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How long before it makes sense to sell in-market games through streaming rather than cable? 2020?
The brilliance of Bud Selig and the owners
What's to stop any RSN from working with MLBAM to give them a streaming presence (like ESPN did with the WatchESPN app)?
Any expansion in streaming threatens that.
Exclusivity. Networks are just as worried about the exclusivity of their live sports broadcasts as their ratings and advertisement revenue. Their goal isn't just to make money on the broadcast, it's to hold sports hostage so that people are forced to buy cable television if they want to watch it live. Any expansion in streaming threatens that.
Isn't Y.E.S. another independent?
Just to take the Red Sox and their RSN (NESN) as an example... The people at NESN don't give a damn if you are forced to buy cable or satellite to get their network. They don't care that you have to get a package that includes the Food Network and HSN and whatever just to be able to get NESN. They care that you have access to NESN, that they're getting appropriately compensated for it, and that they get to advertise to you as well.
the distributors would fight back
MLBAM could agree to that, but why would they, really?
NESN gets big checks every month from cable providers' subscription fees. If, as suggested here, they took the sub fees independently of the cable companies, that relationship would be damaged forever.
1. They get sub fees from satellite providers, and have not damaged their relationship (forever!) with cable companies.
2. Distributors of cable/satellite TV signals also dominate the ISP market. They are still distributing the lion's share of the content, just in a different form. They will get their cut, because when people drop cable for streaming they will increase their internet fees. It's already happening.
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