MLB on silverlight..

Jaime Rodriguez
On Windows Phone, Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight and Windows 7

MLB on silverlight..

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As usual I am late -- or did not intent to do it at all -- breaking news on silverlight and in this case the MLB deployment..  ( infoworld ,   zdnet)

Changed my mind to share my point of view on two questions I have heard a bit this week..  why did they use silverlight? and why are they delivering a small subset compared to the great vision they showed at MIX?

For context, I have had the pleasure of meeting the MLB team. I would describe them as:

  • Very bright and talented people.
  • Very passionate baseball fans; huge respect for the game and their content, and the fans (their customers).  

So why this Silverlight hoopla? I do NOT have the MLB answer; but my personal experience from hearing their asks on the platform is that the best media experience has been their highest priority; best quality video, optimized bandwidth, more data in the stream, etc..

To be candid - and shamelessly plug the Silverlight value prop- my initial theory about the why was 'they already embraced Windows Media (WMV) in their impressive Premium Video Player (known as Mosaic); if Silverlight can get them the best branded, interactive experience in the web and they can move from FLV they would likely save (transcoding) time and money as well as save on delivery costs". It might be still a good/fair guess.. but so far just a guess ..

Around why you are seeing a subset of the vision presented at MIX?  patience ;)
They serve  a lot of content 24x7-  testing a new player is not an easy feat. If Flash and silverlight co-exist fine on their website today,  there really is no need to 'rip and replace' in a rush; it should be done where it makes impact or as new features are added (e.g. mail to a friend this time around).   It might not excite the journalists or geeks looking for technology stories using the words 'drop' or 'killer' in the announcement, but  who cares?? This baseball fan seemed happy with the new player and his ability to see WMV from his mac. 
 
That is my 2c on those topics--emphasis on MY, I don't speak for MLB but you can try to read MLB's why from their keynote demo at visitmix.com; while setting expectations, a reminder that the mobile bits were real in the demo, but there is no immediate commitment from MLB to a mobile app in silverligh since Microsoft has not announced timelines for silverlight on mobile..

My belated take overall: congrats to the MLB and SIlverlight team for this first (MLB) deployment; I hope we get to see more later..