Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Pulls No Punches on State of RSN Market, Considers League's Direct-to-Consumer Future

18/10/2021

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Pulls No Punches on State of RSN Market, Considers League's Direct-to-Consumer Future Why friction-less digital access to games is critical and where gambling entities fit in By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital

Monday, October 18, 2021 - 2:42 pm

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

With ratings up and matchups living up to their billing (see the epic Dodgers-Giants NLDS series), Major League Baseball is enjoying a prosperous postseason so far. But, in a rapidly evolving media landscape, what does the future of America's Pastime look like?

At SportsBusiness Journal's World Congress of Sports, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred discussed some of those topics, including where the sport stands on the regional-sports-network business, what he would like a direct-to-consumer MLB product to look like, and what production enhancements are making the game a more enjoyable watch?

On this MLB Postseason:

We were due for a little bit of good luck. The last couple of years have been a real challenge with the pandemic. We've been very fortunate this year with great teams and great rivalries early in the playoffs, which is important in terms of capturing people's interest. I think the east-west piece of it has been really good, too. Having Boston, Tampa, San Francisco, L.A. has made this really good for us.

On the future of regional sports networks:

The cord-cutting phenomenon has made the RSN business one that is declining, by definition. Fewer subs makes the business more difficult. I think that the negativity surrounding the RSNs has increased exponentially as a result of the situation with the Sinclair subsidiary, Diamond.

Part of their problem is cord-cutting. The other part of their problem is that there is excessive leverage on that business when you think about what they paid for it, how much debt they have on it. That leverage has produced headlines that are more negative. There are RSNs that may not be thriving or growing, but they are going to survive.

MLB's future as a result of the RSN decline:

I think the key for us is the development of direct-to-consumer products to increase our reach. The biggest problem for us on the RSN side is that, even within the cable bundle - particularly with the Diamond subsidiary - is that their reach, within the bundle, is not what it used to be. It's important for us to develop digital products that allow us to get to our fans in a friction-less way. That's really your future.

On whether MLB's future is with Sinclair:

Our view of digital rights is that they are our future and it's something that the league and the clubs should control. We do have a pretty good track record on the digital side. MLB.TV was one of the first over-the-top products and has continued to grow and at a really impressive rate. Who exactly the partners will be I'm not prepared to [discuss], but we see those digital rights as very valuable and crucial to our future.

On what a direct-to-consumer service looks like:

It has to be friction-less: easy for the consumer to get in and buy what they want. It also has to be flexible. I see that flexibility, in the context of baseball, as buying an out-of-market package, buying up into your local rights, buying just your local rights; the consumer gets to decide what he's buying.

On having an ownership stake in a future direct-to-consumer product:

I think ownership stake probably understates it. We believe those digital rights are crucial, and we want to own and control the platform on which they are delivered. We may have partners in that process. This idea that, late in the discussions, we somehow demanded an equity stake is just not accurate. We've told [Sinclair] that from day one.

On the remaining package of national games still available:

We re fortunate. We have multiple major entities that are interested in that package. That's great for creating competition from a financial standpoint. More important for us, we want that package to be forward-looking. What does the future look like? How are we going to deliver games digitally in a way that is friction-less. There are two big opportunities there: not only additional revenue but the opportunity to take a step forward in the way we're delivering games to fans.

On potentially selling those rights to a sports-gambling company:

Our thought, with respect to the gaming entities, is that there is a place for them in the media lineup for Major League Baseball. I think the important thing is that, whatever we do with a gaming company, we're always going to have that clean, family-friendly broadcast that isn't going to have a gambling overlay to it. We're going to have to find a gambling entity with the flexibility to adhere to that larger strategic thought.

I'm not saying you're never going to see odds on a national broadcast. I'm talking about a gambling-focused feed where it's not once or twice per game and it's every inning and every pitch where there's [betting] material. If we ever go that far, we're going to have a clean feed as well.

On production enhancements that can be expected in future MLB broadcasts:

I think you're going to see a continuation of some of the things that we've been doing. Microphones and in-game interviews are at the top of that list. We saw that at the All-Star Game, where you were having conversations with players in the field. Fans seemed to love that. We're going to do more and more of that. I think the opportunity for supplemental information as either a second-screen experience or integrates into the broadcast is really important to us. Statcast is the best example of that. It provides the fan the opportunity to understand the game in a way that they might not otherwise. We
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2021/10/18/mlb-commissioner-rob-manfred-pu...
See more stories from svg

North America Stories

01/06/2029

IMT AIRBORNE VIDEO DOWNLINK SYSTEM (AVDS) TAKES OFF AT ALEA EXPO 06

Jun29 IMT AIRBORNE VIDEO DOWNLINK SYSTEM (AVDS) TAKES OFF AT ALEA EXPO 2016 SAVANNAH, GA, JUNE 29, 2016 - Integrated Microwave Technologies (IMT), a leader in...

01/04/2025

Images from NAB 2017

Apr25 Images from NAB 2017 Mike Payne of Vislink delivers a presentation on newsnet, a secure, high-bandwidth IP network that completely transforms traditiona...

01/04/2024

VISLINK UNVEILS ALL-NEW HCAM, HEVC 4K UHD CAMERA TRANSMITTER AT NAB 2017

Apr24 VISLINK UNVEILS ALL-NEW HCAM, HEVC 4K UHD CAMERA TRANSMITTER AT NAB 2017 18 Unit Purchase by UK Based-Broadcast RF to be Finalized at Show LAS VEGAS, ...

08/12/2021

Senate Confirms Rosenworcel to a New FCC Term

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Senate has voted to confirm Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to another term at the Commission, a mov...

08/12/2021

Teradek Launches New Monitoring Solution with AWS Wavelength & Verizon

IRVINE, Calif. Thanks to a recent collaboration with Verizon and Amazon Web Services Teradek has announced a new ultra-low latency monitoring server for their C...

08/12/2021

NEP Group Opens Production Centers in L.A. and New York

PITTSBURGH NEP Group has launched two new production centers, the NEP Production Center Los Angeles and NEP Production Center New York....

08/12/2021

Oliver Frenzel Named Lawo's Business Development Manager

RASTATT, GERMANY Lawo has named Oliver Frenzel as business development manager for its SMART line of IP network monitoring solutions. In his new position, Frenz...

08/12/2021

Telstra Broadcast Services Joins the SRT Alliance

MELBOURNE, Australia The global media services provider, Telstra Broadcast Services (TBS), has announced that it has joined the SRT Alliance, a collaborative gr...

08/12/2021

ViacomCBS and CJ ENM to Partner on Streaming Content and Services

NEW YORK and SEOUL, Korea In the wake of the growing popularity of Korean content like Squid Game on Netflix, ViacomCBS and CJ ENM have announced a new strate...

08/12/2021

NextGen TV: SpectraRep's EduCast Selected to Deliver Classroom Content to Students Via ATSC 3.0 Broadcasts in N.M.

CHANTILLY, Va. In the first deployment of educational datacasting services using...

08/12/2021

Durham Bulls Unveil New Uniforms for Upcoming 2022 Season

New home & road jerseys honor Durham franchises past, alternate jersey recognizes Bull City The Bulls Home Jersey for the 2022 season. The Durham Bulls ...

07/12/2021

Creating a More Resilient Future: The Latest Innovations Built for Managing Disruptions

For one of the first times in 2021, air navigation experts from the public and p...

07/12/2021

I Am L3Harris - Renee Frohnert

I knew I wanted to be in aerospace when I was seven years old and watched Toy Story with my dad - I fell in love with the character Buzz Lightyear. My dad, an e...

07/12/2021

L3Harris Completes Sale of its Narda-MITEQ Business

MELBOURNE, Fla. - L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) has completed the sale of its Narda-MITEQ business to an investment affiliate of J.F. Lehman & Company. Nard...

07/12/2021

Broadband Forum Updates Framework for Edge Computing

FREMONT, Calif. The Broadband Forum industry standards group has announced a new release of TR-466 that is designed to help operators bring edge computing to cl...

07/12/2021

ARK Taps Digital Alert Systems for ATSC 3.0 Emergency Messaging

LYNDONVILLE, N.Y. & CEDAR HILL, TX NextGen TV network ARK Multicasting has adopted Digital Alert Systems' DASDEC emergency messaging platform for its ATSC 3...

07/12/2021

B+C Hall of Fame Returns with Live, In-Person 30th Anniversary Gala

The Broadcasting+Cable Hall of Fame -- the premier industry event paying tribute to the pioneers, innovators and stars of the electronic arts -- returns with a ...

07/12/2021

New Imagine Communications ADC Flex Enables Remote Broadcast Chain Control

DENVER Imagine Communications has enhanced ADC playout automation with the ADC Flex remote-ready control solution that enables media companies to access and con...

07/12/2021

Crown Media Taps Globecast For Hallmark Channels' Cloud Playout Migration

LOS ANGELES Globecast is providing Crown Media Family Networks with cloud playout services for Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama,...

07/12/2021

Houston, We Have a NextGen TV Launch

HOUSTON, Texas In what is being billed as the largest NextGen TV launch to date, 10 local stations in Houston, the eighth-largest TV market in the United States...

07/12/2021

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo After Outside Investigation

CNN has fired anchor Chris Cuomo after earlier suspending him indefinitely due to revelations about the extent of his aid to his embattled brother, former New Y...

07/12/2021

Magna Sees U.S. Long-Form Video Ad Revenue Rising 4% in 2022

Media buyer Magna Global forecasts that total U.S long-form video ad revenue will rise 7% in 2022 after a 6% gain in 2021 to $65.6 billion....

07/12/2021

U.S. TV Ad Spending To Rise By 4% in 2022, Zenith Forecasts

Advertising spending on TV in the United States is expected to increase 4% to $65.151 billion in 2022 from pandemic lows, but growth will be limited and pale co...

07/12/2021

GroupM Sees 23% CTV Growth, More Political Spending, Boosting TV

Media buyer GroupM predicted that U.S. TV ad revenue will grow 6.2% to $74.168 billion in 2022, after rising 4.1% in 2021, a historic year for overall advertisi...

07/12/2021

Dan Fabrizio Named News Director at WSMV Nashville

Dan Fabrizio has been named news director at WSMV Nashville. He was news director at WAVE Louisville. Gray Television owns News 4, an NBC affiliate....

07/12/2021

USTelecom Names Senior Government Affairs Director

USTelecom-The Broadband Association, has tapped a White House official for a top government relations post. Michael Pauls Jr. will join the trade group as seni...

07/12/2021

Joe Pickett' Offers Viewers Wild West, and a Main Character Trying to Do the Right Thing

Western drama Joe Pickett, about a game warden and his family finding their way ...

07/12/2021

Roku Streaming More Unaired Episodes of Two Quibi Series

Gearing up to create original shows of its own making, Roku is dipping into the Quibi library it acquired to stream what it's calling second seasons of Punk...

07/12/2021

Shatner in Space' on Amazon Dec. 15

Shatner in Space, a one-hour special, will stream on Amazon Prime starting Wednesday, Dec. 15. The special shows William Shatner traveling to space on Blue Orig...

07/12/2021

Sinclair Launches Website For The National Desk News Program

Sinclair Broadcast Group said it launched a free website for its The National Desk news program, which airs on some Sinclair stations....

07/12/2021

GroupM: Global Connected TV Ad Revenue to Hit $32.6B by 2026

NEW YORK In a new forecast for the 2022 ad market and media landscape, GroupM is forecasting rapid growth for connected TV advertising in 2022 and beyond. But i...

07/12/2021

Broadband Forum Releases New Version of TR-466

FREMONT, Calif. The Broadband Forum industry standards group has announced a new release of TR-466 that is designed to help operators bring edge computing to cl...

07/12/2021

Cinedigm Taps LiveLike for New Interactive Streaming Features

LOS ANGELES The independent streaming company Cinedigm has announced that it is working with LiveLike to deliver new community and gamification elements to Cine...

07/12/2021

Zenith: Social Media Advertising Will Surpass TV in 2022

LONDON The dominance of digital media will pass a new milestone in 2022 when worldwide social media advertising will hit $177 billion, overtaking television at ...

07/12/2021

Diversity Voted ANA 2021 Marketing Word Of The Year

NEW YORK After conducting an online poll of more than 200 members, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has announced that Diversity was voted ANA...

07/12/2021

Majority Report: 2022 Predictions on How AI Will Impact Global Industries

There's an old axiom that the best businesses thrive during periods of uncertainty. No doubt, that will be tested to the limits as 2022 portends upheaval on...

07/12/2021

Silicon Express Lanes: AI, GPUs Pave Fast Routes for Chip Designers

AI can design chips no human could, said Bill Dally in a virtual keynote today at the Design Automation Conference (DAC), one of the world's largest gatheri...

07/12/2021

SVG Voices: Fox Sports Technical Producer Carlos Gonzalez

SVG Voices: Fox Sports Technical Producer Carlos Gonzalez By SVG Staff Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 6:45 am Print This Story | Subscribe Story Highlights...

07/12/2021

SVG Sit-Down: Venue Edge's David Saphirstein on Driving In-Venue Content for Five Bowl Games, Other December Events

SVG Sit-Down: Venue Edge's David Saphirstein on Driving In-Venue Content for...

07/12/2021

NEP Sets Its Sights on Centralized-Production Model With New Production Centers in L.A., NYC

NEP Sets Its Sights on Centralized-Production Model With New Production Centers ...

07/12/2021

SVG On Demand: How the League of Legends World Championship Final Made Its Quick Switch from China to Iceland

SVG On Demand: How the League of Legends World Championship Final Made Its Quick...

07/12/2021

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame 2020-21 Ceremony Preview: All Nine HOF Profiles Now Available

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame 2020-21 Ceremony Preview: All Nine HOF Profiles...

07/12/2021

Global Cisco Study Identifies Top Security Practices

News Summary: Organizations that proactively test their security capabilities are 2.5 times more likely to maintain business resiliency Integrated technology ...

07/12/2021

December 07, 2021

New research consortium to tackle maternal health disparities with digital technologies Mobile app-based research platform aims to engage and empower researcher...

07/12/2021

MMG Turns to Ross for Futureproofed OB Capability

Ottawa, Canada, December 7th 2021 - Media Mobil GmbH (MMG) is a German provider of outside broadcast services to the MDR group of stations and other third-party...

07/12/2021

Durham Holiday Night Market at American Tobacco This Thursday

Get ready for American Tobaccos BIGGEST Durham Night Market of the year filled with lots of holiday cheers this Thursday, December 9, 2021, from 5-9pm. Shop o...

06/12/2021

SO.DA AND TWITTER'S DIGITAL VARIETY SERIES KRAFT PEANUT BUTTER TELEVISION #KRAFTPBTV REACHES OVER 4 MILLION CANADIANS

SO.DA AND TWITTER'S DIGITAL VARIETY SERIES KRAFT PEANUT BUTTER TELEVISION #K...

06/12/2021

Deloitte: High Churn Rate Shows Competitive, Maturing SVOD Market

As the market and number of video streaming services continues to grow worldwide, customer choice is expanding and with it, the rate of subscriptions, cancellat...