Thursday, August 27, 2015
Since 2000, Major League Baseball Advanced Media has conducted a stealth campaign to take over every team domain, undoing any damage caused by its slow start in registration. MLB and other leagues have tried to snap up team sites not only to attract more traffic and ad revenue, but to avoid the unwanted attention that can come from a site like Cowboys.com, which became an “online dating community for men who enjoy the same country living lifestyle,” after the NFL’s Dallas franchise passed on it at auction.1 Both to streamline the process and to avoid hurting its leverage by letting potential sellers know there was big money behind its overtures, MLBAM has worked mainly through intermediaries like Monte Cahn, the founder of URL registrar Moniker.com and the president/director of RightofTheDot, LLC.2
According to Cahn, some of the URL squatters that MLB hoped to dislodge were “taking advantage of misspells and mistypes of famous brands,” like latter-day Twitter trolls who tweak prominent writers’ handles to break fake trades before the deadline. By placing ads on those sites, owners could profit from the traffic that flowed their way from baseball fans who hit the wrong keys. Most, Cahn says, “were unaware of the actual online domain registration laws vs. traditional trademark laws, so some registered names because they were fans of the teams or felt another fan would come and buy it from them, not knowing it could violate the trademark of the owner.” Still others owned sites with words that weren’t subject to trademark. “If you owned a domain like ‘Cardinals,’ your choice would be to just hold it, build a bird website — not that exciting or lucrative, probably — or sell it to MLB through us or other brokers,” Cahn says.
The decades-long scavenger hunt is close to complete. This February, MLB bought Rangers.com for $375,000. That triumph followed the 2013 purchase of Rockies.com (for an undisclosed price), the 2012 acquisition of Athletics.com, the 2010 addition of Angels.com (which went for $200,000 at auction), and the 2009 addition of Cardinals.com. Between 2004 and 2007, MLBAM acquired 12 team addresses, and had already brought 10 into the fold before that. That brings the total of MLB-owned team sites to 27, leaving three holdouts: Giants.com, Rays.com, and Twins.com.
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Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:53 PM | 19 comment(s)
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Under the terms of the pact, MLBAM will pay the NHL about $100 million per year for the rights to distribute the league’s out-of-market telecasts, including the NHL GameCenter Live and NHL Center Ice subscriptions services, in the U.S. and certain international markets. The NHL will receive an equity stake in MLBAM of between 7% and 10%.
Posted: August 05, 2015 at 07:56 AM | 14 comment(s)
Monday, July 13, 2015
from the article
In the realm of technology, Major League Baseball is far ahead of the curve, and has been for years; it’s so far ahead that many members of the baseball media, still busy carping about the merits of the “human element” and whether steroid users belong in the Hall of Fame, have failed to notice.
For one thing, millennials don’t watch TV, so TV ratings aren’t a useful index of whether a sport is popular among them. Robert Bowman, CEO of baseball’s digital media lab, MLB Advanced Media, suggested that this is an old paradigm.
“People focus on live TV a lot. But 85, 90 percent of our fans are not watching a live game,” said Bowman. “They’re watching stats, they’re watching live look-ins, they’re watching real time highlights, they’re watching postgame highlights, they’re just watching a statistical stream of what pitch that was. While live games are the be-all end-all on TV—that’s all there is—on digital media it’s a lot of different things.”
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
NHL will be offering single team NHL GameCenter Live packages over a five year period starting with the 2015-16 season for a discount on the full league package.
Fans wanting to simply buy a single team package will received a discount of “at least” 20% on the cost of the full league package (which ran $159 for the 2014-15 season). There will also be a discount of an extra 17.25% on early bird, renewal, and full season packages for the upcoming season…
Blackout restrictions are still in place, because of course they are. So if you’re a cord-cutting Bruins fan in New England, don’t think you can watch all of the team’s games for something like $109 over six months. It won’t be that easy. But if you’re a Bruins fan in Colorado that wants to see them?
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
MLB Advanced Media, which has arguably the country’s most extensive and experienced broadband network for streaming live video, has been around since 2000 and is equally owned by the 30 MLB clubs. In addition to streaming most baseball games (more on that later), it handles the back-end duties for myriad other major sports. BAM, as it’s known in industry parlance, powers ESPN’s watch-anywhere app. It runs Turner Sports’ March Madness streaming. The World Wrestling Entertainment Network contracts out its $10-a-month service into BAM’s capable hands. Sony depends on BAM for PlayStation Vue streaming service. While the NFL is giddy about streaming a game on YouTube next season and the NBA’s League Pass service can’t even get all of its games into high-def, MLB is serving up 60 million streams on its Opening Day—a 60 percent bump from a year ago—with nary a hitch.
But they told me baseball is dying!
I do hope that MLB doesn’t spin off MLBAM, while it’s worth billions right now it doesn’t seem to have suffered at all by being under the 30 team’s collective ownership.
Friday, April 03, 2015
WSJ: You’ve discussed how important technology is to reach young fans. When will a 15-year-old in New York be able to watch a Yankees game on his phone?
Manfred: The best way to answer that question is to say the better part of my workday today was consumed by the topic of in-market streaming. It is particularly complicated in the context of a media market that is changing so quickly, but I do believe we will get a solution on in-market streaming in the relatively near future.
WSJ: Sometime this year?
Manfred: I hope so. I’d like to believe there will be games streamed at some point this year….
WSJ: Last year, MLB issued a set of guidelines for youth pitchers to try to address the root of pitching injuries, which continue to pile up. What’s next on the pitching-injury front?
Manfred: We are doing an in-depth study covering all the pitchers in six organizations, all the way up and down. It includes biomechanics, use, medical history, to try to determine what factors [cause injuries]. Is it the way people deliver? Is it a biomechanical issue that makes you more prone? Is it something in the anatomy that creates a predilection? Your basic scientific approach to figuring out what we’re seeing.
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