At the begining of the season, I was pleasantly surprised when MLB’s Advanced Media division revealed this year’s version of its live game streaming service, MLB.TV. My initial review was mostly positive for a job well done in making huge (yes, huge) improvements over last year’s service.
Given the nature of the web, and how these streaming services depend on multiple parts to work smoothly (servers, software, bandwidth, browser support, operating systems, users, etc), it was natural to expect MLB.tv to have a few glitches here and there.
Now that we’re well into the season however, issues remain front and center. Users flooded the then-support blog with issues regarding the actual quality of the video delivered, forcing MLBAM to convert the thing into a full blown support forum (with threads and all).
This can only speak to the severity and widespread nature of the issues experienced by users, and cannot be brushed away as isolated cases dependent on bandwidth or browser issues as I originally thought.
I myself have encountered glitches, where for instance, the NextDef stream would suddenly drop to standard definition during the sixth inning of a game, presumably, due to a high demand for streams. Other Umpbump MLB.tv subscribers have had the same problem.
Those with MLB.com’s online streaming package, MLB.TV Premium found out last week that being able to access games that had just been played via MLB.TV’s archive function were no longer made available 45 min. after a game has ended, but without advance notification to subscribers, was bumped up to 90 min. – twice the waiting period.
The delay was not part of a technical issue, but rather, according to feedback from MLB.com support, a new policy instituted by MLB Advanced Media through MLB.com based on pressure from television networks.
This is the thread in question, and you only have to read the first reply by an MLB moderator to catch a whiff of contempt emanating from MLBAM. This is the post that is causing frustration with users, where the reasoning for such a sudden and crucial change to one of the selling points of the service is given in a very matter-of-fact, almost in-passing manner (the new policy is indeed buried in the fine print of the mlb.tv portal).
It’s a shame; I’d built up way too many high expectations for this thing based solely on the technological promise, but failed to recognize that these are the very same New Media Goons that tried to stab their fans in the back with that DirecTV exclusive deal.
One last thing. For the love of god, when I type mlb.tv in my browser (that is the point of the short URL, right?!?!), give me a list of all the bloody games going on, not a price-breakdown of the service. I already subscribe to the damn thing!
And don’t give me shit about the text link to the media center at the top, figure out a way to make it real freakin’ portal, not a billboard.