05.09.2008 08:42 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
MLB Advanced Media improves online experience for baseball fans
Like all of the sports leagues, the MLB continues to use new media and multiple delivery platforms to strengthen its brand and broaden its fan base.
Among these innovative efforts, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) has unveiled an improved version of its MLB.TV Mosaic Web-based application, which allows subscribers to watch up to six live games simultaneously. The application is available now at MLB.TV.
The Mosaic application, launched on opening day 2007 and again this year on April 1, is made possible with technology from Ensequence, a company that specializes in interactive TV applications. This year, Mosaic provides more features and higher quality streaming video (in the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio). The standard package offers video at 400Kb/s streaming, while the premium package delivers video over a broadband connection at up to 1.2Mb/s. This faster connection includes the display of “next-def” video resolution, which streams at about 25Mb/s and looks better than most Internet-delivered video.
Because of the early success of the service — more than 400,000 subscribers signed up last year, and the MLB expects a 20 percent increase this year — the league and Ensequence have signed a three-year extension of their technology partnership. Ensequence and MLBAM began working together in 2006.
Dalen Harrison, Ensequence CEO, said technologies like MLB.TV Mosaic make the fan experience more immersive. His company works with other sports leagues and has created some new applications for the upcoming Olympics Games from Beijing. Ensequence will demonstrate the Mosaic and other applications at The Cable Show in New Orleans on May 18.
The MLB.TV Mosaic powered by Ensequence gives baseball fans the ability to select from a selection of live, final and preview games at the top of the screen. Using a drag-and-drop feature, fans can view up to six live games at once and personalize their video mosaic configuration. To watch a full-screen game, viewers just double-click on the live video.
The MLB.com application allows fans to follow their favorite players and teams with interactive player trackers and fantasy baseball alerts. The player tracker allows fans to load their fantasy roster and favorite teams into the application. When something happens in a live game featuring one of the tracked players, a real-time alert notifies the viewer and allows them to instantly click over to that game, so they don't miss a single play. The application also offers fans complete on-demand functionality. During times when live games aren't available, they can watch on-demand games, outtakes from the previous night’s games and archived footage of every game dating back to 2005.
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