NYT: MLB May Go With Fewer Partners in New TV Deal

Posted by | July 2, 2012 at 10:07 PM

A report by The New York Times Monday added to the intrigue surrounding Major League Baseball TV rights.

Major League Baseball may agree to a new television contract with only one or two major media corporations, The New York Times reported Monday. Currently, MLB has separate deals with three — News Corporation (FOX), Disney (ESPN) and Time Warner (Turner Sports).

According to the report, MLB has proposed “an all-encompassing deal to one media giant for a game of the week, the All-Star Game and the postseason,” though that would be “unlikely.”

Of the four major team sports, only the NHL has an agreement with one media corporation (Comcast). The NBA has national television deals with two (Disney and Time Warner), and the NFL has relationships with four (Comcast, Disney, News Corporation, and CBS Corporation).

In another interesting bit of news, the Times reported that Turner Sports would “link up” with CBS in the event that MLB required that “all bidders attach themselves to a broadcaster.” Turner and CBS made a combined bid on NCAA Tournament television rights in 2010 and have now televised the event for two years.

(Monday’s news from The New York Times)

  • Jeffrey

    I am wondering if ESPN will be forced to be bold in the bidding to keep out Comcast (NBCSN), CBS (CBSSN), and especially Fox, with its proposed all-sports channel to replace Speed. I suppose ESPN could take on the playoffs, with weekend afternoon playoff games on ABC and the World Series of course on ABC as well. And of course there is always Turner Sports and MLB Network. I don’t mind postseason games migrating to cable, but the World Series should always be on network television. This should be quite interesting.