It may be the national pastime, but Major League Baseball (MLB) is also a big business. MLB oversees the game of professional baseball in North America that includes 30 franchises in 28 cities across the US and in Canada. The teams operate as separate businesses but each is regulated and governed by MLB. The league sets official rules, regulates team ownership, and collects licensing fees for merchandise. It also sells national broadcasting rights and distributes fees to the teams. (Regional broadcast rights are held by each franchise.) MLB was formed when the rival National and American Leagues joined together in 1903.