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Matt Smith is the editor and lead writer at BaseballGB. An Oakland A's fan, Matt has been obsessed with baseball since 1998 and started writing about the sport in 2006.

Looking ahead to the 2013 MLB.TV subscriptions

The 2013 MLB.TV subscription details should be announced in the next couple of weeks.

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.

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9 Responses to “Looking ahead to the 2013 MLB.TV subscriptions”

  1. Rob Smith #

    I bought mlb.tv in July 2012 reduced to about £35 (bundled with MiLB.tv) and I think it is no exaggeration to declare that it totally changed the way I enjoy watching games at home! When typically will the live games start? As early as Feb or will it be March?

    Great article just like your 2012 guide to mlb.tv last year. Thanks!

    January 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm Reply
  2. Matt Smith #

    Hi Rob

    Live games will begin when the Spring Training games start, which is a bit earlier than normal this year (22 Feb) due to the World Baseball Classic. Only a small number of these pre-season friendlies are televised and therefore available to watch on MLB.TV, although most are covered by the local radio teams so you can listen in that way via the Gameday Audio option that’s included in the subscription.

    As for the World Baseball Classic, those games start on 2 March. MLB.com hasn’t announced the broadcasting details on the WBC yet and this will probably be covered when the 2013 season prices are released. My guess is there will be a separate WBC subscription package available to buy, but that it will be included in the 2013 MLB annual subcription too (from memory I think that’s how it’s worked in the last 2 WBC’s).

    Every year when the prices are announced, I always make a point to stop and be thankful that MLB.com offer these products – and at affordable prices. The luxury of being able to watch any game you wish live or on-demand was almost unimaginable ten years ago, when we just had two live games a week on Channel 5.

    I saw your tweet about the NHL version of MLB.TV that blacks-out games shown on U.K. TV. It would be less of a problem if they created such a blackout system with MLB in the U.K. simply as there would still be lots of other games to watch, but it would still be very annoying. Considering NHL is only available on Premier Sports here it’s a very strange decision by the NHL to sell their rights that way.

    Glad you enjoy them as much as I do!

    Cheers
    Matt

    January 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm Reply
  3. Roly #

    Matt, I have apple tv, xbox 360, and an LG TV. Last year I signed up for the last few weeks when it was on offer at $10 and was unable to access on any of them. MLB.tv happily refunded me, no questions asked.

    Do you know if we here in the UK will be able to view content on any (or all) of these devices this year? I do have an iPad and iPhone5 but do not (and will not) watch games on these.

    Thanks for the site which has renewed my infatuation with this sport.

    January 29, 2013 at 6:40 pm Reply
    • Matt Smith #

      Hi Roly. The most up-to-date info re using devices for MLB.TV is published and updated here:
      http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/help/faq_mlbtvconnecteddevices.jsp#q9

      I don’t have any of the 3 devices you mention so can’t write from personal experience, but I know others who have used Apple TV. Judging from last year, others struggled with the Xbox360 option too.

      I’ve got a Roku box and the MLB.TV app is supported in the UK and works fine, although can understand if shelling out for another device doesn’t appeal to you! I picked one up in the post Xmas sales for £40.

      Hopefully you’ll be able to find a solution.

      Matt

      January 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm Reply
    • Paul #

      I took exactly the same deal (final month for $10) and as it was the premium version it works with the Xbox, provided that you also subscribe to the Xbox Live service (around £3 per month). This also allows you to play games online, and access some other similar apps.

      Earlier in the season I was a bit unsure whether I would get enough use out of the service, especially with my team’s (Oakland) games rarely on at a sensible time for live watching. But in the last few weeks I was watching something almost everyday (may have been influenced by the Athletics making the post-season) so i’m definitely going for the full season this year, when Billy Beane finally wins the last game of the year :)

      January 30, 2013 at 10:01 am Reply
      • Matt Smith #

        Hi Paul. Glad to read of your enjoyment of MLB.TV. I’m an A’s fan too and we actually come out much better than most would suspect – for a team based on the West coast – when it comes to games at a convenient time. In each of the last 2 seasons we’ve played in the 4th highest number of Monday-Friday games starting before midnight U.K. time:
        http://www.baseballgb.co.uk/?p=15182

        Fingers crossed we’ve got lots of good games to look forward to again in 2013.

        Matt

        January 30, 2013 at 10:12 am Reply
        • Paul #

          That list is really interesting, especially both bay area teams being near the top for both years despite the time difference to the west coast.

          I’m really enjoying reading your articles, although now I feel like it’s time for the season to start already! Keep up the good work.

          January 30, 2013 at 10:38 am Reply
  4. Manuel #

    I use mlb.tv on PS3, I love the option for sinced radio broadcasts! As a visually impaired person, I get the best of both worlds that way.

    January 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm Reply
  5. Jonathan Neil #

    Hi Paul. Could you perhaps give me more details about watching mlb tv on the x box? Very interested in this option given the uncertainty surrounding ESPN America. Does it suffer from buffering, how easy it to navigate etc? All information gratefully received. Don’t really want to shell out such a large amount of cash if it is not going to work perfectly. Also do you need the basic X box version or the more advanced one? Don’t really know much about these things.

    Many thanks

    Jon

    March 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm Reply

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