No IPO for MLB's digital arm: League media boss

Bob Bowman, president of baseball and media for Major League Baseball, told CNBC that the league's digital media arm would not be offering shares to the public, contrary to an earlier report in the New York Post.

"There probably won't be an IPO," said Bowman. Instead, he discussed a framework to sell a piece of the league's technology arm to a private buyer. "We're going to carve out our technology business, and we're talking to about dozens of strategic investors."

Bob Bowman, president & CEO, MLB Advanced Media
John Minchillo | AP
Bob Bowman, president & CEO, MLB Advanced Media

Bowman also gave an updated timeline for when this would take place, saying they "hope to have something this month in terms of a book out." Further clarifying the timeline, he said "we are going to talk to a lot of people this month."

"Our hope and prayer is we are somewhere by the World Series."

Bowman is the CEO for MLB Advanced Media, the digital and technology arm of the league that is equally owned by the 30 individual teams. MLBAM also provides the infrastructure to streaming services like HBO GO, WWE Network and Watch ESPN.

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"Baseball's been growing 15 to 20 percent a year, and the outside business has been growing 20 to 30 percent," Bowman said, reflecting the point that MLBAM's core strength is technology, not just baseball. So much of its future business growth, and a big reason for the talk of a spin-off, is the growth in other areas of media.

Bowman rejected notions that the carve-out would be a stepping stone for him to do something else, like run for governor of Michigan, where he once served as the state's youngest treasurer. "I love what I do. I love the person I work for (MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred)…. Not many people can call this their job, so I'm pretty lucky."