Major League Baseball has opted to close MLB Productions, the league’s in-house television and video production division, with its operations set to be folded into the remit of its pay-television service MLB Network.
MLB Productions launched in 1998 as the North American league’s primary production company. However, the launch of MLB Network in 2009 has since created an overlap in video and television distribution duties.
The Baseball America website said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has taken the decision to streamline operations with roughly half of MLB Productions’ 58 staff members set to be retained.
“With the restructuring of Major League Baseball, there is an ongoing overall review of all central operations in New York with the goal of eliminating duplication of functions and streamlining operations,” an MLB spokesperson said.
“To more efficiently produce original baseball content, we collectively evaluated the business needs and opportunities and have decided to combine production areas in order to meet those obligations. In that process, a number of positions will transition to MLB Network, and unfortunately a number of jobs will also be eliminated.
“Moving forward, all production employees will be assigned to MLB Network, and the combined operation will continue to produce the access-driven and award-winning programming that’s been created for other networks including FS1 (Fox Sports 1), ESPN and A&E, as well as MLB Network.”