MLB sells remaining portion of BAMTech to Disney

MLB sells remaining portion of BAMTech to Disney

Major League Baseball has sold its 15% stake in the BAMTech streaming platform to The Walt Disney Company. the Associated Press reports. Disney paid the league $900 million to buy the final portion of MLB from BAMTech, according to filings with the SEC. Disney now owns the service entirely.

BAMTech has its roots in the MLB Advanced Media platform, which was created in 2000. MLB’s digital media arm has long been regarded as an industry leader that has generated strong revenue for the league. Disney had increasingly invested in BAMTech in recent years, buying a 75% stake in 2017 in a deal that saw each MLB team receive roughly $50 million in additional revenue. The corporation bought a 10 percent ownership stake in the National Hockey League last year for $350 million and completed the process with this month’s purchase of MLB.

Profits from the sale are expected to be split evenly between the teams. How Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes, this represents approximately $30 million in revenue for each club. Whether that will lead to teams investing more freely in player payroll remains to be seen, though it’s a notable increase in revenue for organizations that could theoretically serve as a catalyst for increased free agent spending.

In late October, commissioner Rob Manfred told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that MLB took in less than $11 billion in revenue this year (Link to Twitter). That’s presumably slightly above pre-pandemic levels, as the league posted $10.7 billion in revenue in 2019. MLB didn’t announce revenue figures for either 2020 or ’21.

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