By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
September 21, 2012
Major League Baseball is close to finalizing eight-year TV rights deals with Fox Sports and Turner that would run through 2021. The deals combined are worth about $800 million per year, more than double what the two companies were previously paying. Fox will pay $4 billion over eight years – $500 million per – to retain the World Series, one League Championship Series round, and its weekly Saturday game. Turner will pay $2.8 billion over eight years – about $300 annually – for the other LCS game and a Sunday afternoon game, among other assets. Last month, MLB & ESPN agreed to a new rights deal worth $5.6 billion over eight seasons.
MLB’s annual take from all three deals will be $1.55 billion per year, up from the $711 million per year it currently receives. That equates to $51 million per team per season. Unless MLB decides to craft another TV package, the big loser in these deals is NBC Sports Network, which is in dire need of Big Four sports league live rights.