ESPN, MLB Ink New Eight-Year Deal
August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM (PT)
As tipped earlier TODAY and first reported by SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY, ESPN's new $5.6 billion deal with MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL to retain its national broadcast package for eight years includes radio as well as digital and international rights.
Additions to the existing radio deal include the right to "co-exist" (air a national broadcast concurrently with local broadcasts) for two SATURDAY windows per team, per year
The deal, which is valued at about double the previous deal between the parties, also gives ESPN television rights to one Wild Card playoff game and any regular-season tiebreaker games as well as the continuation of "SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL," games on MONDAY and WEDNESDAY nights, and highlights for "BASEBALL TONIGHT." The network will have the right to show parts of games in progress and will be able to increase the number of games it airs featuring more popular teams like the YANKEES and RED SOX through additional flexibility in game selection. ESPN's MLB content will also be streamed through WATCH ESPN apps, and international rights will be expanded as well.
MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG said that he is "thrilled that we will continue our long-standing relationship with ESPN far into the future. The level of ESPN’s commitment to baseball – both financially and through its expanded content – is a testament to the strength of our game and its unprecedented popularity among our fans. Through its various networks and other media platforms, ESPN offers baseball fans more avenues to experience the game than ever before, and we’re thankful for their continued support.”
ESPN President JOHN SKIPPER added that the network is also "thrilled to renew our long-standing agreement with MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL into the next decade. It’s a great property. The enormous scope of what we acquired will provide fans with more live baseball and more ways to access baseball content than ever before.”