Spring training may not start for another month, but for baseball fans eager to follow their favorite teams on nearly every connected device, the season has officially begun. The 2011 edition of MLB.tv, Major League Baseball's official digital offering, is now available for purchase.
The price remains the same as it was in 2010 â€” $119.95 a year for the premium package, $99.95 if you can do without live game DVR controls and home and away broadcast options. Purchase of an MLB.com At Bat application is necessary for some devices, available for an annual fee of $14.99.
While MLB.tv has previously been available on iOS devices, set-top boxes like the Boxee Box and Roku, and even the PS3, this is the first year that Android devices will also have access to live video. The reason for the lack of live video on Android up until now, according to a comment made by the MLB Mobile team in March 2010, was that:
"Android device fragmentation, whether the differing hardware or software would not necessarily stop us from delivering MLB.tv to any Android devices that did support the capability. However, the App Market limits a developers flexibility to target certain devices so we'd probably need to build some capability detection logic into the application."
According to an official release, MLB.tv has served one billion live video streams since August 2002, when it first began offering streaming video â€” and 25 percent (or 250 million) of those were from 2010 alone. The first game to be live streamed was a Rangers-Yankees faceoff, according to an MLB.com spokesperson, and was watched by 30,000 viewers.