The Major League Baseball television landscape could change as soon as this summer, according to Sports Business Journal.
Even though their exclusive negotiating windows with Major League Baseball have either expired or will soon expire, rights partners FOX, ESPN and Turner Sports have each expressed interest in renewing with the league.
In particular, Sports Business Journal reported this week that FOX and ESPN are both seeking an expansion of their current deals. FOX wants to add a cable package for FX or the new national sports network News Corp. has reportedly discussed. ESPN, not surprisingly, wants playoff action after having been shut out of the postseason since 2006.
In addition to the incumbents, NBC Sports is interested in picking up baseball rights for the NBC broadcast network and/or NBC Sports Network. Sports Business Journal cited sources as saying ‘Sunday Night Football’ could conflict with the World Series on NBC, but one imagines the parties would find a way to resolve that conflict in order to reach an agreement.
CBS, which rarely seeks to add new sports properties, is not interested.
According to the report, the new MLB television deals could be finalized by the end of the summer. Regardless of when it is struck, the new deal will go into effect in the 2014 season.
(News from Sports Business Journal)