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Sports: NHL/MLB MLBAM Deal Should Be In The Penalty Box

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Have you ever been to a pot luck when you slave away over a killer dish that is a main course, and you see others have done the same, then one guy shows up with freaking napkins?

That is the perfect analogy for what this merger between NHL and MLB Advanced Media (now known as MLBAM) really is.

I mean BAM (Baseball Advanced Media) is a well-established company that has streamed live games and giving fans an interactive experience that is second to none. So now the NHL comes along and wants to partner up. Just answer me one question, what the hell does the NHL bring to the table?

They sure aren’t bringing a huge fan base. Nor are they bringing any technology that Baseball doesn’t already have, thanks to MLB TV. So now my amazing main course has unneeded napkins. Gee, thanks NHL, for nothing!

Sure, there was a great photo opp for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, as he shook MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s had. What they said about it is what makes me sick. I am for progress as much as the next man but read this and tell me what it does to help baseball:

“The new partnership awards MLBAM the rights to distribute live out of market games through NHL GameCenter Live and NHL Center Ice subscription services within the United States and certain international markets. MLBAM will operate NHL.com, in all seven languages as well as the team websites. MLBAM will also manage the NHL apps as well as be available to help develop apps for its member clubs. The NHL and all 30 of its teams will retain all of the editorial content on the sites.

The Emmy-winning MLB Network will provide studio space as well as production resources for the NHL Network. Bettman said, “As the market leader, MLBAM is uniquely qualified to assist us in giving hockey fans a richer, more immersive experience with the game.”

Manfred, trying to play his part in this whole charade actually came out and said:

“It is an honor for Major League Baseball to stand alongside the National Hockey League on this joint initiative. All of us in sports share a desire to distribute our games and tell our stories as widely and broadly as possible. Because of our own experiences in delivering baseball to its loyal fans, MLB Advanced Media is uniquely suited to excel in a partnership of this magnitude.”

It seems to me like the NHL will gain a lot in technology, studio space, and a huge fan base, and meanwhile MLB gains what? Maybe a few fans in Calgary and Edmonton? Look out; baseball is now going to explode with the addition of those seven people.

What a freaking joke. It is clear that Bettman learned very well from that shyster known as David Stern (Yes, I am a bitter Lakers fan who still thinks Chris Paul should be in Purple and Gold).

I realize that Manfred is very green, and that it is always good to join forces to try to overtake the juggernaut that is the NFL, but at least partner up with someone who is going to bring more than just flipping napkins to the pot luck.

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