MLB Hopes to Soon End Local Blackouts


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Last week Major League Baseball hired Billy Chambers as Vice President of local media. According to The Sports Business Journal, his job will be to figure out how to end blackouts for local in-market MLB games.

Mr. Chamgers is a long-time executive of RSNs, having worked as CFO overseeing 21 Fox RSNs in the past. Now in this newly created position, he has one goal, and that is to offer to streams of MLB games both nationally and in-market to end blackouts as the MLB expects to regain rights to online in-market streaming.

There are multiple ways MLB could offer in-market streaming. They could do it by partnering with an existing streaming service like YouTube TV to offer the markets similar to what the NFL recently did with its NFL Sunday Ticket. Or MLB could add the in-market games to its MLB At Bat service that already offers out-of-market games. At this time, the MLB first needs to regain the rights to its game before it can fully figure out how to offer its games to viewers inside each teams market.

MLB has a long way to go before it is ready to offer in-market games, but the MLB has made it clear that this is a top priority going forward. For now, it is unlikely that a new streaming deal will be in place before the start of the 2023 MLB season.

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