SBD/Morning Buzz

Sources: ESPN Secures MLB Rights In Eight-Year, $5.6B Deal

ESPN has agreed to a deal that locks down MLB rights into the next decade, according to several sources. The eight-year deal is worth $5.6B (an average of $700M per year), approximately doubling the nearly $306M ESPN currently pays MLB every year for domestic TV rights. The new deal adds in digital, international and radio, for which ESPN is paying MLB around $50M currently, sources said. Sources added the deal will be announced as soon as this afternoon. As part of the deal, which runs through ‘21, ESPN retains the rights to "Sunday Night Baseball," its Monday and Wednesday night games and highlights for "Baseball Tonight."

ESPN also will carry one Wild Card playoff game, sources said. In its current deal, ESPN does not have rights to any MLB playoffs. As part of the deal, ESPN adds more digital rights, the rights to show games in-progress and some radio and international rights. ESPN also picked up rights to carry games featuring more popular teams, like the Yankees and Red Sox, more frequently.

For more, see today's issue of THE DAILY.
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