If all goes as planned (and it does more often than not where MLBAM is concerned) baseball fans with iPhones/iTouches and the MLB.com At Bat will get a live streaming doubleheader Thursday. And that’s just the opening act. Plunking down a one-time fee of $9.99 will provide live out-of-market video streaming throughout the season on either WiFi or 3G.
There is a catch: for now, it only covers up to two games a day with blackout restrictions. For instance, the first two games are the Chicago White Sox-Chicago Cubs from Wrigley Field and the Detroit Tigers-St. Louis Cardinals at Busch in St. Louis. I’ll be able to watch the first one but should be blacked out of the second game because I’m in St. Louis this week. The plan is to open it all games, but still with blackout limits.
The At Bat app also includes live audio streaming sans blackout conditions, continuously updating scores, real-time video highlights and more. The live video is the biggest upgrade with the iPhoneT OS 3.0 update. Yes, it;s a lot cheaper that subscribing to MLB Extra Innings (which I do on DirecTV) or the MLB.TV online package for $14.95 and 199.95 (premium) a month, but the screen’s a lot smaller. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it cost more next year, though.