Following my anti-Phillips and Sutcliffe rant yesterday, some discussion broke out regarding the best way to avoid the national broadcasters. One of the suggestions was to run MLB.tv through your television. It sounded complicated to me. Of course, I can’t even make iTunes, the DVR or my clock radio work, so what the hell do I know? Thankfully there may soon be another, easier option for morons like me:
Software start-up Boxee has gained attention as much for its contretemps with Hulu as for its well-received platform for watching online video programs on a television set. This evening, though, the company made news for all the right reasons. It announced a deal with Major League Baseball to integrate the league’s online game broadcasts into its software, giving Boxee users an easy, elegant way to tune in online games from distant ballparks on their living-room TVs . . . Its software aggregates online video sites and brings them under a common user interface, enabling people to navigate their offerings with an ordinary TV remote control instead of a keyboard and mouse . . .
. . . For MLB.tv’s subscriber-only service, Ronen said, Boxee customized the site’s player to eliminate a number of user-interface features that relied on the keyboard-mouse combo. It also integrated the technology from Swarmcast that adjusts the picture quality of the broadcasts to match the viewer’s Internet connection. Most important, he said, the company worked with the MLB.tv to optimize its look for the “10-foot experience” — in other words, the view from the couch, not the desk. “I think it’s a work in progress,” Ronen added, with many features still to come.
I assume there are other options to make this happen as well, but the official imprimatur of Major League Baseball may make this the most attractive one.
One question, however: doesn’t baseball worry that this will cannibalise Extra Innings business? Or is that the idea? I suppose it depends on what the Baseball/cable company cut is for the Extra Innings package.