SBD/June 5, 2012/Media

New Deals On The Horizon As MLB's TV Rights Hit The Open Market This Week

Negotiations for the next big sports media deal will “begin in earnest this week as Major League Baseball officially takes its national TV rights to the open market,” according to Ourand & Fisher of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. MLB execs have been “negotiating with network partners ESPN, Fox Sports and Turner for the past several months.” But those exclusive negotiating windows “have ended without deals.” Sources said that the final window with ESPN ends in the middle of this week, “allowing MLB to start negotiations with other networks, like NBC Universal, which has made no secret of its desire to pick up a package of rights" for NBC Sports Network. Sources “expect new deals to be finalized as soon as this summer.” Fox and ESPN in their initial discussions with MLB have “expressed interest in expanding their deals.” Fox currently owns MLB’s broadcast TV package, but sources said that the net is “interested in picking up cable packages.” Fox execs have “looked into turning its motor racing channel Speed into an all-sports network that could house those games.” It also could “decide to place a package on FX, which is scheduling more sports.” ESPN’s current deal “gives it access to an extensive regular-season schedule, but no playoffs.” Sources said that the network is “interested in adding some playoff games to the schedule.” It also is “interested in extensive highlight rights.” Meanwhile, sources said that Turner is “interested in maintaining, if not expanding, its current set of rights” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/4 issue).
Return to top

Related Topics:

Media, MLB

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug