Good news, baseball fans: You’ll be seeing more highlights of your favorite team right on your local website’s sports section, as a result of a new partnership between Major League Baseball and NDN, a video wire service backed by Yankees great Reggie Jackson.
The deal, announced on Tuesday, involves MLB delivering customized video bundles to hometown media outlets after a game ends. “If you’re reading a column from Dan Shaughnessy on Boston.com about Dustin Pedroia’s game-winning home run, you can access video highlights right at the story page level,” said Kevin Gentzel, the CRO of NDN.
The partnership could mean some extra revenue for publishers like the NY Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The papers, along with radio stations, get the video content for free and earn a cut of the advertising revenue that NDN sells for the videos.
Jackson is involved as a frontman and an investor (other investors include Google’s Eric Schmidt and actor Bill Murray). “I’ve played in the tech world for a long time, be it with Microsoft, Cisco or Google. The tech bug hit me about 15 or 20 years ago,” Jackson told me by phone. “I understand the value of participation and the value of attracting eyeballs.”
For Major League Baseball, which is licensing the clips to NDN for an undisclosed amount, the deal is a way to make money from local highlights without undercutting its core product. According to Kenny Gersh, an SVP at MLB Advanced Media, the league is providing about 30 seconds of game footage along with “ancillary content” such as post-game interviews. Gersh added that the deal also makes sense because many fans prefer to get baseball news through a local beat writer.
The partnership shows the ongoing rise of syndication services like NDN and NewsCred. These companies have found a niche as middlemen, removing the friction of licensing amongst copyright owners, advertisers and publishers.
Reggie Jackson fans: here’s a vintage (non-baseball) clip of Mr. October: