A couple of years ago, it looked like Major League Soccer might leave its lengthy digital partnership with MLBAM for a new home with Turner Sports. The two leagues stayed connected, though, with MLBAM managing the MLS digital operations. That’s changing now after six years — as is the overall philosophy: MLS will go the DIY route instead of primarily outsourcing. MLS wants to be the provider, the MLBAM (in that respect) of soccer, uses its own infrastructure to support other soccer sites as well, Sports Business Journal reports.
Plans call for the new league platform to be up at MLSnet.com by March 2010 with the 15 team sites to follow. The league says those sites currently get about 2 million monthly uniques. MLS President Mark Abbott told SBJ the costs would be in the “millions.” That includes developing a platform, hiring editorial, sales and marketing staffs, and a consulting deal with Michael Wolfson’s Rocket Fuel.
Update: MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman says the move was no unexpected: “We’ve said to them for the last two years we’re happy to let them bring it in house whenever they were ready to do it.” He hopes the relationship continues in some form, possibly live video delivery, but that remains to be seen.