MLB Advanced Media has acquired worldwide distribution rights for a concert in Central Park, according to a report from the New York Times. The Global Citizen Festival is set to take place live from Central Park in New York City on Saturday, September 28th, and features performances from Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon, and John Mayer.
You might be asking, "why does MLB want to distribute a concert that has absolutely nothing to do with baseball" and that's a great question. MLBAM chief executive Bob Bowman said the logic behind the rights acquisition is simple.
“We want to gain experience selling worldwide rights,” said Bob Bowman, the chief executive of the division, which is jointly owned by the league’s 30 clubs. The clubs all stand to profit as the division sells its live-streaming services to more and more purposes.
Oh, well that makes sense. MLBAM wants to diversify their brand, almost like how WWE has dipped their toe into the music and movie industries as opposed to just pro wrestling.
But is jumping into the deep end with a high profile concert like this really the best course of action? The concert will be streamed on YouTube and the website of the New York Times, which hopefully will negate any possible server strain on MLB.com's servers during the final weekend of the baseball season. The concert is also going to be produced by AEG alongside MLBAM, So while it looks like MLBAM is taking a huge risk with their latest investment, they're actually doing a pretty good job at minimizing their risk
Let me just say this, though: if the concert goes into an endless cycle of buffering during John Mayer's performance, the rage of 20-something females will have MLBAM wishing they were dealing with angry baseball fans again. There's also no word about whether or not everyone within a 150 mile radius of Central Park will be blacked out of the concert.
You're kidding, right? In addition to live HD streaming of all MLB games worldwide, MLB Advanced Media also does all the video streaming for WatchESPN, CBS Sports March Madness, Turner Sports, and more."When CBS and ESPN had a public spat last year  as to who held the record for the most unique users ever to watch a live online sports event, a U.S. World Cup match or the start of 2010’s March Madness On Demand, they were arguing over events both supported by MLBAM." http://m.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/03/21/Media/MLBAM.aspx?As of three years ago, MLBAM streamed over 12,000 live video events per year. I think they have the infrastructure for a concert.