MLB Won’t Ban Fans From Using Periscope and Meerkat Inside Stadiums

MLB Won’t Ban Fans From Using Periscope and Meerkat Inside Stadiums

Major League Baseball has no plans to ban fans from using live streaming apps, such as Periscope and Meerkat at stadiums during games, says Bob Bowman, MLB Advanced Media CEO and President.

In an on-air interview with CNBC earlier this month, Bowman said The Wall Street Journal was wrong when it suggested the league would actively work to prevent fans from streaming the games live to their followers.

“I don’t know how The Wall Street Journal got that story. I’ve been dealing with them for 30 years. They just got it flat out wrong. That’s called an error,” he told CNBC. “I spoke to the reporter. I have no idea how that conclusion got reached.”

The Journal has since published a correction, saying the MLB “has not articulated any plans to take action against fans who stream live video of baseball games.”

Bill Schlough, San Francisco Giants CIO, had told the Journal that live streaming activity could likely be detected and filtered out.

Bowman says he doesn’t anticipate issues with the streaming apps, saying: “No fan goes to our game with the thought of streaming live a half an inning of a game. They’ve been capturing images of our players for a long time, and you have to allow that kind of activity.”

During last week’s premier episode of the Macnificent podcast, on which I will be appearing on regularly, I broached the MLB subject with my fellow panelists when we discussed the Periscope app. I brought up the subject after earlier that week having seeing an extra innings game being broadcast via Periscope from a fan at a Major League park.

While fun to watch, the stream – shot from a first base-side field level seat – of course did not come anywhere near the multi-camera experience offered on television and officially authorized streaming video.

As far as the other major sports league plans, Geekwire recently discussed the subject with Alex Riethmiller, the National Football League’s Vice-President of Communications, who hinted that his league would take a stronger stand against such live-streaming by both media and fans, while the National Basketball Association noted that its back-of-ticket rules already prohibit fans from live-streaming games.