teams (Tampa Bay and Atlanta) and 2 1/2 from the nearest Minor League teams (the Marlins' Double-A Jacksonville Suns and the Reds' Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos). She said her mother lives in Pensacola near the Wahoos, and until moving to Florida State for school in 2012, Looney lived near the D-backs' Double-A Mobile Baybears and the Rays' Double-A Montgomery Biscuits.
"Living so far from professional baseball for the first time in so many years is torture, and the college season only goes into June," Looney said, "so being able to watch four games on my computer, one on my phone, and two on my TV at any given time helps alleviate the pain a little."