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MLB.TV 2007 prices released

by Matt Smith

MLB.com have just released the options available to baseball fans for listening and watching baseball over the Internet in 2007.  As always, there is a decent amount of choice to cater for different needs and systems.

The main shift this year is the launch of a MLB.TV Premium package to sit alongside the standard MLB.TV package and Gameday Audio.  In previous years,  “All Access” was the top product.  This combined MLB.TV with Gameday Audio and added a few extras, such as access to condensed games.  The MLB.TV Premium package gives you the “All Access” content and adds to it with a souped-up streaming rate of 700K and the fancy Mosaic feature that was trialed last year.

What stands out to me at first glance is that people who don’t quite want the top package will have a relative bargain on their hands.  MLB.TV is now effectively last season’s All Access package,  yet you only have to pay £46 ($89.95) for it instead of £52.  Considering it seemed reasonably priced last year and a small price hike was expected, that’s a great result .  The slight down side of course is that people can no longer buy MLB.TV on it’s own; however I doubt many will mind paying a bit extra considering the new price and the extras you receive.

MLB.TV Premium does look an enticing package, yet it’s probably best to check that Mosaic will work on your machine and with your internet connection.  My PC is a bit cobbled together and I couldn’t get Mosaic to run when I tried it last year!  There is a demo clip showing what games streamed at 700K will look like and if the clip is an accurate representation (not guaranteed!) then it will be a considerable improvement.  I like to watch games on full-screen mode and I can get away with it by sitting further back from my screen than I would when I’m doing things such as writing blog posts.  The picture isn’t crystal clear, but it’s more than good enough.  Watching the 700K demo clip, I can send it to full-screen and keep sitting in the same place and the picture quality is impressive (again, not perfect but pretty good).  Obviously this has to be balanced against the possibility that the doubled streaming rate might leave you “buffering” every minute or so.

Right now, I’m in a bit of a quandary over whether I should go for the Premium package or not.  Even if I can get the mosaic feature to work, I doubt I will use it much (not least because the time difference means there are far fewer occasions as a Brit when there are six live games going on at one time that you want to keep an eye on).  The 700K picture is fairly seductive though and my 2MB connection should cope!   Premium will cost £62 so that will mean a £16 extra outlay over the MLB.TV package, which isn’t much over the course of the season.  I will have to think it over!

So the main points are:

  • Gameday Audio is an absolute bargain at around £8.  If you haven’t got the spare cash or the technical set-up for MLB.TV, I would heartily recommend investing in this.  Even with MLB.TV, I still listen to plenty of games on Gameday audio over the season.
  • MLB.TV is essentially last year’s All Access package for just approximately £46: an absolute bargain!  The live action at 400K is perfectly watchable and the condensed games (generally 9-10 minutes of highlights of every single game) are fantastic for those of us who can’t spend their days and nights watching live games.
  • MLB.TV Premium will cost you approximately £62 and the extra £16 gets you a much better picture than the standard MLB.TV, and MLB Mosaic.

Don’t forget, you may be liable for a small overseas transaction charge as well depending on who you bank with (generally only around £1).

MLB work on the policy of an automatic renewal, so I imagine people like myself who subscribed to All Access last year will immediately be charged for the Premium package (although you can cancel it before it goes through).

Check out the subscriptions section on MLB.com for more info.

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Gruff February 15, 2007 - 2:32 am

Oooooh Tempting…

/Mouse cursor hovers over kindly/wickedly provided link.

I had MLB.TV last year and found it to be sufficient when there was a lull in games.
Not sure this year, what with having NASN and channel fives excellent coverage (except the times they join the game already in progress)

Regarding Mosaic, a lotof people in the US were struggling to get it to work so i can see you would have problems, what with a 2 meg connection and the Atlantic Ocean to navigate.

Cymru Jays Fan February 20, 2007 - 2:51 pm

MLB.TY Premium looks gorgeous.

Unfortunately, I can only get the demo to work in the Office and not at Home because my bandwidth is too narrow – damn you BT!

As a Blue Jays fan MLB.TV is an essential since NASN only cover about 4 games a season and five showed one for the first time in years last season.

Cannot recommend MLB.TV highly enough!

baseballgb February 20, 2007 - 7:17 pm

I can’t imagine how I would cope if I didn’t have access to MLB.TV! Just the fact that you have the choice to watch any game you like (we don’t have to suffer from the blackout restrictions thankfully) is great enough. But having all those games to watch for just £46 to £65 a year is staggering value in my book. As British fans, we are extremely well served by MLB.com, that’s for sure!

I’m still undecided as to whether I will go for the Premium package or not. I’ve still got a few doubts that the 700K streaming might end up buffering too much on my set-up. I don’t mind how the picture looks at 400K so I’m leaning towards the standard MLB.TV package at the moment, but that might change! You can’t go wrong either way really.

Daniel February 22, 2007 - 2:49 pm

Important note: Playoff games are not in the deal this year! You’ll only get audio. No doubt there will be an additional offer when October comes around.

As far as the automatic renewal goes… I can’t find anything about that. The renewal terms were for All Access but as I see it, that product doesn’t exist anymore. I’ll just with till March 1 before ordering anything.

baseballgb February 22, 2007 - 7:03 pm

Good point about the play-off games, although they weren’t included last season either as I recall. They did an extra $15 post-season package.

The auto-renewal is a bit up in the air. Generally all of their deals specifically include an automatic renewal, but as you say in effect the All Access package doesn’t exist any more. I suspect that lurking in the small print somewhere we when signed up to the All Access package there was a disclaimer that would cover it, so we will be renewed to the equivalent top package (i.e. Premium). I think waiting to see is the best policy because I’ve heard it can be a bit of a faff trying to get them to cancel it.

Daniel March 1, 2007 - 11:02 am

Well, as of today I can access Spring Training games. It seems my All Access subscription got renewed. Since the streams are 400kbps I suppose I have the regular MLB.tv now.

baseballgb March 1, 2007 - 1:29 pm

Thanks for the update Daniel. I’ve just realised my bank details have changed since last year so they won’t be able to automatically update me!

There is a post on the BaseballFan forum from mpw1 who claims that he received an e-mail from MLB.com stating that as an All Access subscriber last year he will automatically be subscribed to the Premium package, but for the same $100 dollar price as the All Acess was last year.

I’ve checked my records and last year they sent out e-mails on 1 March stating that subscriptions would be renewed, so I would guess we will get a clearer picture (no pun intended!) in the next few days.

Drood March 13, 2007 - 5:39 pm

Just so you know, I’m a Brit in Canada… Not that that is relevant in any way…

Anyhoo, I’ve been doing some reading and the spring training games are ALL in 400kb streams. The flash new 700kb one doesn’t launch until opening day.

baseballgb March 13, 2007 - 6:24 pm

Wherever you’re from and wherevever you live: everyone’s welcome here!

It’s a good point about the Spring Training games though, as I’m sure many Premium subscribers have tuned in only to be a bit disapppointed that they’re not getting the 700KB stream.

MLB.com do declare that the 700KB and Mosaic features start from April on the section about the Premium subscription, but the fact that they let monthly subscribers in particular sign up to the Premium package for March (when they get none of the benefits of being a Premium subscriber over a standard MLB.TV subscription) is pretty sneaky to say the least!

Drood March 19, 2007 - 6:23 am

It is pretty tacky… And exactly the sort of thing I’d expect from MLB:)

Debating getting MLB.TV myself, but the problem: I don’t have a phone, which will make cancelling bloody difficult… Not sure what to do about that, as I don’t want to be stuck with it if I don’t want to keep it. I use Skype for long distance, which can’t do 1-800 numbers, and my cellphone… Well given how long they keep you on hold would probably cost more than a months subscription anyway…

Tough call… Too bad I can’t find someone to share the subscription with or something. Sadly, despite being in a country with (allegedly) more interest in baseball (though in reality, most Canadians don’t give a crap), I don’t know any other fans.

baseballgb April 2, 2007 - 8:44 pm

Those of you still unsure whether to go for MLB.TV should check out the April offer which gives you a free five day trial. It’s the typical MLB.com effort though – you have to sign up for the subscription and if you don’t cancel it quickly enough you will be liable for the full cost for the season.

The Easter weekend looks a good time to try it out if you’ve not made other plans (and how could you at the start of the baseball season!). The Sunday in particular has lots of games on at a decent evening time for British viewers (as normal). It’s a good idea if you’re not sure about the quality of the picture and how it will run on your system. You only need a couple of days to see if it’s worth investing in and can then send off your e-mail to cancel if required. Quite how good they are at cancelling your subscription, I don’t know. My advice would be make sure you keep a copy of your e-mail!

baseballgb April 2, 2007 - 8:55 pm

One more thing! For those of you still undecided whether to sign up for Premium or not, you do get the option to watch either the normal 400K stream or the 700K stream (and can easily switch between the two). So if the traffic is a bit busy one day, you can swap over to the lower streaming rate.

As for the Mosaic feature, I haven’t tried it today but judging by the News alert post on MLB.com right now, I’m guessing plenty of people are having trouble with it. Hopefully only teething problems.

Jack April 3, 2007 - 10:36 pm

I’ve been an mlb.tv subscriber for a few years and am not interested in going for the 700k at this time. But it seems that when I try to access any game (live or archive), even when a 400k streem is offered, once I log in and select the game I am prompted to upgrade to 700k mlb.tv premium. There is nowhere that 400k is offered. Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong??

baseballgb April 4, 2007 - 7:23 pm

Hi Jack

I can’t help you with this one I’m afraid. I’ve gone for the Premium subscription and this is what happens for me when I log in:

I click on the TV logo next to a game and it brings up the window where you put in your e-mail address and password. It then logs me straight into the game, running at 400K. On the right hand side you click on the “Watch” option and then there are two TV logos with 700K and 400K written underneath (where I can select the 700K feed).

Might be worth checking the forum on MLB.com, there are lots of threads on there at the moment about MLB.TV!


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