Yahoo! and MLB.com Enter Video Distribution and Advertising Sales Partnership
Yahoo! and MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, today announced a three-year video and advertising partnership that includes access to out-of-market MLB games on Yahoo! Sports. The agreement will make MLB.TV available on Yahoo! Sports, bringing Yahoo! users more than 2,400 out-of-market Major League Baseball games each year, live and on-demand, through the 2010 season. Additionally, Yahoo! will exclusively manage online advertising sales for MLB.TV in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
This deal represents a continuation of Yahoo! Sports’ commitment to delivering the most compelling sports content on the web while significantly increasing the amount of high-quality video advertising inventory available to Yahoo! advertisers.
“This agreement exemplifies Yahoo! as the partner of choice to premier media organizations, as we’re providing MLB.com an opportunity to extend its reach to the largest possible audience, while at the same time maximizing monetization of its video subscription product,” said Todd Teresi, senior vice president of the Yahoo! Publisher Channel. “Partnering with MLB.com allows Yahoo! to offer our users an unmatched baseball experience, and also presents our advertisers with a new opportunity to reach a large, engaged audience of baseball enthusiasts.”
Yahoo! Sports will offer MLB.TV to fans in 11 countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, UK, Philippines and Germany. The games will be available through a co-branded player on Yahoo! Sports at http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb and MLB.com. During the first year of the deal, Yahoo! and MLBAM will jointly sell advertising for the video inventory, using Yahoo!’s advanced video ad format, Clickable, in addition to traditional pre-roll and post roll formats. For the remaining two years of the agreement, Yahoo! will be solely responsible for selling video advertising inventory for MLB.TV. All of this will be powered by Yahoo!’s industry-leading advertising management platform, AMP! from Yahoo!.
“Yahoo! has been a valuable partner with MLB.com in the past and this agreement represents an important evolution of our relationship with an industry-leading gateway to the Internet,” said Kenny Gersh, senior vice president, Business Development, MLBAM. “We are excited to leverage the popularity of watching live baseball games via MLB.TV with Yahoo!’s remarkable distribution portal and its well-established advertising sales capabilities.”
MLB.com launched its most significant MLB.TV upgrade to date on Opening Day of the 2008 season by offering MLB.TV Premium subscribers live out-of-market games in an enhanced video player with a television-quality picture through MLB.TV NexDef(TM) at either 800k or 1.2MB. An MLB.TV Premium subscription, available for $119.95 a year or $19.95 a month, also includes access to the Emmy Award winning MLB.TV Mosaic application, giving fans the opportunity to watch up to six live games simultaneously. MLB.com also offers its out-of-market subscription product at 400k for $89.95 a year or $14.95 a month.
“Yahoo! Sports has established itself as the leading online sports destination by partnering with organizations like MLB Advanced Media to offer the most compelling sports experience to our users,” said Jimmy Pitaro, general manger, Yahoo! Sports. “The addition of MLB.TV to Yahoo! Sports helps solidify our position as a true leader in online sports.”
The agreement also provides that Yahoo! Sports will distribute MLB.com’s FastCast, a quick highlights-based recap of the previous day’s games, and can utilize select other MLB.com video content within Yahoo! Sports’ original programming. MLB.com began offering live streaming video of games in August 2002 and launched the first full-season subscription video product in professional sports the following April. Since that time, more than one million fans have subscribed to MLB.TV.