MLB Implements a Unified Communications System, Will Reduce Sign Stealing


Major League Baseball has announced a partnership with Mitel (MITL) to bring a unified communications system to all 30 MLB parks. The private, secure connections will be implemented within dugouts, bullpens, video review rooms and press boxes across the league, in time for Opening Day ’18. The new system will help MLB ensure its teams remain in compliance with all league rules and regulations (see Fan below). The multi-year agreement also makes MITL the league’s presenting sponsor of instant-replay reviews and the Official Business, Technology and Communications Partner of MLB.

Howie Long-Short: Mitel Networks Corp. (MITL), a Canadian telecom company, released Q4 ’17 earnings late last week. The company reported Q4 ‘17 revenue increased 37% YOY (to $355.9 million), with CEO Rich McBee crediting “ongoing customer adoption of Mitel cloud solutions (revenue +158% YOY) combined with continued solid revenue from our on-site business” for driving the strong performance. On February 12th, the company surpassed 1 million users for its service provider cloud solutions; becoming the 2nd largest (defined by market share) Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) company worldwide in the process.

Fan Marino: The league required a unified system with recording and monitoring functionality, because teams (see: Red Sox) were using technology to steal signs (against the rules). No longer will a team member watching video in the replay room, be able to phone in signals they’ve stolen. They’ll now be forced to jog to the dugout, convey the stolen signals to a runner on 2nd base; who will then relay them back to the hitter. While certainly not a fool proof solution, the new technology does make cheating more difficult.

Fun Fact: Every MLB team will play on Opening Day (March 29th) for the first time since 1968.

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