The MLB is the first major sport to truly see the light as far as online video is concerned. And though most sports are starting to invest time and money into real time streaming games online, Major League Baseball is already at the top of their game.
This article from Fortune.com explains how MLB Advanced Media has been able to capture a huge market for its MLB.TV project to stream almost every single game for the entire season.
“With it, the league is setting new limits on how live television is distributed over the Web. While TV networks are still figuring out the best way to put last night’s sitcom online, MLB is about to stream a season of more than 2,000 live games in hi-definition with more features than any cable box.”
If you listen to (or read) Mark Cuban over at his blog, BlogMaverick.com, you’ve no doubt heard him discuss the many limits of online television. And it may be true that web based programming will never fully replace cable. But there are many advantages that the web offers, and companies that can see those advantages and work with them will be in a position to capitalize in a big way.
The MLB is taking advantage of two things that web programming offers. First, when you use the Web, location does not matter. MLB.TV can offer games to anyone in any region, so if you can;t watch you’re favorite team because you don’t live in the area, the web is the best way to watch. The second is portability. You don’t have to be in front of a TV to watch the games that you want to watch. This means people can watch games at work, while they travel, or in any room of the house.
How has MLB Advanced Media taken advantage of this growing market? By making a product that is worth using. The technology exists to make a state of the art media center for live streaming video, and they simply invested the resources necessary to make one that is as good as it gets.
As the new season kicks off this week, we will see many people turning to the web to view games from all over the world. Now let’s see if other companies can learn from the example they set, and take advantage of the growing popularity of streaming video online.