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This is some really cool stuff.

I’ve said a thousand times, if I was running MLB Advanced Media, the first thing I would do is open up the video vault and flood the internet with embeddable baseball clips. MLB.com could make a killing off of advertising against these clips, either through pre-roll sponsorships or mid-roll text/graphic ads. And that doesn’t even take into account the massive viral marketing presence the videos would create.

MLB obviously sees the value in old videos, since they’re stacking the network’s lineup with them. Maybe they feel that “giving them away” on the internet is somehow different than airing them on cable. But there’s a billion dollar business sitting there, and they’re not acting on it.

It’s certainly not a trivially easy process. People tend to use their televisions more for background noise, making MLB Network a great place for MLB’s long-form content. But on the internet, the clips have to be a bit more engaging, which usually means shorter. It would take a lot of work, but MLBAM and MLB Productions could team up to create thousands of short videos, which would be embeddable on third party sites and, eventually, remixable. The ROI would be far higher than it is for World Series DVDs, and many of MLB Productions’ other projects.

More than anything, MLB Network is further proof that MLB views itself as a major content creator, and not just a live events company that licenses out its television and radio rights. And as such, MLB will eventually have to do what all other content creators are doing in this new era of media: open up.

Feedback? Write a comment, or e-mail the author at shawn(AT)squawkingbaseball.com

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