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NHL-MLB deal a 'groundbreaking partnership' in media

The NHL and Major League Baseball are about to announce a digital media partnership.

The NHL revealed plans on Monday to hold a joint press conference with Major League Baseball on Tuesday that will promote “a groundbreaking new partnership.”

How groundbreaking? According to Boston-based reporter DJ Bean, MLB’s Advanced Media will take over the NHL’s web operations in 2016. That means not only, but NHL apps, streaming video and possibly the production of the NHL Network in the United States.

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On the surface at least, this appears to be good news. According to, MLBAM already handles streaming for the YES Network and SportsNet New York, along with back-end infrastructure for WatchESPN, CBS Sports’ March Madness, the WWE and HBO Go, among other entities, so it has experience with respectfully handling non-baseball properties. More to the point, baseball’s online presentation is widely regarded as the best available of the four major pro sports, and any improvement to the NHL’s online presence in particular has to be viewed as a positive force for the growth of the game in the U.S.

There are concerns about the continuing availability of NHL highlights on YouTube, but we’ll see how that shakes out on Tuesday before we grab our pitchforks and torches.