Twitter abuzz today about the quality of The Master iPad app. MG Siegler calls it representative of the future of television. These second screens give an amazing opportunity for the sports leagues and teams themselves to own the fan relationship while selling off broadcast rights for big dollars. By creating the best complementary experience to television, the sports league can avoid being disintermediated by the broadcaster. They'll know who is at the other end of the tv. They'll maintain this relationship regardless of who buys the tv rights. And if they want to go direct-to-consumer at a later date, this gives the installed base.
If I were running the digital arm of ANY sports organization (or even potentially teams), I'd make sure we had the best iPad app out there for our sport. Just like MLB has done.