Here’s the back of the envelope math, in case you’re curious or thinking about watching MLB.tv over a capped mobile connection.
- According to MLB.tv, the high quality feed is streamed between 800kbps and 3Mbps.
- At 800kbps that’s a gigabyte per 167 minutes; at 3Mbps, it’s a gig every 44.
- A four hour Sox/Yankee contest, then, can be expected to run you between 1.43 GB and 5.45 GB.
If we assume a 5 GB mobile bandwidth plan and an average MLB.tv game size of ~3.44 GB (mean of high and low values), we can say that the monthly cap would be exhausted halfway through the second game you watched. That’s bad. The overage charges, however, are really scary.
The Red Sox play 27 games in April. At 3.44 GB per, that’s 92.88 GB to watch every game. Less the 5 GB provided for on plan, you’re looking at a data overage of 87.88 GB. On Verizon’s mobile data plans, you pay $10 per GB over the plan amount. So if you watched every game this month, you’d owe Verizon $878. On top of your normal monthly plan, of course. On AT&T, you’d be in even more trouble. Their data overage is $0.05/MB. So doing the math on that (87.88 * 1024 = 89989.12 MBs), you’re looking at a data overage cost of somewhere around $4499.
The lesson? If you’re not on an unlimited plan, be very, very careful when using your mobile data connection. Streaming data adds up quickly.