ESPN will remain part of the Major League Baseball television landscape for most of the next decade.
Sports Business Daily reported Tuesday that ESPN and Major League Baseball have agreed to a $700 million/year TV rights extension through the 2021 season. Currently, ESPN pays MLB $356 million per year for domestic, digital and international rights.
The deal, according to the report, will be announced later in the day.
As part of the new deal, ESPN will acquire one of the two new ‘Wild Card’ playoff games, giving the network playoff baseball for the first time since 2006.
Perhaps more importantly, the deal will also largely eliminate blackouts of ESPN’s Monday and Wednesday night games. Those games, which have routinely earned fewer than one million viewers this season, will now co-exist with local telecasts.
(Tuesday’s news from Sports Business Daily)