MLB Officially Announces Extensions With Fox, Turner; Deals Worth Total Of $6.8B
MLB today officially announced its media rights extensions with Fox and Turner worth $6.8B over eight years. As part of new deals, Fox will average $525M per year for its package, which includes the World Series, All-Star Game, one LCS and two LDS. Turner will average $325M a year for its package that includes one LCS, two LDS, 13 regular-season, exclusive Sunday afternoon games and more digital rights. Including the $700M per year deal that ESPN signed in August, MLB will make $12.4B from its media rights over eight years, more than doubling its annual media rights haul to $1.55B per year. MLB Network will pick up at least two games from Fox' LDS package. Sources said the net will pay Fox $30M per year for those games. Some changes in the new deal involve the LDS, which Fox and TBS now will split. Previously, TBS carried all four LDS. Sources say Fox also has the option to take some of its LCS to cable. The World Series will stay on broadcast.
CHANGES TO WEEKEND SCHEDULE: MLB's regular-season weekend schedule also will see some changes. Fox will wind up with two national windows for its Saturday games: one at 4:00pm ET and one at 7:00pm. One of those windows will be available to an undetermined cable channel, which is expected to be an all-sports channel (Fox Sports One) rebranded from Speed. The number of Turner's Sunday afternoon games will be reduced from 26 to 13. The nets will not have to black out national games in local markets any more. As part of this deal, blackouts will be lifted on Fox game broadcasts. Fox' Saturday windows were previously blacked out for MLB Extra Innings and MLB.tv viewers. Those games will be available for out-of-market viewers beginning in '14.
TV EVERYWHERE RIGHTS: All the network partners also will pick up "TV Everywhere" rights, which allows them to stream their games to their websites. Turner picked up more online highlight rights, which it will use for Bleacher Report and its Team Stream app. Turner also picked up interactive TV rights.