North America’s Major League Baseball (MLB) has brought in Josh Clark to a newly-created position of senior vice president for content distribution.
Clark, who joins MLB after six years at global media giant Paramount, will oversee distribution for “local media live game rights, MLB Network, MLB.TV, and Extra Innings through third-party distribution channels.”
He will report to the league’s executive vice president for media and business development, Kenny Gersh.
This position has been created to help MLB’s ongoing efforts to “further enhance its local media capabilities,” with the league having been forced to take on production and distribution for two teams – the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks – in 2023.
Significantly, it has now said it has prepared to produce and distribute games for any additional teams going forward.
Clark, most recently Paramount’s executive vice president of US networks distribution, holds over 15 years of experience “working with both linear and digital distribution partners.”
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Before joining Paramount, he held roles at both DISH Network/Sling TV, and at NBC Universal.
Noah Garden, chief revenue officer at MLB, has said: “Josh’s strong relationships and track record of success at some of the biggest media companies in the world makes him an ideal addition to grow MLB’s content distribution globally. Additionally, as we anticipate the potential of incorporating more MLB clubs into our local media framework, Josh will play an integral role in helping to maximize the reach of MLB’s television and digital assets.”
MLB was forced to take over the broadcasts of San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks games last season after deals could not be reached.
Diamond Sports Group (DSG), the operator of the Bally Sports regional sports network (RSNs), was forced to begin bankruptcy proceedings in March. It previously held rights for its RSNs to broadcast the games of 42 teams across ice hockey’s NHL, basketball’s NBA, and MLB.
DSG had to end its rights agreement with the Diamondbacks in June after the pair were unable to agree on a reduced rights fee. Meanwhile, the Padres ended their deal with DSG in April.