As the 2011 season opens, Major League Baseball is giving away one of its most prized media assets—live streaming of its games—to mobile users courtesy of Volvo.
During April, fans can download MLB.com’s At Bat 11 application for Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iTouch and stream all out-of-market games live for free. Normally such games are only available to paying MLB.TV subscribers.
While the Volvo-funded free access is not available on Android devices, this year marks the first time that Android phone and tablet owners can subscribe to MLB.TV. Android owners will, however, have access to one free out-of-market game each week during the season.
MLB has also added a slew of new features to its revamped Apple and Android applications. Subscribers can now access live highlights from key games during the season and can even go back and view archived games. Fans can also track live game simulations which borrow graphics from the PlayStation title MLB 11: The Show.
Social media is in play here as well and fans can “check in” at MLB ballparks a la Foursquare as well as create profiles and share comments via Facebook and Twitter directly from the app.
The MLB/Volvo partnership was facilitated by Mobext, the mobile marketing partners of the digital agency Media Contacts.