Baseball's Expanded Instant Replay Is an Advertising Opportunity

The break in the action is one more thing marketers can sponsor
Manager Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim argues with plate umpire Marty Foster and Tim Welke at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Photograph by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Last week, Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Major League Baseball plans to expand the use of instant replay to review umpires’ calls beginning as soon as next season. The proposal still needs to pass muster with the players’ and umpires’ unions and then go before team owners for a vote in November. If it’s approved, the system would create a new kind of interruption in the game. A call challenged by a manager would be reviewed by umpires watching replays in New York—a process MLB says would take a minute and 15 seconds. There’s a potential commercial upside to the controversial move: That pause, like every other bit of spare time in baseball, represents a chance to sell advertising.

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