SOURCE - Amazon is poised to stream the games of five Major League Baseball teams this season after extending a roughly $100 million lifeline to help broadcaster Diamond Sports emerge from bankruptcy, The Post has learned.
The new restructuring agreement would give Amazon an unspecified minority stake in Diamond after it emerges from bankruptcy in about three months, according to sources close to the negotiations.
It would also include the rights to stream all 162 games of the Detroit Tigers, the Kansas City Royals, the Miami Marlins, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays as Amazon looks to expand into the lucrative sports market — on the heels of the success of last weekend’s streaming-only NFL playoff game between the Chiefs and Dolphins.
Let's be honest for a second. Is the TV rights exciting news to most sports fans? Absolutely not. But this is right there with the most important baseball news this winter. This is huge for a couple different reasons. I'll try to break them down in the least boring way possible. If you've read this far, you deserve some Daddario.
Amazon Prime Video now will be streaming local baseball games.
Having a streaming service break into the local sports market is a huge development. It's also the future. If you're a Tigers, Royals, Marlins, Rays or Brewers fan and live in those respective markets, you can watch your local team play on either cable or Prime Video.
Even if you are not a fan of one of those five teams, odds seem very high that in your lifetime (unless you are on Social Security), your favorite NBA, MLB, NHL teams will all have their local games on streaming. Numbers like these make that prospect even more real.
The NFL is obviously different because it's the biggest force in not just sports but all media. But the point still stands that sports fans will stream live sports. The audience is clearly there.
Here's a cute girl farting:
The MLB Free Agent market can finally pick up pace.
This hot stove season has been painfully slow. The Dodgers signed or traded for a bunch of great players. Everyone else has sort of shrugged their shoulders. The Texas Rangers, for example, have been waiting to get their own local TV deal done before making an offer to Jordan Montgomery. The other teams beyond the five I mentioned still affected by Bally/Diamond are the Angels, Braves, Cardinals, Guardians, Rangers and Reds. But because of the Amazon bailout with the other teams, Bally/Diamond are now able to use a $495 million cash infusion from Sinclair to televise those teams. They will be on traditional cable (at least for this season).
That might be the most boring paragraph ever in a Barstool blog so here's a funny picture of a chimp ready to play baseball.
Sports has the biggest edge of any programming that exists in the media landscape because of the immediacy. Unlike nearly every TV show, you need to watch sports when it happens. Things like fantasy sports and sports gambling make it even more pressing to watch the game as it airs. Sports has so much more value than it did when I was younger and just as many people were watching Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends and ER in real time. Now with DVR and streaming, people watch tv whenever they want (and skip commercials in the process).
In conclusion, this is a good thing for baseball for 2024. Is it a good thing for baseball (and the NBA and NHL) for the future? That depends on your opinions on streaming but opinions don't really matter. This is the future. It just got here quick.
Thank you for reading. Here's a great Beastie Boys video.