MLB Teams on FOX RSNs Will Get More National TV Games in New Deal

Posted by | January 7, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Teams such as the Yankees, Dodgers and Cardinals will be able to make twice-as-many appearances on Fox Sports 1 thanks to a provision in Fox Sports’ new MLB television deal.

Under Fox Sports’ recent television deal with Major League Baseball, teams that have local television contracts with FOX-owned regional sports networks will be able to make at least ten extra national appearances on the Fox Sports 1 cable network, Sports Business Journal reported Monday.

The unique arrangement, says the report, is the product of a “little-known clause” in the FOX/MLB deal that goes into effect in 2014. In the deal, FOX won the rights to 52 regular season MLB telecast windows each season — twelve on the FOX broadcast network and forty on an unnamed FOX outlet (expected to be Fox Sports 1).

Within the 40 telecast windows on Fox Sports 1, the network will be allotted “26 local RSN-produced games … between two teams that have each sold their local rights to Fox Sports-owned RSNs” (SBJ, 1/7). According to the report, at least ten of those games can involve a single team.

Currently, Fox Sports holds local television rights to over half of Major League Baseball teams, including big market teams such as the Dodgers and Angels and large local draws such as the Cardinals, Tigers, Twins and Rangers. FOX parent company News Corporation recently acquired a large stake in the YES Network that will eventually give the conglomerate majority control, meaning the Yankees will also be one of the teams able to make extra appearances on FS1.

Teams that do not have agreements with a Fox Sports RSN will be limited to eight appearances per season on FOX and FS1.

(Monday’s news from Sports Business Journal)