SBD/April 13, 2011/Media

A Whole New Ballgame: MLB's At Bat App Garnering Rave Reviews

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At Bat app features graphic representation of each ball and strike thrown
MLB's At Bat 11 app for the iPad is a "near-perfect home and away combination" for baseball fans, according to USA TODAY's Mike Snider, who reviews the digital offering and awards it three out of four stars. The app, available for $14.99, offers fans of all 30 teams "game day treatment of a graphic representation of each ball and strike thrown." It is a "home run when paired with an MLB.TV subscription that lets you watch all games except those under blackout restrictions." The At Bat app "would be an extra-base hit on its own if it had an option to purchase individual games without subscribing to the entire season, or maybe offered one free game broadcast per week" (USA TODAY, 4/13). In Toronto, Raju Mudhar reviewed the At Bat app and noted MLB is "at the forefront of all pro sports at exploring and using new tech to appeal to fans." Given "how far baseball has fallen in terms of popularity over the past two decades, it’s smart to try and get in front of people however they would like." It also means MLB is "the furthest ahead in monetizing it" (TORONTO STAR, 4/10). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Dennis Tang wrote the At Bat app, combined with MLB.TV, gives fans the "absolute on-the-go nerve center for your baseball addiction." Tang also reviewed the FanGraphs app, available for $3 on the iPhone, and wrote, "Only stat junkies need apply." In addition, the "Baseball Cards" app, $1 on the iPhone, is "as simple as its name: 2,100 baseball cards from 1887 to 1914 from the private collection Benjamin K. Edwards, donated to the Library of Congress" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/9).

IN THE SWING OF THINGS: ADWEEK.com's Mike Shields noted during The Masters last week, Sports Illustrated's Golf Group "rolled out Front9," a paid iPad and iPhone app. Front9 was "built using a template" that Time Inc. sibling Entertainment Weekly designed for its "Must List" app. SI Golf Group Publisher Dick Raskopf: "There’s no question EW made a sizable investment in the Must List app that we were able to take advantage of. This was their first app, and after it came out we were able to grab their learnings right out of the gate. That’s good for Time Inc.” But Shields noted the EW app is free, so "why charge $2.99 for the Front9 app?" Raskopf noted that the SI Golf Group "enjoyed 20 percent ad revenue growth" in '10, and the company has "landed Fidelity, TaylorMade and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday as sponsors for Front9" (ADWEEK.com, 4/11).
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