Major League Baseball was a pioneer in streaming video and launched one of the first third-party apps on the iPhone. Its At Bat app is the most popular streaming service for sports, according to ComScore, and has been the top-grossing sports app in the App Store for a whopping nine years in a row. And starting in a few weeks, the service will be available for Google’s Daydream VR platform.
I got a chance to check the VR app out yesterday at MLB’s New York City headquarters. You can watch live games, which streamed in crisp, HD video without any interruptions. You can go full screen, which leaves you in a large open dome with a screen floating in front of you. Or you can keep the picture in between two screens, overflowing with stats from the game you’re watching and other games happening at the same time around the league.
The app takes advantage of VR to add one brand new feature. If you’re not watching in full screen, you see a home plate in front of you. A heat map shows where in the strike zone the current batter has the most success getting hits. And each pitch, after it’s thrown, appears as a glowing trajectory, so you can see exactly how the ball travelled, where it passed through the strike zone, or didn’t.
If you’re not in the mood for a live game, you can browse through videos of recent interviews, highlights, and newscasts. There is another section of the app that lets you watch 360 videos produced by the league. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t yet support live 360 video for watching active games.
The app is free to download. To access live video and radio streams from, users can choose from several tiers of monthly paid subscriptions. It launches to the public on June 1st, and while it starts on Daydream, MLB says it will eventually be available on every VR platform.
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