Major League Baseball is possibly the premier league in terms of identifying new revenue opportunities through the Internet. MLBAM is raking in money for the league and teams, and they are on the forefront on live media through MLB.TV (which got even better this year with the higher quality stream now available…for $5 more a month, of course).
Considering this fact, I’m surprised that they have left an obvious revenue stream untapped. As of now, if you watch games through MLB.TV, whenever there is a break between innings, all you see is an image that says there’s a break in the action and stay tuned. They do not play any commercials or show any advertising. To me, this is a wasted opportunity! In a time where more and more companies prefer to focus on regional, team-based sponsorships, here is a prime opportunity for a league sponsor to get additional exposure with MLB.TV customers, individuals that have willingly identified themselves as having a deep connection with MLB.
I know the MLB.TV does use the local affiliates for their video streams, so there may be some concerns about devaluing the advertising that those stations offer. But with the blackout rules that the site has implemented, this should be of little concern. Other websites with streaming content, like NBC.com, have already leveraged this opportunity for their station’s major advertisers to gain more exposure during “commercial breaks” in the television shows. The opportunity is there for MLBAM…I just wonder why they haven’t taken advantage of it yet.