SBD/July 16, 2014/Media

MLB Takes Hard Line With RSNs In Negotiations For Local Streaming Rights

MLB and RSNs "remain far apart in their talks over rights to stream local games," according to sources cited by Josh Kosman of the N.Y. POST. Sources said that RSNs are offering "roughly 13 cents per subscriber per month -- while MLB is asking for about double that amount." With about 70 million RSN homes, the "gulf" is about $109M a year. MLB sells about 1.5 million streaming subscriptions a year -- for "as much as $130 a shot," but all local games "are blacked out." RSNs have been "aching to get their hands on the rights" as streaming has "become more commonplace," Talks between the RSNs "have been held -- on and off -- since before the season began." There was "some hope in the spring that a deal would be hammered out by the All-Star Game -- but that has not happened." Without offering in-market games on tablets or cellular phones, it makes it "harder for baseball and RSNs -- which are predominantly owned by Fox and Comcast --to build their audiences" (N.Y. POST, 7/16).
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