• HaroldHecuba: Mike Mussina is EASTERN EUROPEAN, not Italian....

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.

mlbtv-failNow 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.

But the latest issue, highlighted by one of our trusty readers, GP, reeks of MLB New Media Goonness. As Maury Broun of the BizofBaseball.com explains:

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.

2 Responses to “Not all that shines is gold: A second look at MLB.tv”

  1. Robert Tyson says:

    While I understand your frustration, I think that we all need to take a step back. Every month, for less than the price of a game ticket, we get almost every out of market game available. While I do experience the occasional issue (I’ve had games blacked out that should not have been) I think that MLB.TV is great!

    And no, I do not work for MLB!

  2. Alejandro A. Leal says:

    That’s true Robert, I personally think the service is a vast improvement over last year’s. But that archive policy change was just typical MLBAM.

    But, what can you do?

Leave a Reply

Marketplace

    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:

    Archives

What's Popular

Featured posts

220px-Bbwaa_logo_web

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

According to the internet, "The Little Napoleon" John McGraw was the greatest manager of all time.

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]