MLB Firm Acquires

Major League Baseball’s online arm announced February 15th that it will acquire in a deal the companies valued at more than $66 million.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media LP – a private company held by all 30 MLB teams – plans to develop to serve the league’s online ticketing needs. Currently, half the league’s teams use, with the rest split between Ticketmaster and Paciolan.

MLBAM Sr. VP of Corporate Communications Jim Gallagher told Pollstar the company has no intention of turning into a baseball-only operation.

“We hope to grow‘s non-baseball client base,” Gallagher said. “We believe that the technological advances that we hope will make under our ownership will be easily translated to the concert business as well as the performing arts business.”

Several teams have multi-year contracts with Ticketmaster and Paciolan. Gallagher said the league will not attempt to mandate that teams switch to once those contracts are up.

“But we’re confident that under our ownership, as contracts with the other platforms expire, we’ll be able to offer the teams a good financial situation. But we’ll let the business speak for itself,” he said. “All of those contracts will stay in force and we encourage the teams to select the ticket platform that best serves those purposes.”

In announcing the deal, MLBAM said it agreed to purchase about 82 percent of stock from majority shareholders and would pay $1.10 for each outstanding share.

About 20 percent of‘s current revenue comes from baseball.

The ticket vendor’s stock hit $256 – adjusted for stock splits – at the height of the dot-com boom in 1999. It fell to less than $1 in the subsequent crash and was at 83 cents the day before the merger announcement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The company spent millions in legal wrangles with Ticketmaster and has recently been late in its financial filings. Its 2003 results – filed February 8th – showed a loss of $5.3 million ($1.71 per share) on $67 million revenue. CEO Ron Bension told the Times the company’s management team will remain intact.