by Eric Fisher
by Eric Fisher
This article first appeared in Sports Business.
Bruin Sports Capital’s Deltatre has partnered with Major League Baseball to power the publishing platform for the league’s nearly 300 digital destinations, including the flagship MLB.com.
MLB’s move to use Deltatre, Bruin’s sports media and technology firm, and the company’s Forge publishing platform product, follows the league’s two-stage transaction in which it sold a controlling stake its BAMTech spinoff to Disney for a total of $2.58 billion. MLB’s prior publishing platform conveyed to Disney as part of that deal, requiring the implementation of a new system.
After a global search by MLB, Deltatre won the business, aided in part by a close relationship between MLB Deputy Commissioner for Business and Media Tony Petitti and Bruin Sports Capital Chief Executive George Pyne. Deltatre has been supporting the league’s network of sites, including each official team homepage, since the start of the 2019 season. Since then, MLB has posted a series of audience gains for key events such as Opening Day and the All-Star Game, and the July 31 trade deadline generated MLB’s largest digital readership for news content ever.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but league officials said it was a three-year agreement.
Publishing platform deals such as this often don’t generate the type of industry attention as ones for over-the-top video streaming. But league officials said the Deltatre alignment was critical to the operation their network of websites and mobile apps.
“This alignment is not as obvious to the fan, but it’s been transformative in how we deliver content and cut down on delivery time,” said Chris Marinak, MLB executive vice president of strategy, technology, and innovation. “This has given us a lot more power and flexibility to surface content much closer to real time.”
The deal also extends an ongoing American expansion for Deltatre, which is headquartered in Italy, but has a presence in both New York and Los Angeles and a growing number of US clients. The company also recently partnered with American virtual reality company LiveLike.
The company’s alignment with MLB was also aided by Jeff Volk, head of business and revenue for the Americas at Deltatre, and previously with MLB and BAMTech.
“Baseball produces more content than any sport in the world given the daily nature of the schedule, and building a publishing tool that fully supports that is critical,” Volk said. “It doesn’t necessarily have the consumer excitement of OTT given it’s more nuts-and-bolts. But it’s absolutely core infrastructure to running a business.”