Mischa Nachtigal was in high school outside Washington, when the Expos moved there for the 2005 season and became the Nationals. He "embraced this new team with open arms," and even after moving across the country and going on to work at Twitter in San Francisco, he patiently waited for his favorite team to contend.
Still something was missing: the ideal way to watch his Nationals live and out-of-market, on any of his numerous devices. Then, a couple of days ago, Nachtigal tweeted this to his 11,000-plus followers: "Just bought MLB.TV Premium because the Nats are in first place and rocking it. This is going to be a fun summer."
As the calendar turns to June and a summer of fun approaches, Major League Baseball Advanced Media has just lowered the annual cost of MLB.TV Premium to $99.99, and dropped basic MLB.TV to $84.99.
For Nachtigal, having MLB.TV Premium offered an immediate payoff -- and a case study into why it is more popular than ever in the 10th season for the leading technology.
"I use MLB.TV across many devices," he said in an e-mail on Thursday to MLB.com. "Just last night, I started watching a game on my Apple TV, then went to get some work done, but continued watching it in HD on my iPad in silence. [I like to listen to music while I work.] Then I was meeting some friends downtown in San Francisco, but I continued listening to the radio feed while on the bus.
"The Nats had just lost a close one to the Marlins when I arrived at my destination. Overall, it was a hugely enjoyable consumption experience, easy and effortless."
MLB.com At Bat 12, the top-selling sports app of all-time in the Apple App Store, will be included with your MLB.TV Premium subscription at no additional cost. Download the app and then your MLB.TV subscription will be authenticated, so you can enjoy complete mobile portability to iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and most Android phones and tablets.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 has been a major addition to MLB.TV's reach in 2012. Xbox LIVE Gold Membership is $59.99 for 12 months and is required for streaming live MLB.TV games over that platform. That experience brings unique features like a split-screen mode that lets you watch two games at once, and voice-control on Xbox 360 that lets you pause, rewind, or fast forward with the sound of your voice.
"Yesterday, purely by accident, I found MLB.TV on the Xbox app store," said Giants fan Dominic Ross, who follows live action via MLB.TV Premium at home in Southend, Essex, England. "I downloaded it and watched the Giants-D-backs game on Wednesday night. I was amazed with the quality of the picture and loved the extra features, like split screen. Using the Kinect to navigate is good. ... The controls on the usual Xbox controller are simple and as the innings were short enough, the controller was still on, so no waiting to turn the controller back on."
Ross explained in his email to MLB.com how he came to be a Giants fan relying on MLB.TV in England:
"I've loved baseball all my life [in some way or another] and when I first visited America, our hosts took me to play with the local kids. I hit a double and loved it. I followed it, from afar, then when it came to Apple TV, I was ecstatic. I tried MLB.TV for a month and watched it every day. I was hooked with the San Francisco Giants [not because they were the world champions, because it was my favorite city when I visited America]."
Ross added: "MLB.TV should be proud that they have bought baseball to such a big audience, even in England, where there is a [surprisingly] large following."
MLB.TV Premium lets fans like Ross and Nachtigal choose between home or away broadcasts. DVR Controls allow you to pause and rewind LIVE games. Multi-game View lets you watch two games at once in Picture in Picture mode or split screen. With Quad View, watch up to four games or highlights at once.
Both packages give you In-Game Highlights and Stats update automatically in the media player. Full-game archives and Condensed Games are available. You'll have access to Gameday Audio and the Pitch by Pitch App, which includes PITCHf/x and batter/pitcher tendencies. Managing a fantasy roster is easier because you can watch live at-bat look-ins of your players.
For Nachtigal, who left Twitter a couple weeks ago "to write, learn and live," it is the perfect way to track the rise of former No. 1 overall Draft picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. It is the perfect way "to see random heroes come out of nowhere," like Steve Lombardozzi, Adam LaRoche and Jhonatan Solano.
MLB.TV Premium is the perfect way to see whether the Nationals can make it to their first postseason by winning the National League East or taking a Wild Card. Every fan has a reason for watching MLB.TV, and even if you are blacked out of a local market, it is the only way to access on-demand archives, as the full-game broadcasts are always available shortly after the game has been finished.
"They're still the number one team in my heart, even though I now live in San Francisco, which of course is Giants town," Nachtigal said. "Mainly though, I just love to watch good baseball, but I've learned it's about a thousand times more exciting when a team you care about is doing well. This season feels great for many reasons."
He just added another one.