Pro baseball pulls podcast from iTunes

In effort to gain autonomy over promotion and distribution, league will now distribute podcasts from MLB.com only.

Major League Baseball has taken its podcasts off Apple Computer's iTunes Store, making them exclusively available through its own Web site, MLB.com.

The league voluntarily removed its podcasts--mostly game recaps--from the iTunes Store in an effort to gain autonomy over its promotion and distribution, MLB Advance Media spokesman Jim Gallagher said, affirming information first reported in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

The league doesn't expect its decision will result in a significant loss for either party. Neither one charges for podcast downloads and the league estimates its site was already the source of three-quarters of its baseball podcasts.

MLB Advance Media chief executive Bob Bowman insisted that there are no hard feelings between the two, according to the Journal story, but the podcast-pulling may nevertheless have repercussions for other media outlets that offer free content on the iTunes Store

Jupiter Research analyst David Card said this is by no means an unusual move on the part of the league's online division, which "is very aggressive about managing its own content...It's not particularly surprising that they want to be the primary distribution channel for their own stuff."

An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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