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MLB.TV continues to raise the bar

MLB.TV continues to raise the bar

Kelle Martin is a 29-year-old Red Sox fan living in Austin, Texas, and in the middle of the last Major League Baseball season someone gave her a gift subscription to MLB.TV Premium.

The 2010 MLB.TV subscription package is now available, and Martin was among the first baseball fans to sign up at just $119.95 for the full year -- "because I love it so much."

"MLB.TV Premium is a perfect fit for me because I don't want to miss a single game," Martin, an assistant to the president for a construction management company, said in an e-mail to MLB.com on Wednesday night. "Not living in the Boston area, I don't have access to local broadcasts airing the Red Sox. I'm renewing my subscription this season because with MLB.TV I can watch nearly every game in its entirety in HD quality.

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"I also like that I have access to my account anywhere, so missing a game is nearly impossible. ... You can't do that with regular TV.

"The best part is that it's reasonably priced. It's a no-brainer for me. I'll continue to be a loyal subscriber to MLB.TV because the experience of watching baseball just isn't the same without it. I couldn't think of a better way to watch."

She would get no argument from Mariners fan Nathan Bishop, who tweeted the following to his fellow fans on Twitter: "MLB.TV 2010 purchased."

Those fans are typical of the millions who have subscribed to MLB.TV since its inception in 2002, and it is back better than ever for its eighth season as a bar-raising technology in pro sports. Yearly subscriptions are now available at $99.95 for MLB.TV and $119.95 for MLB.TV Premium. That will give you immediate access to relive every moment from every Major League game played in the 2009 season, including the Yankees' World Series clincher.

As part of the subscription, you will be able to watch or listen to more than 150 live games from Florida and Arizona as teams prepare for the 2010 regular season. The Spring Training schedule starts with Braves vs. Mets on March 2 in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Portability is front and center among the 2010 features, as fans will enjoy convenient MLB.TV options optimized for numerous screens, from home and office computers to laptops and large monitors. Additional distribution through apps on various Apple products, including the company's latest innovation, the iPad, essentially means that MLB.TV has something for everybody, everywhere there's an Internet or mobile connection.

The full schedule of 2,430 regular-season games is included, and most of those are delivered in HD quality (where available). MLB.com's proprietary speed detection allows high-speed users to receive crisp, best-in-class streaming video on any size monitor.

Fans also will get real-time highlights and stats; on-demand access to full-game archives for viewing of any inning from the whole season; MLB.com Condensed Games featuring a quick, detailed journey from first pitch through the final out; access to MLB.com Gameday Audio and a new, interactive, proprietary pitch-by-pitch display; Clickable Linescores that take visitors straight to any half-inning of a game; and a Fantasy Player Tracker consisting of ballplayers customized by subscribers and integrated with participating league rosters.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers get all that, and they also can enjoy the following features: Choice of home or away broadcast feeds, so favorite announcers are always a simple click away; DVR for pausing, rewinding and jumping back to live action; and a multi-game view (Quad Mode, Picture in Picture and Split Screen).

MLB.com made its 2010 MLB.TV subscriptions available on Jan. 27, featuring state-of-the-art delivery of live, out-of-market MLB games as part of an unprecedented full season of access to the product over a variety of devices. That includes customers enabled to buy through applications on the iPhone, iPod Touch and the brand-new iPad.

Many fans are asking when the 2010 MLB.com At Bat app will be available and on what platforms, and the answer is to subscribe to MLB.TV and then stay tuned as it will be available between now and Opening Day. The anticipation over that 2010 app is understandable given the impact it had on so many fans last season.

The MLB.com At Bat app was synched up with MLB.TV during the 2009 season so that fans could watch all live out-of-market games over their iPhone and iPod Touch devices. That changed everything. It was the overall No. 2-selling app in iTunes for '09. Rave reviews included Best Multimedia App by Macworld and "2009 Most Valuable App" by Sports Illustrated, and CNET called it "another step in proving MLB.com's technical superiority."

The success of At Bat made it obvious to people that an MLB.TV subscription would be a natural fit as well for Apple's newest product. It will look different, but no matter what, it always starts with having an MLB.TV subscription, which you can get right now.

"We were incredibly excited to build something for the iPad, and we realized we couldn't just take our existing iPhone app and make it bigger," Chad Evans, director of mobile product development for MLB Advanced Media, explained to a worldwide audience that followed the iPad event. "We really needed to create a whole new experience to take advantage of the big, gorgeous interactive screen on the device."

Evans and Tracy Pesin, director of mobile engineering at MLBAM, went through several screen displays showing how the content will look, including users' ability to touch players for details, bells and whistles, and to access data pertinent to game situations.

"With all this great screen space, we can now let you watch video highlights while all this is going on, so you can replay the game's best moments," Evans said. "The first thing you notice is baseball is amazing on this screen, and now we've enhanced it."

The 2010 MLB.TV media player will deliver a fleet of enhancements in a convenient, cutting-edge Adobe Flash format, offering an unparalleled live viewing experience for every out-of-market regular season game. Meanwhile, the MLB.com iPad application will support MLB.TV natively without Flash. It might not have the full feature set of the Flash version at the launch, but features will be added over time.

Baseball is about to return, starting on the fields of Arizona and Florida for Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report starting on Feb. 18, then the first exhibitions are March 2, and then it's Yankees at Red Sox for that Sunday night opener on April 4. It will all be here fast, and now is the time to sign up for MLB.TV Premium like Martin did -- because you love it.

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

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