Jump to content

The Verge: How Baseball's Tech Team Built the Future of Television


Recommended Posts

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">How baseball?s tech team built the future of television <a href="http://t.co/WpNjqbvpdl">http://t.co/WpNjqbvpdl</a> <a href="http://t.co/80u4w3uAam">pic.twitter.com/80u4w3uAam</a></p>— The Verge (@verge) <a href="

">August 4, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

It was the first week of April, 2015, and New York?s Chelsea Market, typically packed with hordes of noisy tourists, was quiet. It was close to midnight, but five stories above, things were tense. The building is a former cookie factory, and the outlines of ovens still scar the brick walls. In their place, a vast array of screens are now mounted, each tuned to a live video feed. Joe Inzerillo and his team had their eyes glued to the glass, hard at work trying to wrangle the internet into doing something it was not built for.

The launch of HBO Now was just a few days away, but the product wasn?t finished. With both HBO and Apple promoting it heavily, the team had no idea how many people might tune in that first day. "The stakes were high," says Inzerillo. "It was not lost on anybody here how important this was for our company, but also for this industry. Because if HBO Now had come out and face planted, there would be a lot of naysayers who turned around and said, ?See, this is why the adults need to handle television.?"


Six months earlier, HBO had announced it was cutting the cord, finally offering consumers access to their programming without signing up for cable or satellite television. But the in-house streaming service it had previously built, HBO Go, had experienced high-profile outages during the season four finale of Game of Thrones and the premiere of True Detective. HBO Now was set to launch alongside the newest season of GoT, and it had to be perfect. "Game of Thrones is our World Cup," says Bernadette Aulestia, who runs HBO?s digital distribution.

And so HBO went to the company that set new records for online streaming during the 2014 World Cup, a strange tech startup hidden inside of a sports league, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, or BAM for short. BAM began as the in-house IT department for the league?s 30 teams, a small handful of employees originally tasked with building websites for teams and clubs. But over the last 15 years, BAM has emerged as the most talented and reliable name in streaming video, a skill set suddenly in very high demand.

BAM competes for clients with streaming tech companies like NeuLion and Imagine Communications, as well as big telecommunication outfits like Verizon. But, says Dan Rayburn, a streaming industry analyst, "there really isn?t anybody who does the true end-to-end solution like MLB does, especially at scale, out in the market."

"Their technical chops are the best, bar none," he adds. "They set the standard."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The article mentions this a bit in passing... WWE contracted MLB to set-up the mechanics behind WWE Network, which now has 1.2 M subscribers. During WrestleMania itself, they probably had one million customers streaming. I'm a subscriber, and I have been mostly impressed. There are times during high volume events (such as what used to be termed 'pay per views'), that there is a hiccup in the stream. But it has improved since WWE Network's launch.

On a related side note, WWE Network had a series titled "WrestleMania Rewind", narrated by Gary Thorne. Someone should ask Thorne which WrestleMania was his favorite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Posts

    • I love that we have so many young assets like the OP mentioned. My issue with this framework is that we still need to add a big piece or 2 to add to the core if we are going to contend for a World Series. I don’t see this roster even with all of the young adds next year being able to beat Houston, Seattle, Toronto, Dodgers, Braves, Mets next year in a short series. Don’t get me wrong I am VERY excited to have so many young promising players. But I hope there is a plan to add to this in order to compete for a championship.
    • I'm surprised to hear this from you.  I assume you're inferring how the FO feels?
    • Mountcastle has a long swing and at times swings at just about everything. I don’t think he’s anymore than a mediocre player with an occasional hot streak.
    • At first I didn’t care if Judge got to 62. Now I hope he’s stuck on 61 for the season.    The crying by Yankees fans about how we didn’t groove one so Judge can have the record #%^%#. I’m counting down, 2 games left, I hope Texas walks him 8 times.
    • I agree if we had a stud on the other side that could actually get home. But we don’t, we now have two geriatric NFL players, a guy trying to return from a serious injury, and a rookie that will try to make the jump to the NFL after suffering a serious injury doing draft drills. Man we have a great plan! I swear, you or I could done better than this bunch. Bisciotti needs to fire the whole bunch. They’ve outstayed their value. 
    • Same issue Clowney has.  But pressures and hurries make are still very valuable.
    • I guess it depends on if you think this year or last year is the Real Mountcastle. Last year’s numbers have him as borderline top 10 at the position. I think he’ll be closer to last year and could pop higher year to year. Top 10 1B with elite Catcher and SS/3B and you’ve got a good foundation.
  • Popular Contributors

  • Create New...