SBD/March 10, 2011/Media

MLBAM, NBA Make Online Live Game Subscriptions Available Through Apple TV

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MLBAM, NBA live game subscriptions now available on Apple TV
MLBAM and the NBA have each expanded the availability of their online live game subscriptions to include Apple TV, the technology giant's digital media receiver. For each league, the Apple TV functionality will work similar to other set-top digital video boxes such as Roku and Boxee. Users will still need separate subscriptions to MLB.tv and NBA League Pass, but those subscriptions will now become usable through the popular Apple TV, which was re-released last fall as a much smaller and more powerful unit. The baseball and basketball content became available as part of a broad software update being conducted today by Apple. In addition to the live game content, a version of the NBA Game Time mobile application will also be available on Apple TV with free content such as live scores, statistics and video highlights, similar to what the league did last fall for Google TV. MLB.tv is now available through 11 total platforms encompassing broadband, smartphones, video game consoles, tablets and connected TVs (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). The FINANCIAL TIMES' David Gelles notes the deal "could signal a shift in thinking for sports leagues about how they  make their content available online." Sports leagues typically have been "judicious about making live content available online, so far preferring to control the digital rights to their live games themselves" (FT.com, 3/10).
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