....Gaining MLB could offer a significant boost for Microsoft, which competes with RealNetworks over video-streaming software. The hefty premium paid for an unproven video-streaming model was not surprising to some analysts.
"I think, to an extent, it's Microsoft being Microsoft," said Michael Goodman, an analyst at The Yankee Group. "It's a cost center for them to acquire this content, and if it's a money loser, it's a money loser. What it gives them is an anchor program. It gives them a high-profile piece of programming to build around."
The deal also pushes the envelope on the price online distributors must pay for popular programming. Just like television networks that pay billions of dollars for rights to National Football League or the Olympics games, the Internet is quickly becoming such a valuable medium for sports fans that Web portals are more willing to open their wallets. [CNET]
Content is sorting itself out on the Internet and access to live sports appears to have premium value.