Based on previous years, Friday 8 February and the weekend that follows is the likely release date, when baseball fans around the world will find out how much the annual subscription will cost and what will be included in the packages.
Prices increased in 2012 compared to 2011 but this was predominantly due to the MLB At-Bat App being included in the Premium subscription. In 2011 subscribers had to pay for the app separately if they wanted to access their subscribed content on mobile devices.
The table below states the subscription price details from the last five years, including the cost in pounds at the time of the prices being announced.
|Year||Prices announced||MLB.TV std.||MLB Premium|
|2012||10-Feb||$110 (£70)||$125 (£79.45)|
|2011||09-Feb||$100 (£62)||$120 (£74.50)|
|2010||28-Jan||$100 (£61.60)||$120 (£74)|
|2009||05-Feb||$80 (£54.60)||$110 (£75)|
|2008||09-Feb||$90 (£47)||$120 (£62)|
The price changes reflect the fact that the subscription features have evolved over the years and this is particularly true for the MLB.TV standard package.
The basic option that was offered in 2008 and 2009 streamed video at a lesser quality and didn’t include features such as being able to pause and rewind live streams or the multi-game ‘Mosaic’ option.
Watching streamed video content online at HD quality (or close to it) is now a common activity for many, much more so than it was back in 2008. MLB.com’s online offerings have evolved to meet these increased expectations and the price of the basic offering has increased in line with this: few would be willing to pay anything, let alone $80-$90, for video streamed at 400kbps nowadays.
The price of the Premium product has remained relatively static over the past five years. That’s extremely welcome considering that seemingly everything else has increased in price exponentially over that period.
Fans based here in the U.K. have to factor in the variable of the dollar/pound exchange rate. That was most noticeable in 2009 when the MLB.com prices decreased in dollars compared to 2008 but the real cost to British fans actually increased. The exchange rate is little different today to twelve months ago, so that will not be an issue when comparing the 2013 prices to those of last year.
As the 2012 prices in dollars were an increase on 2011, it’s quite possible that there will be a price freeze in 2013 unless significant new features are included in the subscription packages.
My guess is that prices and features will remain pretty much the same in 2013 compared to 2012. And if the prices do go up, 2012 subscribers that decided to automatically renew for 2013 may be spared any increase, as happened with the price increases in 2010.
It will not be too long before we find out for certain and can start planning ahead for another season of great viewing and listening online.