06/17/11 9:00 AM ET
MLB.TV makes the perfect Father's Day gift
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
1. You waited too long and those guaranteed shipping deadlines for a gift have passed;
2. You are the dad, and as a serious baseball fan you are already bracing yourself for something "thoughtful" from the mall.
This is the time for action. This is the ninth inning, time for greatness to step forward. It is the era of watching live out-of-market Major League Baseball games from anywhere, over connected or mobile devices that have changed the game. MLB.TV is for baseball dads.
If you are one, if you are looking for a satisfying last-minute gift for one, then it should be a pretty easy decision. The cost of an annual subscription to MLB.TV Premium was recently lowered to $99.99 (or $24.99 a month), and basic MLB.TV is now down to $79.99 yearly (or $19.99 monthly). For either package, just click the "Give as a Gift" link on the purchase page or order it for yourself.
Richard Griffith, a 50-something Yankees fan in Gainsville, Fla., is a third-year subscriber and said he discovered MLB.TV on MLB.com in 2009 and "thought I was dreaming. Baseball games on my computer, no way." Now he takes his laptop everywhere, knowing he won't miss a game, and last year he bought an iPhone and downloaded the MLB.com At Bat app.
At Bat lets you stream your live MLB.TV games on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch (minimum 4.0 OS) and Android (minimum 2.2 OS and Flash installed). You can watch MLB.TV via connected devices including PC, Mac, Sony PlayStation 3, Apple TV, Roku, Boxee, Popbox, LG, Panasonic and Samsung. To check on your device, see the devices list.
With MLB.TV Premium, you can choose home or away TV or radio feed, plus Spanish where available. And if you want to forgo play-by-play and just hear what the crowd hears, you can select the "Park" option. Take a random poll of Baseball Dads and the majority will have a clear preference over what they see and hear in an MLB broadcast.
Speed-detection technology delivers live high-definition video at the industry standard of 720p on any size monitor. Pause and rewind or fast-forward live games with Live game DVR functionality. Go directly to any at-bat or half-inning of a game with Clickable Linescores. Watch up to four games simultaneously.
Use picture-in-picture to choose one game and track another or watch in-game highlights simultaneously in a secondary window. Watch live game highlights and see player stats automatically load into the media player. Customize a Player Tracker and get notifications to watch live at-bat look-ins for each player on your fantasy roster. Get Twitter integration.
Sunday is not only Father's Day, but it also is the day MLB.TV Premium subscriber Rima Fakih will hand over her Miss USA crown. And anyone thinking about MLB.TV right now should take it from her, because she uses it to keep up with her boyfriend Ricky Romero's starts for the Blue Jays while she is traveling around the world.
"It's difficult with my career traveling ... and with Ricky being as busy as he is," Fakih said. "I want to thank MLB.TV because I get to watch Ricky pitch wherever I am in the world. I'm on my iPad all the time. It's difficult but we make it work."
Signups also are under way for a special $49.99 annual plan available only to fans who have the At Bat 11 app installed on iPhone or iPod Touch or Android. Click here for a list of supported devices/carriers.
Purchase of At Bat is required to access MLB.TV on iPhone, iPad and Android. That entitles the user to access MLB.TV only on the mobile phone, not any other platform. The mobile-only subscription is not available on iPad or BlackBerry, although you can watch live games on the iPad and listen live on your BlackBerry.