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LWIB John Ourand and Eric Fisher updated readers of The Sports Business Journal on MLB’s recently announced deals allowing live “in market” streaming of Yankees and Padres games. MLB expects to have similar deals in place for most clubs at some point during the next season. The SBJ report provides an indication of MLB’s short term revenue projections for the newly launched venture.
Major League Baseball’s new in-market game streaming has the economic potential to rival the more than $40 million in annual revenue brought in by the established MLB.TV out-of-market service, according to league executives.
MLB.TV, after a slow start in 2002, now attracts about a half-million subscribers per year paying $79.95 to $109.95 each, amounting to more than $40 million in annual revenue. MLB executives believe the in-market product could rival, and potentially surpass, that sum due to several key factors.
Most fans, according to league research, root for a single team, and the sport’s fan base is roughly split nationwide between being geographically near their favorite club and being dislocated. Those elements, in the eyes of baseball, present a chance to essentially double the market for sales of streaming video subscriptions. MLB.TV enforces local blackout restrictions, with the in-market product such as the newly named “Yankees On YES” thereby providing a new opportunity for hometown fans to access previously unavailable content.
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Pete Toms is an author for The Biz of Baseball and a staff member of the Business of Sports Network. He can be contacted at
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