Owners Meeting Notes: DH Very Unlikely This Year, In-Market Streaming Update, Sharing Highlights

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Owners Meeting Notes: DH Very Unlikely This Year, In-Market Streaming Update, Sharing Highlights

Chicago Cubs

It’s always worth remembering that, although Major League Baseball is an entity, charged in many ways with managing the professional game of baseball here in the States, it is also the avatar for each of its 30 clubs and owners. That means, among other things, when we talk about “MLB” doing something or not doing something when negotiating with the players, you also have to get past that sticky hurdle of actually getting the owners to agree on changes.

So, for example, when it comes to the recent chatter on rules changesincluding the universal designated hitter – “MLB” can’t just do it. The owners have to approve it. The biggest proposed changes seemed pretty drastic for implementation in just a month or two.

And on that note, lots to update from this week’s owners meetings …

  • The owners reportedly did not even take a vote on the universal designated hitter, so that proposal from the players is pretty much done for this year. Indeed, it may take the next CBA to actually get it done:

  • The league is still in the FOX RSN bidding, as we discussed yesterday, and a great bit of news on the streaming side of things:

  • As you may recall, MLB controls all streaming rights, so it had to negotiate separately with RSNs to allow them to give streaming access to their authenticated subscribers (an increasingly important part of paying for a huge broadcast contract with a team). For the Cubs’ new deal, this is good and very important news.
  • Also good news: the league may finally be ready to relax its restrictions on highlight sharing in order to help the marketing of the game. What that will look like precisely is not yet out there, but obviously the way the NBA has taken an extremely hands-off approach to those who share short highlight clips on social media has actually helped improve and spread awareness of game action. To date, MLB has been much more aggressive in clamping down on the spread of highlights that they or their network partners, themselves, did not create and disseminate. That is, of course, their right, but the way a large group of fans can take that role on simply looks and functions and lands differently than when a league is trying to do it for itself.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.