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The Biggest Name in the Media Industry is the Last Name You’d Expect

They’re one of Apple’s pri­ma­ry part­ners, appear­ing at keynotes for new Apple prod­uct launch­es. They are slat­ed to engage in 400,000 hours of stream­ing live video in 2014, and rev­enues for the year are esti­mat­ed at $800 mil­lion. By 2016, their rev­enue pro­jec­tions will hit $1 bil­lion. They’re among the most pop­u­lar choic­es for con­tent infra­struc­ture, and one of the biggest media com­pa­nies in the coun­try. This com­pa­ny isn’t known as a media giant; they’re far more rec­og­niz­able in oth­er cir­cles, though.


One of the biggest media com­pa­nies in the indus­try right now is actu­al­ly MLB Advanced Media, the tech com­pa­ny of Major League Base­ball.

How Major League Base­ball Became a Media Indus­try Giant

With their inno­v­a­tive approach to media, MLB’s tech divi­sion is now con­sid­ered more of a media com­pa­ny than a base­ball orga­ni­za­tion. MLB Advanced Media began with MLB.com, and was fund­ed through an agree­ment with the thir­ty base­ball clubs which com­prised of $1 mil­lion each year over a four-year span. The esti­mat­ed cost was $120 mil­lion, but MLB Advanced Media began turn­ing a prof­it three years lat­er. After invest­ing less than $75 mil­lion, investors start­ed to see ROI, and now those thir­ty own­ers are earn­ing annu­al div­i­dends.

Pio­neer­ing Stream­ing Sports and the Media Indus­try

While many sports leagues offer stream­ing video sys­tems which are only in their infan­cy, MLB Advanced Media rolled out MLB.TV in 2002 in order to take advan­tage of untapped rev­enue sources stem­ming form the large num­ber of games each sea­son. On the back of the pio­neer­ing stream­ing ser­vice came June 2014’s 120 Sports, anoth­er trail­blaz­ing ven­ture which involves mul­ti­ple leagues, includ­ing the NHL, the PGA Tour, NBA, NASCAR and col­le­giate games. With the pur­chase of Tickets.com, MLB Advanced Media was able to fur­ther secure its posi­tion as a media giant by improv­ing the way cus­tomers buy tick­ets to live games.

With lit­tle fan­fare, MLB Advanced Media has posi­tioned itself as one of the biggest and most suc­cess­ful tech star­tups in the nation. “I think it’s not only one of the great sto­ries in Amer­i­can sports busi­ness in the past twelve years,” says league com­mis­sion­er Bud Selig, “But one of the great sto­ries in Amer­i­can busi­ness.”



Pho­to cour­tesy of Flickr

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