MLB.com and Adobe Systems Incorporated Monday announced a two-year agreement in which MLB.com has selected the Adobe Flash Platform to deliver all of its live and on-demand video offerings beginning in 2009. In addition, MLB.com will provide a downloadable rich Internet application (RIA) built using Adobe AIR, so baseball fans can access additional features outside the Web browser.
The agreement marks the end of MLBAM’s deal for Microsoft and their subscription-based Silverlight media player.
“Baseball is the nation’s favorite pastime with millions of fans watching the games each season,” said Jim Guerard, vice president and general manager of Dynamic Media at Adobe. “With Adobe Flash solutions for playback and live video streaming plus Adobe AIR to experience statistics and highlights outside the browser, we are delivering unprecedented access to every game in the baseball season, and redefining how baseball fans experience their sport.”
Throughout the 2008 season, MLB.com continued to develop and integrate new features into its live streaming product. Among those offerings were: selecting the home or away feed for every game; presenting NexDef, a standard definition television quality picture at 1.2 megabits per second in a 16x9 widescreen format; and enhancing the Emmy Award-winning Mosaic application.
“We are excited about this partnership as Adobe provides the scalability, flexibility and reliability that fans expect from MLB.com in delivering them the best live streaming product possible,” said Bob Bowman, CEO, MLB.com. “With the ability to stream broadcast-quality video over the Internet and access a new desktop experience, baseball fans will have more options than ever to watch their favorite teams and players online.”
(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Bob Bowman)
According to MLB Advanced Media, MLB.com streams live every Major League spring training, regular season and postseason game, more than 2,500 annually, via its out-of-market subscription product, which has seen more than 1.5 million total subscribers since its debut on Opening Day 2003. Since that time, fans have accessed more than 1.8 billion streams of live and on-demand multimedia offerings on MLB.com, representing nearly 200 million hours of participation. By the end of 2008, MLB.com will once again stream nearly 12,000 live video events, including Major League Baseball games and thousands of events for its various business partners.
Adobe Flash Player is already installed on more than 98 percent of Internet-connected desktops. According to comScore Media Metrix, 81 percent of online videos viewed worldwide are delivered using Adobe Flash technology, making it the No. 1 format for video on the Web.