MLB Advanced Media, the baseball league's booming technology division, is quickly growing into one of the most crucial companies in all of streaming. It powers MLB.TV. It powers WWE Network. It powers Sony's PlayStation Vue internet TV service. MLBAM has become about far more than baseball ever since America's pastime started live streams. And pretty soon, it'll be the backbone of HBO's standalone subscription product. With all of that expertise, MLB is now considering a spinoff of its technology arm, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Current proposals would see MLB.com and baseball ticketing — both currently under the MLBAM umbrella — stay with Major League Baseball, while the entire streaming business would be split off. It's big now, but only getting bigger, based on what MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told the Journal. MLBAM is holding talks with up to 40 new partners, the report says, with Manfred describing several of them as "very significant companies."
Rather than sell MLBAM wholesale, the league would prefer to keep control over the streaming company while bringing on minority investors with a stake in its continued growth and success, like Time Warner (HBO) and Sony (Vue). MLBAM took in over $100 million in 2014 and "could be valued at more than $5 billion," per the Journal.