MLB may grant regional sports networks multiscreen rights

Major League Baseball is reportedly close to a deal that would allow regional sports networks to stream games to IP devices for the first time.

According to the New York Post, MLB is set to announce a deal with "a national distributor, like a wireless carrier," to stream local games covered by RSNs. The deal is set to occur before the official start of the Major League season on April 6.

MLB continues to talk to RSN operators including Fox Sports, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV), the report adds. Talks are said to have accelerated within the last two weeks.

Streaming would require pay-TV authentication--users would have to subscribe to a tier that carried the relevant regional sports network.

While leagues like the National Basketball Association have allowed their teams to negotiate TV Everywhere rights as part of their individual RSN deals, MLB has restricted this.

Tightly controlling its digital rights, it appears that MLB could be ready to finally loosen its grip on multiscreen access, but only in such a way that it still acts as gatekeeper for any and all streaming.

For more:
- read this New York Post story

Related links:
Report: TWC Dodgers channel talks haven't moved, after all
Four reasons why TV Everywhere isn't ready for prime time: A simple look at a complex problem
Report: Major League Baseball may spin off its advanced media division

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