Something’s missing from Major League Baseball’s MLB.TV live game streaming service: The ads.
That’s strange, because three months ago, MLB and Yahoo announced a distribution and ad sales deal: Both MLB and Yahoo would sell video ads for MLB.TV this year and Yahoo would handle ad sales in 2009 and 2010. In a canned quote in the release, a Yahoo (YHOO) exec even bragged about “maximizing monetization” for MLB.TV.
Yet after spending several hours watching Chicago Cubs games the past week, and monitoring six games for about an hour tonight, we’ve seen the following spots during commercial breaks:
- MLB.TV house ad
- MLB.com mobile team alerts house ad
- “Yahoo Sports Minute” house ad
- MLB Team Store house ad
- MLB.com house ad
- MLB.TV “stay tuned” screensaver
- Sharp Aquos flat-screen TV commercial
That’s it? One ad? You’d think more advertisers would be interested in reaching a youngish, tech-savvy, male audience with enough disposable income to pay $100+ a year to watch baseball online. And at this point, we’d welcome more ads — hearing the same house ads every single commercial break is getting really annoying.
So we’re not sure what to think. Is Yahoo waiting for some sort of platform update before it starts selling more ads on MLB.TV? Are we not seeing ads because we’re using a Mac? Because it’s not a Yankees game? Are advertisers just not interested in airing their commercials on a live baseball Webcast? Or is there another explanation?
We’ve reached out to MLB and Yahoo reps for comment, and we’ll update if we find anything out. In the meantime, have any ideas? Let us know in comments below, via email to [email protected], or via our anonymous tips box.
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