An intriguing cross-site and cross-platform partnership between MLBAM and post-season rightsholders Turner Sports and Fox Sports: Postseason.TV, a blackout-free $9.95 subscription package with a player that will work across MLB.com, FoxSports.com on MSN and MLB.com/TBSHotCorner. It’s also available on the iPhone and iTouch. My understanding is the three will share revenues. The 400,000 or so paid subscribers of regular season MLB At Bat get access at no extra charge, but the three will split revenue for anyone who signs up now — after Apple’s 30 percent cut. Marketed as a complement, not a substitute for TV, the package includes every post-season game, up to four views at a time from 10 camera positions through multi-view, in-game highlights, network real-time stats and play-by-play, plus a live Twitter feed for the requisite social media feature. The various camera options and multi-view will be available on the iPhone and iTouch, too, although some people might want to keep a magnifying glass handy for that quad view on the small screen.
MLBAM’s Bob Bowman didn’t want to get into the financials but was willing to talk a little about why they’re trying this variation. He said they wanted to create something that was seamless online or on mobile that covered both post-season partners without getting complicated. “We’ll worry about the economics behind the scenes. The fan doesn’t want to worry, the fan just wants access.” However much money is involved — and I’m not sure there’s enough for one of the network’s to cover the travel of one play-by-play announcer to one game — all three stand to gain at least some marketing intel. The sign-up form has checked boxes for promotions for newsletters and promotions for MLB.com and its partners as well as TBS and Fox Sports.
I’m close to losing track of the variety of MLBAM experiments this year — set-top boxes, Boxee, in-market delivery of YES, various subscription options. I’m not even sure I can track all the price points MLB At Bat has been offered for this season — full season, half season, pennant race, and more. Some of it probably defines incremental. But it is one of the most efficient examples around of using existing core content and much of what already surrounds it in as many different ways as possible.