Last week, when the Yankees, Cablevision, YES Network, and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced that they would begin streaming games online in two New York markets, it marked the first time that in-market games could be seen with MLB.TV only streaming out-of-market games (see Yankee In-Market Games Begin Streaming on July 8, Others Markets to Follow). With the deal centering around a club-owned RSN, the question on many minds was whether such deals could be brokered by clubs that did not have a majority or minority stake in an RSN.
At the time of the announcement, MLBAM said that a second in-market live game streaming product was expected to be announced the week of June 29.And, while baseball did not announce via conference call which market that might be, sources said to The Biz of Baseball that the Boston/New England market with NESN and the Red Sox.
But, in a turn that may have been unexpected, according to Ourand and Fisher of the SportsBusiness Journal, the San Diego Padres through Cox Communications will be the next club to see such a deal.
With the two deals in place, baseball expects to see the ÔÇťlogjamÔÇŁ lifted, with ÔÇťa majorityÔÇŁ of clubs reaching such agreements over the course of next season, according to MLB President Bob DuPuy last week when announcing the YankeesÔÇÖ deal.
A question has been, how would revenues be split between MLBAM, who is providing the infrastructure to stream the game feeds, and the other parties in clubs, RSNs, and cable providers. According to a June 19 memo obtained by the SBJ, the revenue splits have been a case of intense vetting.
The terms for local streaming deals, outlined in a June 19 memo that Commissioner Bud Selig sent to all 30 will see MLBAM being paid half the revenues, with the other half of the related revenue ÔÇťgoing to local interests, such as the participating team, its regional sports network and the local cable provider. The 50-50 split between MLBAM and the local interests is ÔÇśnet of operating costs to participating broadband and wireless service providers,ÔÇÖ according to the memo.ÔÇŁ
As further reported:
While each streaming deal will be different, in large part because of how the local half of the revenue is divided, Selig noted ÔÇťthe same relative termsÔÇŁ will be used in all future in-market streaming agreements.
Selig, however, hinted the revenue splits are not cast in stone and could change in two years. In 2011, he intends to review the structure to ÔÇťdetermine the fairness of the allocation and the impact upon industry economics.ÔÇŁ
The Yankees on YES package announced last week, will be available for a one-time fee of $49.95 for the remainder of the season or $19.95 for any 30-day period, is scheduled to launch on Wednesday, July 8 at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) with the YES NetworkÔÇÖs Yankees-Twins broadcast. The package will only be available to Cablevision subscribers with YES Network throughout the Yankees home broadcasting territory.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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