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An MLB Solution to a Mavs TV Streaming Problem?

For Mavs fans cut out of local broadcasts, discussion with MLB on a streaming service could be a future solution

For Dallas Mavericks fans shut out of local Mavs broadcasts due to streaming service agreements, there may be a solution coming — from Major League Baseball?

MLB is reportedly discussing launching a streaming service for the 2023 season that would allow fans in local markets to watch their hometown team’s games without subscribing to cable.

The New York Post was the first to report the discussions.

There are a couple of reasons why this could be important to fans of the Mavs, who launch their NBA season tonight. (See our DBcom Roundtable of Predictions and Hot Takes here.)

First, MLB is discussing partnering with both the NBA and the NHL on the service. That partnership could allow the three leagues to put together a service that could cost fans $10 or $20 per month. Per the Post, MLB doesn’t envision the broadcast product to be any different than the current cable product, because it will be the same product. So there is compensation for MLB and its cable partners to work out.

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Second, the Mavs, along with the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Stars, have the vast majority of their games broadcast on Bally Sports Southwest, which used to be Fox Sports Southwest. For those fans that are currently using streaming services that don’t have agreements with Bally Sports Southwest — such as those that use YouTube TV, Sling or Dish — the service under discussion would give those fans access to games.

And, if the NBA can partner with MLB, then Mavs fans would get to see more of MVP candidate Luka Doncic.

The new service is envisioned as an augmentation for current agreements. For instance, current cable agreements would not go away and the broadcasts would be the same. Additionally, MLB will reportedly maintain its out-of-market streaming service. The NBA and NHL would likely maintain their out-of-market services, assuming they partner with MLB.

There are other potential hurdles, too. Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the Bally networks, may not look kindly upon the idea. In June, the Post reported that Sinclair tried to start its own streaming service but it can’t do it without MLB’s approval.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard