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InfoQ Homepage News Silverlight Has Lost an Important Customer

Silverlight Has Lost an Important Customer

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Yesterday, the MLB 2009 season started being broadcasted live on the Internet by MLB.TV using Flash instead of Silverlight. After one year of using Silverlight, MLB switched back to Flash due to problems plaguing Microsoft’s player.

Microsoft had a one year deal for 2008 with MLB to use Silverlight as streaming platform for their MLB.TV web site with half a million subscribers. The MLB 2009 season started yesterday with a web site full of Flash and an online TV station broadcasting on Flash according to the 2 years deal with MLB announced by Adobe in November last year.

Little was said regarding the reasons why MLB renounced to Silverlight, but some details have transpired according to CNET. One of the main problems is availability of the player which cannot be installed at work by people without administrative rights. The other major reason was the series of glitches affecting last year’s Opening Day and the week following which most probably frustrated many subscribers which had difficulty logging in and watching the games.

Today, using Flash, MLB.TV offers the games in HD with DVR quality with pause and rewind even for live games, with game or player highlights using picture in picture, the ability to watch 4 games in the same time, the possibility to choose between radio and TV announcers, and player tracker.

While Microsoft lost a very important customer, Silverlight still provides coverage for NBA, NCAA events though CBS College Sports, and provides streaming for Blockbuster’s MovieLink and Netflix’ Instant Watch.

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