Fox Sports and Turner Sports are retaining rights to broadcast MLB games in 2014 and beyond, with Fox using an expanded portfolio of games as the cornerstone of Fox Sports One, a sports network to be built off the existing Speed Channel.
The New York Times is reporting the deal, but doesn’t have any information on pricing. It’s pretty safe to say Fox will be paying approximately double the payments due in the current rights deals, while Turner may be paying the same amount but losing half the programming. When ESPN agreed to a new rights deal earlier this year, it called for the network to pay $700 million annually — double the amount of the current contract. Fox currently pays $257 million annually, but the new contract call for Fox to add more games to the package, and some will end up on Fox Sports One. Turner’s contract is about half of what it was: 13 Sunday broadcasts (versus the current 26) and two divisional series (down from the current four), as well as a League Championship Series.
The two losers in all this: BAM, which lost some of its exclusivity on the digital side after bidders won expanded digital rights to games broadcast on each network, and NBC, which would have added MLB to its NBC Sports Network. That channel is in a world of hurt with the NHL locking out players and the exhibition season already delayed.
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