Last week, I tweeted about MLBAM’s $15 price tag for At Bat 2010, saying that even if they sold 5 million copies, that would only result in about $50 million after Apple takes its cut. As it turns out, BAM only sold about 1.2 million last year, when the price was $10. If you do the math, that’s about $8.4 million in revenue.
Now check out the NFL’s new deal with Verizon: $720 million over four years, or about 20 times what MLBAM is doing annually. This despite the fact that the NFL has no presence on the iPhone or Android, except for a DirecTV-branded app that will stream games for subscribers of the NFL’s Sunday Ticket Superfan service.
I have no idea what kind of return Verizon will get on this deal. But you’d have to think there’s some value there, considering the NFL just finished a similar deal with Sprint that paid them $120 million per year. It is, after all, something that AT&T can’t offer on the iPhone.
The question is, would it be worth it for MLB to do something similar to this? Even at the new $15 price tag, MLB would have to sell 17 million copies of At Bat to match the NFL’s revenue — that’s not even remotely realistic. But if MLB offered mobile MLB.tv and Gameday Audio exclusively to one carrier, you’d have to think they’d do better than the $10-$20 million they’ll probably take in this year.
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