Report: Major League Baseball may spin off its advanced media division

Major League Baseball is reportedly in talks with various investors about a spinoff of its highly successful digital media operation.

MLB Advanced Media has carved a reputation as a premium provider of streaming-video infrastructure, building digital video delivery systems for World Wrestling Entertainment, Sony's new OTT pay-TV service, Vue, and HBO's upcoming a la carte SVOD product.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the unit--based in an old Oreo Cookie factory in New York's SoHo district--now takes in $100 million in annual revenue. And Major League Baseball is talking to media conglomerates including Sony and Time Warner Inc. about investing in a spinoff.

WSJ says a spun-off MLBAM has the potential to be valued as high as $5 billion.

The division "has the capacity to become a real leader in the technology space generally--not just in the video streaming business," said Rob Manfred, the new MLB commissioner, to the paper.

Manfred stressed, however, that Major League Baseball would maintain strategic control in any joint venture entered into alongside a media giant.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story
- read this story from The Verge
- read this Quartz story

Related links:
MLB, Samsung, Comcast execs outline obstacles to 4K- but remain optimistic on future
HBO tech chief Berkes quits as network turns to MLB to launch new streaming service
MLB adopts iBeacon to enhance the stadium experience for fans

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