It’s a little-known fact that Major League Baseball’s technology arm, MLB Advanced Media, basically invented live streaming video in 2002 after being tasked by the league with figuring out how to broadcast games online. Today, the company, led by CEO Bob Bowman, is the leader, not just in sports but in media and technology, in streaming video and venue app technology.
MLBAM technology underpins streaming apps for MLB, ESPN, WWE and HBO Now, and it’s developed apps for use in stadiums and venues for MLB and the NHL. “It starts with the technology,” Bowman says. “It has to work. That’s what people expect. It can’t lag and come back in 10 minutes.”
They’ve been so successful building products that work that in August, Disney purchased a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, a spinoff of MLBAM, for $1 billion, valuing the company at $3 billion. Bowman credits the league and team owners with much of MLBAM’s success. “We were born with great content,” he adds. “Our success is the marriage of a great sport with a technical revolution.”