MLB Advanced Media, the company that streams video for Major League Baseball and many other clients, is getting ready to spin out its tech operations in a deal that would give the new company a value of at least $3 billion.
And as part of the spinout prep, MLBAM is bulking up: It has signed a long-term deal with pro hockey’s NHL, which will give MLBAM the rights to pro hockey’s digital subscription products, as well as its cable TV property.
MLB Advanced Media made MLB.tv possible, one of the first large-scale live streaming initiatives. That early experience led to them developing the back-end tech for other big live streaming entities, such as WWE Network, watchESPN, and HBO Now.
However, this is the first time that MLBAM is purchasing streaming rights from a media company and selling advertising. Could this be a model for the future of live sports? Will MLBAM morph into a major competitor for ESPN, or would ESPN consider buying them at (just) $3 billion?