The launch of in-market streaming for five MLB teams has been delayed for technical reasons, reports Sports Business Journal.
The teams affected are: The Boston Red Sox, which airs regionally on NESN, and the four teams that air locally on Root Sports: Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies.
NESN and Root Sports both agreed before the season to permit viewers who subscribe to their channels to stream the games as well as watch them on their pay TV services.
But SBJ writes that MLB Advanced Media, the league’s unit for online services, is still working on the apps that will enable fans to stream the games.
“It’s not as simple as turning a switch, and when they go live, it has to work,” Bob Bowman, MLB’s chief for business and media, told SBJ. “But they will be starting very soon.”
How soon is unclear. The Houston Chronicle reports that a Root Sports spokesperson said in-market streaming likely won’t be ready until May. SBJ reports that the apps won’t be ready until at least mid-April.
With the addition of the Red Sox and the Root four, only fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers (SportsNet LA), Baltimore Orioles (MASN) and Washington Nationals (MASN) will be without in-market streaming. Owners of SportsNet LA and MASN have yet to reach streaming agreements with the league.
Fox and NBC (Comcast Sports Net) now offer in-market streaming for the games carried by their regional sports channels.
— Phillip Swann