It seems that MLB Advanced Media’s reach is growing further still. In addition to baseball’s own websites, apps and streaming content, MLBAM also runs Sports on Earth and has been involved with the likes of WatchESPN, HBO Go, March Madness Live, 120 Sports, the WWE Network, Top Rank Boxing, Sportsnet New York, the YES Network and more. Now, there are reports that they’re going to take over the NHL’s website, apps and streaming video service GameCenter in 2016. MLB and the NHL have called a joint press conference for Tuesday without specifying the subject, but Boston-based WEEI reporter D.J. Bean tweeted Monday that this is about MLBAM taking over the NHL’s web services:

ESPN anchor John Buccigross also tweeted about the move favourably, although it’s unclear if he has his own sources or is relying on Bean’s report:

As Buccigross implied, and SI’s Allan Muir also writes, this may involve MLB taking over some U.S. production for the NHL Network too. That seems more up in the air right now, but it’s also definitely a possibility to keep an eye on as more details come out.

The web and streaming side seems reasonably clear, though, unless Bean’s report is wrong, and it makes sense. MLBAM’s technical expertise on the web and streaming side is well apparent; they wouldn’t have so many big sports organizations working with them otherwise. There may well be improvements for hockey fans out of this, and the league could certainly benefit as well. It’s unclear how this will affect current NHL streaming initiatives, such as the new single-team option, and Bean makes the good point that some of the NHL’s current staffers devoted to web operations may lose their jobs as a result of this, though:

It’s interesting to consider what this means for MLB and MLBAM, too. MLB reportedly considered spinning MLBAM off and conducting an IPO for it in June, hiring Goldman Sachs and Evercore to examine their options, but then said in July that there “probably wouldn’t be” an IPO and that they were instead talking to “dozens of strategic investors.” Could the NHL be one of those, perhaps taking a stake in MLBAM as well as just hiring them? If so, this might be even more notable. We’ll see how this plays out with the press conference Tuesday, and just what terms it involves, but the prospect of a NHL/MLBAM partnership is very intriguing.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

Comments are closed.