SBD/March 7, 2014/Media

RSNs Push MLB For Local Streaming Rights As Concerns Grow About Mobile Viewers

Part of the talks concern how the league can protect its MLB.TV revenue stream
RSNs across the U.S. are "pressing Major League Baseball to get the rights to stream local games to portable devices," according to Josh Kosman of the N.Y. POST. Baseball fans "can't watch live games on their tablets or smartphones outside their home, and the RSNs fear they could be losing viewers who are moving more and more to watching video, entertainment and sports on mobile devices." A source said the talks between RSNs and MLB "have intensified" of late. The source added of recent progress, "We are hopeful something will get done this year." Sources said that part of the talks "concern how to protect" the league's MLB.TV revenue stream and how the league can "maintain some control over all streaming rights while placating" the RSNs. Teams are "generally supportive of the RSNs in their talks with MLB because giving their cable rights holders more options could lead to tens of millions of added dollars in rights fees over a multi-year rights deal." Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures co-Founder & CEO Chris Bevilacqua said that if the RSNs "get the right to stream in-market games they will seek to raise the fee they charge cable companies" (N.Y. POST, 3/7).
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