Of all the major sports leagues, none have been as successful on the Web as Major League Baseball. (We actually wrote a story about this for the next issue of Fast Company magazine.) They've been smart enough to put the focus on video, to make the user experience as deep and vast as possible and, mostly, to make sure that they own everything involving baseball on the Web. ESPN.com doesn't cover MLB.com; it's its competition. This has now been taken to its logical next step.
MLB wants journalists to know that their online baseball coverage is limited, at best.
According to Sports Business Journal, starting this coming season news organizations will be limited to no more than 120 seconds of audio or video from league facilities. To add to that, "with game highlights restricted only to rights holders that have a separate rights deal with MLB Advanced Media." As further reported:
The 120 seconds of MLB content cannot be streamed live, and like the NFL's rule, the cap does not apply to news outlets providing their own analysis or reporting, commonly known as "talking head" material. The new MLB rules, in development for roughly six months, also prohibit news organizations from posting more than seven photos from any game online and from creating a photo gallery on their Web sites. In addition, non-text content created at MLB ballparks cannot stay up on a news outlet Web site for more than 72 hours.
Just 120 seconds! Sheesh, that's not even one Steve Trachsel pitch.
NFL-Like: MLB To Impose Online Content Restrictions [The Biz Of Baseball]