Sept 19 Major League Baseball is nearing
long-term television deals with two broadcasters that will help
double its TV revenue, just weeks after the league signed a $5.6
billion deal with Walt Disney unit ESPN, the Wall Street
Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the
Fox, a unit of News Corp, which also owns the Wall
Street Journal, and cable network owner Turner, a unit of Time
Warner Inc, will retain rights to both regular season
and post-season games at a combined cost of nearly $7 billion
through 2021, the paper said.
MLB's broadcast deals will keep the World Series on Fox,
with the two companies sharing responsibility for televising the
earlier rounds of the playoffs along with ESPN and possibly the
MLB Network, the WSJ said. ()
Sporting events are among the shrinking number of broadcasts
that viewers watch live without skipping commercials, and
therefore reap some of the highest rates from advertisers. That
fact has drawn more bidders to sports programming, driving
prices higher and proving a boon to sports teams.
None of the parties could be immediately reached for comment
by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.
News of the broadcast deals was earlier reported in the
trade publication Sports Business Daily, the Journal said.