Next MLB At Bat, a major league hit

Scott Kitun/The Medillian

Scott Kitun/The Medillian

Major League Baseball might be struggling to gain TV ratings, but it’s dominating the sports app market. MLB is set to release its newest version of the already successful “At Bat” application for all iPhones and tablets Thursday.

Previous versions of At Bat have featured live streaming games, access to play-by-play analysis and streaming highlights. According to the MLB website, At Bat 13 will feature over 10,000 live games, partnerships with MLB Network TV, highlights and a live news and stats feed.

MLB is concerned about recent disappointing television ratings, the 2012 World Series scored a record low 7.6 rating according to Nielsen Media Research. The product development team for the MLB Advanced Media responded by further integrating At Bat 13 with MLB TV Network to supplement viewership.

“Heaven is the ability for people to touch baseball every day in the most convenient way possible,” MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman said.

Founded in 2000, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, commonly referred to as BAM, is a limited partnership of MLB club owners created to capitalize on digital media opportunities. It has generated more than $440 million from paid-content, merchandising and ticket sales – which now represents more than 36 percent of the Advanced Media’s annual revenue.

MLB Advanced Media announced July 2012 that its MLB.com At Bat 12 app surpassed the five-million-download mark. Users streamed more than 21 million live video streams, a new single season record for At Bat and a 20% increase from 2011 season-ending totals.

Prior to the 2010 launch of the iPad by Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, former Apple CEO, asked Bowman to send a development team to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The objective Jobs set for Bowman was to design a new version of the already successful, At Bat, iPhone app for the iPad.

At Bat will now be available on most Androids, Tablets and Kindles – with an added bonus. If they subscribe to the tablet app, users will now have access on all mobile platforms.

“We already have an aggressive product timeline for the iPhone and other platforms, which we’d also like to launch before baseball’s opening day in April,” Chad Evans, Director of mobile product development for MLB Advanced Media, said.

In a recent feature on the MLB At Bat series by Macworld.com, they called it the No. 1 sports app of all-time and Hall of Fame inductee for iPhone, iPad and Macworld.

At Bat 13 will be launching a new pricing model this season, with three price options for users.

The standard edition of At Bat 13 will cost users a one-time download fee of $14.99, a 50 percent increase from the one-time subscription fee of $9.99 last year. Basic At Bat 13 will include all of the play-by-play analysis, live highlights, and regular season games.

Premium users can pay the one-time fee plus a monthly subscription fee of $2.99. That will allow both full-access to all streamed live games and audio, from spring training through the World Series and all MLB TV Network coverage by baseball analysts.

MLB TV Network subscribers will also have access to At Bat 13 at no additional charge.

And, for those with a little less to spend, At Bat Lite will again be offered as a free download. As was offered in prior versions, At Bat Lite will offer the free “Game of The Day” and scores and highlights.