Maury Brown, our guru of all things related to the business of baseball at Baseball Prospectus, has many times documented the rise of Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) and how it has not only made baseball available in a very rich way but also added to the revenue stream of the owners. From it's first attempts at streaming games in September of 2002, all the while aided by the relentless march of technology, MLB.com has grown to where it will host over three billion visitors and by the end of the year will crack the one million subscriber count for multimedia content.
I don't want to steal Maury's thunder but I had just had to pass along this demonstration of MLBAM's use of a new technology called Microsoft Silverlight. In a nutshell Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering media experiences and interactive applications for the web. For software architects and developers heavily invested in the Microsoft platform (like myself) this is exciting since it allows development across platforms using the .NET Framework that we're also using to build our business applications.
In any case, MLBAM's President Bob Bowman and Justin Shaffer who is in charge of new media joined Microsoft at their MIX07 conference in Las Vegas earlier this week to demo how they'll be using Silverlight in the very near future. Essentially, Silverlight will be rolled into the MLB.TV applications later this summer and will enable a host of new features. Some of those demoed include:
As an MLB.TV subscriber this is some exciting stuff and for those who aren't subscribers it provides some additional impetus to get signed up.