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Sunday April 20, 2014

Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media is a Hit

The Major League Baseball logo.

The Major League Baseball logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bob Bowman, president and CEO of Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media (BAM), generates around $620 million dollars a year in revenue. The company is one of the most powerful tech startups that NYy has ever produced, as Fast Company reported that in 2010, BAM was asked to partner with Apple for the iPad launch to introduce a newest mobile MLB interface that let users watch live video of major league games, while viewing game stats at the same time.

The app was a hit and also presented successful paid-content model, a rarity nowadays. The app profited greatly from from the 2.2 million people that bought the BAM iPhone and iPad apps last year alone. BAM is also  an integral part of the MLB, and is responsible for over half of ticket inventory.

Bud Selig, MLB baseball commissioner, told Fast Company that BAM is, “Not only one of the great stories in American sports business in the past 12 years, but one of the great stories in American business.”

The technology behind the app itself is complicated, as a TV camera captures a play during a game, this feed is relayed to the TV production truck outside the stadium. This information is then transmitted to the data center in NY. From this station, employees make sure audio and video are aligned, while computers process the stats for the play and of the game itself. All of this is then packaged and encoded, ready just in time for streaming onto the app. This process adds up to over 5 million data files a day. Fast Company reported that BAM licenses its online content and real-time data to ESPN and other companies, and competes seriously with other sports media.

Bowman is given a large chunk of credit for the success of BAM. With a combination of work ethic and a love for baseball, he has helped BAM reach a $77 million investment by MLB’s 30 team owners, according to Fast Company. He has made his business model one of adaptation, and being ready to tackle the fast changing environment of new media.

BAM has also introduced a new Xbox app that allows fans to watch any game from the last two years right on their home TV. There has also been an initiative to increase MLB sales by offering digital tickets to customers, and hope to have this system set up by Opening Day.

Fast Company