For the first time, Major League Baseball is allowing customers to purchase gift subscriptions for family and friends to its MLB At Bat streaming audio service.
Users can gift a $20 subscription that gives access to in-game streaming radio broadcasts for the entire 2014 baseball season, including pre- and postseason games, with no blackouts.
Previously, users wishing to gift MLB At Bat premium subscriptions would need to purchase mall or generic credit card gift cards for users to buy the service themselves. The subscription is good for multiple platforms including the iPhone, iPad, the Web, as well as a number of Android devices.
At Bat also gives users access to MLB's video archive of 2013 baseball games, video highlights of new games as they happen, and a streaming selection of classic games.
Subscriptions to MLB.com At Bat, the 10th highest grossing mobile app in App Store history, are now available as holiday gifts for the first time. Instead of waiting in bricks-and-mortar store lines or giving a generic gift card, anyone can gift At Bat for the 2014 MLB season, through a direct purchase of the $19.99 full-season subscription from MLB.com.
With access to the complete set of premium features in 2014, including live audio of every game and the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day, At Bat 14 will be the perfect holiday gift for any baseball fan.
At Bat currently offers full coverage of the Hot Stove and the upcoming Baseball Winter Meetings in December. MLB Advanced Media’s mobile developers also are working on new features to be unveiled in the 2014 edition of At Bat. Complete details will be available at launch next year.
MLB At Bat is available as a free download for iPhone and iPad, while premium subscriptions for 2014 will be available via in app purchase next year. [Direct Link]
Top Rated Comments
The TV package, though... not such a deal. MLB's draconian blackout policies make the subscription useless to the vast majority of fans. If you live out of your favorite team's huge exclusion zone, then it *might* make sense - otherwise, no.
Silly thing is - MLB could just provide in-zone fans streaming access to their local team's TV feed, ads and all, and most people wouldn't complain. I'd gladly pay the $120/year for that just for the flexibility - getting to have a playoff game up in the corner of my monitor at work, for example.
BTW, MLB execs - because of cost, I deliberately chose a cable TV tier that does NOT include my local team's cable channel. So, in my case at least, this would be money from me that you don't currently receive at all.
Purchasing the audio subscription via the iOS app gives you free audio access on the MLB.com website as well.
The reverse is not true - subscribing via the MLB.com website does NOT let you access the audio feed on the iOS app (unless they've changed the rules since last season).
Then they should provide a way to view those in-market games on mobile platforms for those who have or are willing to pay for it.
I get DirecTV and pay for all the local sports packages. Even if I pay for the MLB.tv package DTV, web or mobile app - if I happen to be out of my house but in the "market area" I can't watch my local game/team on my iPhone/iPad.
Sorry, but that is ridiculous. At least they could have MLB.tv app verify that you also have a DirecTV account and limit your local access to the rebroadcast of that local station. Several other applications already do that (HBO Go, Showtime etc.)