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Akamai slides into Real's place

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The sweet sounds of live baseball games will continue to pour out of PCs thanks to a deal between Akamai and MLB Advanced Media.

Akamai has signed a multi-year deal to provide audio and video streams of baseball games. It replaces Real Networks as the content provider of choice for MLB (Major League Baseball). Negotiations between Real and MLB broke down earlier this year. Their feud took a turn this month when Real sued MLB.com in part because a contract between the two parties requires MLB.com to deliver games in RealNetworks media format, according to Real.

A person familiar with the deal between Akamai and MLB Advanced Media said games will be offered in both Windows and Real media formats. Repeated calls to MLB Advanced Media to confirm this information were not returned.

MLB.com had over 500,000 paid subscribers last year, including 150,000 for the premium live video service.

For serious baseball fans, the MLB.com audio service is one of the best deals on the Web. Customers pay just $14.95 for the entire season. The live video service costs $14.95 per month.

The baseball season kicks off in 11 days. ®

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Real makes MLB.com a free agent

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