Tech Issues Delay In-Market MLB Streaming For NESN, Root Sports
NESN and the four Root Sports-operated RSNs will begin the '17 MLB season today without in-market streaming active for the Red Sox, Astros, Mariners, Pirates and Rockies. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in early February said an in-market streaming deal with NESN was complete and that one with Root Sports would likely be close behind in time for Opening Day. Agreements are in place, but technical issues in both cases are delaying public rollout of in-market streaming for these clubs until at least mid-April. MLBAM is helping develop a new application for NESN to support the local streams, and baseball’s digital arm and Root Sports continue to work through authentication protocols for the live local streams.
“It’s not as simple as turning a switch, and when they go live, it has to work,” said MLB President of Business & Media Bob Bowman. “But they will be starting very soon.” NESN also said the in-market Red Sox streams would be “coming soon.” Root Sports parent AT&T declined comment. Once these five clubs begin in-market streaming, only the Nationals, Orioles and Dodgers will not offer the service.