Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adobe Scores with MLB, Silverlight Strikes Out

Yesterday in a stunning defeat, the Adobe® Flash® Platform beat out Microsoft's Silverlight as the video delivery platform for MLB.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, MLBAM, is dropping Silverlight after one year in favor of Flash which MLBA's president and CEO Bob Bowman said better suits its needs. Under a two-year agreement the Adonbe's Flash Platform will deliver all of MLB.com's live and on-demand video offerings beginning in 2009. MLB.com has signed up more than 1.5 million subscribers since 2003 and streams more than 2,500 regular and postseason games annually.

Bowman said "our experience with Silverlight has led us to where we are.. We did it because we serve up more live video than anybody "Flash provides a TV-like experience, you turn it on and it works... We want it to be flexible so we can add features...and it’s got to be scaleable. We are the largest server of live entertainment int he country. Whether we are serving 20,000 for one game or 250,000 for another game it’s got to be scaleable over periods of time like nothing else.”

Read the full press release here.

Baseball is not the only sport that has drafted Flash as a delivery platform as it was just in September that the NFL selected Flash for streaming of football games on NBCSports and NFL.com. Many tech blogs implied that NBC "dropped", "dumped" or "ditched" Silverlight in favor of Flash and it was Dan Rayburn who set the record straight saying, NBC Did Not "Drop" Silverlight In Favor Of Flash: Bloggers Simply Want Headlines | The Business Of Online Video.

Ben Homer of Online Video Watch noted,"While the battle rages on, Flash has 98% penetration versus Silverlight’s 25% Microsoft continues to have a rough time convincing media companies to get on board with Silverlight without paying them to do so. Instead of releasing a new product in Silverlight that does more than Flash Microsoft is still trying to play catchup, and they’re falling further and further behind."

The Flash/MLB.com partnership was announced this week in San Francisco at the Adobe Max developers conference which kicked off with other major announcements in the latest Flash technology developments.

Among them were:

There was also a lot of buzz about Adobe opening up its cloud initiative, known as “Cocomo,” as a public beta . Read more about Cocomo here.