Baseball Strikes It Rich With Online Content Pitch

MLB web presence adds to—not detracts from—fans' TV, ballpark experiences
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2008 4:03 PM CDT
"It's much more than what you can get on television," one analyst says of MLB's web offerings. "It taps into the base by offering multiple camera angles, stats, and on-demand video."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Major League Baseball’s full-bore embrace of the internet is paying off for its online service, Jay Yarow writes in BusinessWeek. Most professional sports leagues limit web content for fear of encroaching on TV ratings, but MLB’s Advanced Media allows streaming video of full games, downloadable highlights from every game, and a mountain of stats—nearly all of it accessible on mobile devices.

MLBAM’s revenue tops $450 million annually, between the game subscription service and advertising. The league’s success suggests online usage doesn’t detract from TV ratings or game attendance: “Rights fees are up, attendance is up, viewership is up," one exec says. “Putting [games] on every device that has a plug or a battery has worked for the business partners. Even more important, it's worked for our fans.”