Disney buys 33 percent share of MLB Advanced Media, 4-year option for bigger stake
The two companies already had a working relationship, as MLB Advanced Media runs ESPN’s WatchESPN streaming arm.So this is seemingly a natural next step. This deal is surely geared toward building a more robust streaming product (particularly in offering sports and events that might not have a place in ESPN’s on-air schedule) to attract and keep subscribers who have turned their back on cable and satellite providers.
Additionally, MLBAM runs WWE Network, HBO Now, March Madness On Demand, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, and also has a digital partnership with the NHL and PGA in creating streaming content.
For the past few months, industry scuttlebutt has centered on Disney looking to purchase a major stake in MLBAM with ambitions toward eventually buying a controlling portion of the company. From there, the next step would likely be spinning off BAM Tech into a separate venture that could partner up with more entities to create streaming content, likely even beyond sports.