MLBAM Signs Deal To Provide Back-End Technology For Row 44's In-Flight Videos
MLBAM has struck a wide-ranging pact with California-based in-flight entertainment company Row 44 Inc. in which MLBAM will provide all the back-end streaming technology and digital rights management for Row 44's battery of live and on-demand in-flight video. MLBAM last year struck a content deal with Row 44, becoming the first sports league to offer live in-flight streaming of its games. The new deal builds on that by expanding MLBAM's white label streaming technology business, now supporting more than 200,000 events per year, while also giving baseball an undisclosed equity stake in Row 44. Several airlines globally, including Southwest, offer Row 44 video, and the company in January struck a content deal with the NFL to offer NFL Network and NFL RedZone content on flights. MLB.TV, meanwhile, will today formally become available through the Xbox 360 gaming console, part of a previously announced deal between MLBAM and Microsoft to make the streamed games available both live and on-demand through the device. The new deal, however, also takes advantage of the voice and gesture controls of the Microsoft Kinect, with users for example being able to move to different games by saying "switch." The new availability of MLB.TV, along with new content from Comcast's Xfinity TV and HBO, is seen as one of the biggest upgrades to date for the Xbox Live platform. MLBAM holds a similar deal with Sony for the PlayStation 3 console.