MLB.TV Gets into Roku

NEW YORK: Major League Baseball is jumping onto yet another platform. This time, its MLB.TV content will be featured in Roku set-top boxes, several published reports indicate. Roku, based in Saratoga, Calif., makes a set-top that transmits broadband-based content to TVs. The device works like a digital video player and was the first peripheral to stream Netflix content to TVs, something TV manufacturers are now integrating into their own sets. Rokus also tap into Amazon’s Video on Deman service. The box costs $100.

The MLB will provide live, out-of-market content to Roku box users who subscribe to the League’s $34.95 premium package, which takes fans through the rest of the 2009 season. The games will be in HD for fans who have the broadband capacity to support it. Roku boxes actively monitor bandwidth to optimize the content delivery.

The company, started in 2002 by Replay TV founder Anthony Wood, recently closed a second and third round of funding, Ryan Lawler reports in Contentinople. Menlo Ventures, which previously contributed $5 million, put in another $5 million. Another Series C round brought in $8.4 million. Netflix, an investor in the company, contributed $6 million in a B round in February of 2008.

More TVB coverage of MLB distribution:
June 26, 2009: “MLB Starts Streaming Live Games in Team’s Markets
Major League Baseball will stream live coverage of games in the home markets of playing teams, it said this week. MLB will launch streaming packages of Yankees games starting in July, making it the first sports league to offer live, in-market, Web coverage of games that are also broadcast on local TV.