Baseball is America's Pastime. On Monday, it could not have been more present.
A TechCrunch story Wednesday revealed MLB streaming numbers were up 60 percent on Opening Day. A total 60 million people used mediums other than television, including MLB.com, MLB.tv, the MLB At Bat mobile app and MLB.com social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.
MLB has long been ahead of its four major sports competitors when it comes to streaming. MLB.tv was founded way back in 2002 before online streaming was well, mainstream. The streaming site allows baseball fans to have access to every game in the country for a monthly or yearly rate. The MLB At Bat app allows MLB.tv to go mobile.
Bob Bowman, President, MLB Business and Media, does not only owe this year's Opening Day numbers to changing technology and opinion to streaming. A change in the MLB commissioner's office is helping stimulate the streaming business.
“I loved [former commissioner] Bud Selig, but having [Rob] Manfred who understands and relies on digital media is [a big change]. We have spoken about this and we want to press the advantage,” Bowman said.
Bowman referenced the increase of millennials in the overall fan base due to coming of age and the desire to consume streamed games. He also hypothesized the considerably cold winter in places such as New England and the Midwest has baseball fans itching to watch the warm weather sport.
These numbers will not hold past opening day -– 9 million people will not log onto the MLB At Bat app everyday – but for now, this is a success for a league supposedly having trouble gaining new fans.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.