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Adobe Flash Hits Home Run With MLB

During the 2008 season, the site presented video in standard-definition TV quality at 1.2 Mbps in 16-by-9 widescreen format.
Adobe Systems said this week that it has landed MLB.com, the Web site of Major League Baseball, to use its Adobe Flash Platform. The announcement means that Microsoft's Silverlight software likely will be on the bench with MLB.

The showcase application has drawn more than 1.5 million subscribers since MLB began offering the paid service in 2003. Even though the announcement of Adobe's contract with MLB was made this week, MLB.com still offers Silverlight for downloading on its Web site.

At last report, Microsoft still had an important reference client in the form of Netflix, which utilizes Silverlight to stream moves online.

Adobe said its deal with MLB covers two years and is for the delivery of all live and on-demand MLB video features beginning in 2009. Adobe added that MLB.com will use its Adobe AIR feature to enable fans to access features outside the Web browser.

"Baseball is the nation's favorite pastime with millions of fans watching the games each season," said Jim Guerard, Adobe's VP and general manage for Dynamic Media, in a statement. "With Adobe Flash solutions for playback and live video streaming plus Adobe AIR to experience statistics and highlights outside the browser, we are delivering unprecedented access to every game in the baseball season."

The development will have a hidden attraction to many baseball fans, because they won't have to download Silverlight. Most Internet users already have installed Adobe Flash, so it will be a relatively simple process for them to sign up for MLB.com subscriptions. Many users of Silverlight must fumble to install the additional browser plug-in.

During 2008, MLB.com had a smorgasbord of offerings that ranged from video feeds of home and away games. Features were presented in standard-definition TV quality at 1.2 Mbps in 16-by-9 widescreen format.