MLB hasn’t put together a deal for in-market local streaming with RSNs, and at this point, it’s looking pretty doubtful that they’ll get something done before Opening Day. But that doesn’t mean that MLB isn’t still thinking about in-market streaming – there’s a provision in MLB’s new deal with Dish to allow access to in-market streaming if a deal gets done.
Here’s the brief blurb about the detail from Sports Business Daily.
If MLB is able to secure in-market streaming deals with RSNs holding club deals, the Dish deal provides a path for subscribers to access those games. Dish is the first major distributor to sign a deal with baseball for in-market games on the league’s preferred three-platform approach in which games are simultaneously available on TV, through network and distributor outlets, and through MLB.tv. But the Dish-MLBAM announcement notably includes a disclosure that “in-market game streaming would require additional agreements between the parties including Dish, MLBAM, and programmers with local TV rights of MLB games.”
This is very interesting. By having this set of details included in their new contract with Dish, MLB is clearly preparing for in-market streaming to get done eventually. And while a deal isn’t done with Fox, Comcast, DirecTV, and the other RSN owners, the process of beginning to get deals done with the providers is huge for MLB. Imagine if the league got an in-market streaming deal done…and you could only watch the in-market streams with a handful of smaller providers. That would not be a good look at all.