We can thank MLB for our tumultuous relationship with streaming

Not being a baseball fan or someone subscribed to any streaming platforms (anymore) means I’d never heard of the link between the two or how MLB had a hand in pioneering media streaming in the last 24 years.

Steve McCaskill wrote a piece on how MLB’s technological legacy set the sports streaming revolution in motion and how that extended beyond sports streaming:

The idea of live streaming seems so obvious now that we take it for granted but back in August 2002, broadband had only started to replace dial-up in most parts of the world, YouTube was still a few years away from launching, and the idea of a social network was Friends Reunited. By way of comparison, even two years later, technological and rights complications meant that ITV distributed highlights from Uefa Euro 2004 via a screensaver application and the BBC created virtual replays in Macromedia Shockwave player (also Google that) instead of using real footage.

America’s pastime might have been an unlikely pioneer of an industry-changing shift, but it led the way. It was an early partner with Apple and the iPhone, becoming the first league to stream a live match on those platforms, while it was the also first to do so on a connected device and on games consoles.

The biggest link to MLB and modern streaming is when they spun off the company that made the streaming tech and Disney bought it to use on Disney+ and ESPN+.

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