Major League Baseball and FOX Sports are working on an agreement that would allow subscribers to FOX’s regional sports networks (RSNs) to view their local team’s MLB games on mobile devices starting next season. MLB’s back-end technology will deliver the data to FOX’s customers. The plan was disclosed by Sports Business Daily on Monday.
In essence, what this means for St. Louis Cardinals fans is that if you live in an area where you can view Cardinals games on FOX Sports Midwest via your television provider, you should soon be able to see those games on your phone, too, for example.
What this doesn’t do is help those who cannot see Cardinals games in the first place due to overlapping local territories where FSM is not offered. This remains the major sticking point for fans in certain areas including parts of Iowa.
This also does not help the 15 other MLB teams whose local rights are not carried by a FOX regional sports network. They are left to cut their own separate streaming deals with MLB.
The FOX RSNs will benefit as they can reach more customers with their offerings, potentially providing increased ad revenue opportunity.
Not surprisingly, MLB wins for sure, as they will receive an estimated 4 percent of the local rights deals between the teams and their FOX RSNs. Starting with St. Louis’ new TV deal going into effect in 2018, this could mean at least $2.67 million of Cardinals money annually flowing from FOX Midwest to MLB ($1 billion divided by 15 years times .04).
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