Friday April 3rd, 2015

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he hopes to have in-market game streaming available sometime in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Currently, subscribers to Major League Baseball's online streaming service, MLB.tv, cannot watch games being played in their market area due to blackout restrictions. 

The new commissioner discussed streaming as part of a broader interview that also addressed strike-zone modification and further efforts to combat pitching injuries. 

SI.com's MLB experts make their playoff picks, awards predictions

From the report:

WSJ: You’ve discussed how important technology is to reach young fans. When will a 15-year-old in New York be able to watch a Yankees game on his phone?

Manfred: The best way to answer that question is to say the better part of my workday today was consumed by the topic of in-market streaming. It is particularly complicated in the context of a media market that is changing so quickly, but I do believe we will get a solution on in-market streaming in the relatively near future.

WSJ: Sometime this year?

Manfred: I hope so. I’d like to believe there will be games streamed at some point this year.

Major League Baseball has faced declining television ratings for several seasons. Last Fall, MLB became the first of the "big three" sports leagues to fail to earn a 1.0 rating for a game on broadcast television.

The 2015 MLB season gets under way Apr. 5 when the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. 

- Will Green

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