Sources: NBC Sports Competing With MLBAM, Turner On Streaming
NBC Sports will compete squarely with MLBAM and Turner-owned iStreamPlanet in aggressively marketing its proprietary video streaming technology, and it has signed on the soon-to-launch Olympic Channel as one of its first major clients, sources told THE DAILY. NBC Sports already uses this streaming technology for live sports, like this summer’s Olympics. Having a standalone streaming tech unit is attractive for media companies because it can turn into a lucrative business. The Wall Street Journal reported that MLBAM's tech unit made $100M in revenue last year – a figure that is expected to be even higher this year. A standalone unit also gives networks more control.
One of the reasons that Comcast’s RSNs have not completed a local streaming deal in baseball comes down to which company manages the back-end streaming: MLBAM manages the technical aspects of streaming games for Fox Sports RSNs and wants to handle Comcast’s, while NBC parent Comcast wants to use its own in-house group, sources said. As of yet, neither side has been willing to cede that control. The NBC group still does not have a name, but it will be run by NBC Sports Group, which has relationships with several leagues, including the NHL, which signed a six-year, $600M deal with MLBAM last summer. NBC spokesperson Greg Hughes declined comment.