Why MLB.Com dumped Silverlight and returned to Flash

Thu, Apr 9, 2009


After a series of glitches and complaints from MLB subscribers, MLB.com announced a while back that it would stop using Microsoft’s Silverlight to stream baseball games to users.  Now, more details are emerging which help explain some of the factors that led to that decision.

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.

First, baseball wanted Microsoft to make it possible for users to download Silverlight without having to possess administrative rights. When people are at work, it’s often the company that possesses those rights and employees would need authorization to download the player. That frustrated plenty of MLB.com subscribers, according to the sources.

The other major issue was that baseball considered Silverlight too unstable. There were some high-profile glitches, including last year’s opening day, which saw many MLB.com subscribers struggling to log in and others who were unable to watch games. The malfunctions lasted several days. The rift between Microsoft and MLB began to grow and hasn’t stopped, said the sources, adding that lawyers for each side are still arguing over Microsoft’s responsibility.

CNET has the full scoop over here.


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