One of the best things I spend money on every year is MiLBtv. Much like MLBtv, it gives you access to the games throughout much of the minor leagues. In 2018 you got every Triple-A Louisville Bats game, probably 80% of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos games, three Daytona Tortugas games (only one team in the entire league had a video broadcast), about 65% of the Dayton Dragons games, and 8-10 Billings Mustangs games. It was a lot of baseball that you could watch on the Cincinnati Reds farm from the comforts of your own home.

What it wasn’t, though, was anywhere near the same experience as MLBtv. There is no smart tv app. So you have to watch it on your phone or computer. The games weren’t in HD except for a handful of Triple-A games over the last few weeks of the season. While HD isn’t necessarily needed, there’s a clear and painful distinction between the Triple-A (and various other teams in the minors) and many of the other levels when it came to video quality.

That sounds like it may not be the case in 2019. Baseball America spoke with Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner and one of the things he mentioned was this:

O’CONNER: We can do things from a tech standpoint to make your experience better, and then HD (on MiLB.TV). HD is going to allow us to stream games and they’re not going to be choppy, they’re not going to be blurry.

BA: As I’ve seen it, there are two issues: It’s been a low-res 240p feed in the past, and as an Android user it doesn’t have scrubbing ability. Those are functionality things that stand out.

O’CONNER: Part of that is in partnering with BAM, they are our tech partners. What we save in the finances or the aggravation of original tech development, we get that advantage. I think going to HD and going to responsive sites, those two issues that just really make your experience less than it should be and more than you can tolerate, they’re going to be addressed in the very, very near future.

If I had to guess, I’d imagine that the Triple-A teams will all be going HD for 2019. Whether or not that trickles down to the other levels, I’m not as sure. But, as noted by whoever was doing the questioning for Baseball America, some of the broadcasts were very poor with low-quality feeds. If they can improve the quality of feeds throughout the minors, though, even if it’s not HD for the lower levels, it would be a big step forward.

9 Responses

  1. redleggingfordayz

    240p in 2019 is literally mind boggling to me. I don’t have a MiLB subscription, but this sounds like really good news to me! I bet remote scouts and writers just like you will really enjoy the resolution bump.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t believe it was that last year, but in the not so distant past it has been. It was probably 480, but even so, some were better than others. Resolution doesn’t always mean good. You can have a 720p picture that looks better than a 4K picture if it’s shot terribly.

  2. Charlie Waffles

    Could the Reds play former Mets INF Wilmer Flores in CF, as well as backup all 4 INF spots? He is only 27. He is 6’3″ and 205. He is a RH hitter. He has some pop in his bat. Plays all 4 INF spots, but hasn’t played any ML OF. He could play in CF about 50% of the time and back up the INF positions 50% of the time. He seems athletic enough to play the OF. It would all hinge on how he could play CF defense. He becomes very valuable if he can play in the OF half the time.
    I still kind of favor Jon Jay as the back up plan for CF. No power but good BA/OBP. Decent defense. Pretty decent leadoff hitter. Can share CF with Schebler.
    Don’t think the Reds will sign AJ Pollock for CF and options are thin otherwise.

  3. MK

    Disappointing that Chattanooga is the only team in the league without home tv coverage. Surprising there is little FSL coverage. You would think somebody is running a camera at the AZL games. It certainly wouldn’t be that tough to stream it through Facebook or something like that. Some coverage whether professional or not would be fun to watch.

    • Doug Gray

      The Reds definitely have cameras there that they can watch in real time. But that’s for the Reds.

      With that said, I have to hope that Chattanooga will be getting the TV package. I will be disappointed if they don’t.

  4. Colorado Red

    I just get the MLBTV and play it on my PC.
    The only games that are placed out, are the few the Reds play vs the Rockies.
    Most of them I can see on local cable.

  5. SaveTheFarm

    I’d be all over this if they come out with Roku app. Don’t really want to watch on my phone or lap top.