MLB AM, or Major League Baseball Advanced Media, has struck a deal with Apple. This is not for any promotional tool, however; both parties have gone through iTunes and promptly removed all podcasts with Major League team names in the titles.
Ted Price, who hosts Rangers Podcast in Arlington, says that he received an email from Apple that his show was no longer available in the Podcast directory. The email was circulated to all other podcast owners of MLB-related shows, with the common theme seeming to be that each show has the name of a specific team in the title of the show.
EJ Fagan, who hosts “It’s about the Yankees, Stupid!” received the following email from The iTunes Store Team.
— EJ Fagan (@ejfagan) May 7, 2014
Price, who says he’s been running RPiA since 2008, received the same email, tailored to his show. Price says that the Texas Rangers knew full-well about his Podcast and who he was speaking to and had no issue.
This is not the first time that MLB AM has had issues with content on iTunes, as Staci D. Kramer wrote an article in 2006 about MLB pulling its free content from iTunes. The idea then was to encourage fans to listen to podcasts streamed exclusively on MLB.com.
In 2010, MLB AM dropped a legal hammer on a Chicago Cubs centered Podcast, called Cubscast that had been around for six years prior. Al Yelllon says that there’s no way that the Cubs could not have not known that the Podcast was in existence, as the hosts would have live shows at conventions, including ones sponsored by the club itself. MLB AM had issue simply with the idea that the Podcast would use the team’s colors on their websites and logos.
It appears that this time, MLB AM was able to forcibly remove the Podcasts with Apples help without having to threaten legal action against the Podcast owners. The action has led some podcast owners to speculate whether MLB will begin to crack down on Little League teams using MLB team names and colors or even, somewhat jokingly, whether MLB AM will shutdown Twitter accounts that have team names in their bios. Regardless, this seems to be a major step backwards as Major League Baseball attempts to ‘get with the times’ in a technologically-advanced generation.