SBD/August 26, 2013/Media

MLBAM Gets Into Music Biz With Distribution Rights For Central Park Benefit Concert

MLBAM has acquired the global multi-platform distribution and sponsorship sales rights for the '13 Global Citizen Festival, a music benefit aimed at fighting extreme poverty. The festival, developed by education and advocacy organization Global Poverty Project, will be held Sept. 28 at Central Park in N.Y., and feature Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer. Last year's inaugural festival drew more than 60,000 people in attendance, and more than 15 million watched it live. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal represents MLBAM's first complete distribution rights purchase of an event, with other similar initiatives expected in the coming months (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). In N.Y., Brian Stelter notes the concert "has no connection to baseball, and that's partly the point." MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman said, "We want to gain experience selling worldwide rights." Stelter notes MLBAM already "provides the back-end technology for Glenn Beck’s Internet television channel, ESPN3’s streams of sporting events and an in-flight TV service on Southwest Airlines." MLBAM Exec VP/Revenue Noah Garden said, "The idea is to maximize the eyeballs for it." He added that the concert "would be live-streamed on Web sites like YouTube and The New York Times and will most likely be repackaged into a two-hour special for a major television network." Stelter reports negotiations for the TV special "are continuing" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/26).
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