Major League Baseball is abandoning its dream of becoming the operator of a nationwide chain of sports channels, The New York Post reports, citing unnamed sources.
As Disney wraps up its auction of 21 regional sports networks, “MLB has resigned itself to becoming a minority investor,” the story reports. The league had hoped to gain control of the RSNs.
The report quotes a source close to the talks saying: “MLB preferred majority but have come to the conclusion that it is not going to be possible and they want to be part of a consortium.”
The Post adds: “MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred surprised media executives in November when he jumped into the auction. At the time, sources close to MLB said the league was angling to centralize the media rights of MLB’s various teams, boosting its ability to resell games to a fast-growing array of online streaming services.
“The problem: MLB is owned by the 30 teams it encompasses — and those teams want to charge the RSNs as much as they can for the rights to broadcast their games.”