Why baseball benched Microsoft Silverlight

image The thwacking sounds of bats striking balls will once again fill stadiums, as Monday is opening day for Major League Baseball. This year, Microsoft will watch from the sidelines.

MLB.com no longer uses Microsoft’s Silverlight to stream games to its 500,000 subscribers. This season fans will watch live and on-demand video via Adobe‘s Flash player.

In November, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the league’s tech unit, announced it would discontinue using Silverlight, the browser plug-in that MLBAM had signed up for barely a year earlier. The decision was not insignificant. MLBAM not only runs the profitable MLB.com streaming-video service, the Web’s most successful subscription service, but the group is also influential with other leagues and sporting events. MLBAM handles much of the back-end operations for CBS‘ Webcasts of the NCAA Basketball Tournament and this year will do the encoding for the 2009 Masters golf tournament.

Baseball never detailed the reasons for dropping Silverlight but sources close to the negotiations between the league and Microsoft said it was a series of glitches and conflicts between the companies that led to the split.

Read the full article at CNET News.

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