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Major League Baseball television contracts

Major League Baseball television contracts

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Encyclopedia
The following is a detailed description of the various television network
Television network
A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay TV providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small...

s (both broadcast
Terrestrial television
Terrestrial television is a mode of television broadcasting which does not involve satellite transmission or cables — typically using radio waves through transmitting and receiving antennas or television antenna aerials...

 and cable
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

), rights fees, and announcers who have called Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 games throughout the years (from the late 1930s through the present).

United States


Terrestrial television:
  • ABC: 1953; 1960–1961; 1965; 1976–1989
  • The Baseball Network
    The Baseball Network
    The Baseball Network was a short-lived television broadcasting joint venture between ABC, NBC, and Major League Baseball. Under the arrangement, beginning in the 1994 season, the league produced its own in-house telecasts of games, which were then brokered to air on ABC and NBC...

     (a joint venture between Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

    , ABC
    American Broadcasting Company
    The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

     and NBC
    NBC
    The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

    ): 1994–1995
  • CBS: 1951; 1955–1965; 1990–1993
  • Fox: 1996–present
  • NBC: 1947–1989; 1996–2000


Cable television:
  • ESPN
    ESPN Major League Baseball
    ESPN Major League Baseball is a promotion of Major League Baseball on ESPN and ESPN2, with simulcasts on ESPNHD or ESPN2HD. ESPN's MLB coverage debuted on April 9, 1990 with three Opening Day telecasts. ESPN Major League Baseball is guaranteed to remain on air until 2013.The title is derived from...

    : 1990–present
  • TBS: 2007–present
  • USA: 1979–1983

Canada


Rogers Sportsnet
Rogers Sportsnet
Sportsnet was launched on October 9, 1998 as CTV Sportsnet. The name was chosen to match the regional "Fox Sports Net" operations across the United States...

 and Réseau des sports
Réseau des sports
Réseau des sports , is a Canadian French language Category C specialty channel showing sports and sport-related shows. It is available in 2.5 million homes, and is owned by CTV Specialty Television Inc....

 (RDS) are the current national rightsholders, in English and French respectively, to Major League Baseball, and both air a variety of regular-season games (which do not always correspond to those carried nationally in the U.S.) as well as the All-Star Game and the postseason. In the past these rights were held by The Score (2001–2002), TSN
The Sports Network
The Sports Network, commonly abbreviated as TSN, is a Canadian English language Category C specialty channel and is Canada's leading English language sports TV channel. TSN premiered in 1984, in the first group of Canadian specialty cable channels...

 (1990–2000), and CTV
CTV television network
CTV Television Network is a Canadian English language television network and is owned by Bell Media. It is Canada's largest privately-owned network, and has consistently placed as Canada's top-rated network in total viewers and in key demographics since 2002, after several years trailing the rival...

 (1981–1996).

As presently the only MLB team in Canada, the vast majority of Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball 's American League ....

 games are aired nationally on Rogers Sportsnet. Prior to 2010, TSN was also a partner in broadcasting. These are in fact deals with the Blue Jays (similar to local broadcast deals negotiated with other MLB teams in the U.S.), not MLB.

1953–1959


In , ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

-TV executive Edgar J. Scherick
Edgar J. Scherick
Edgar J. Scherick was one of the most prolific producers of television miniseries, made-for-television films, and theatrical motion pictures.-Life and career:...

 (who would later go on to create Wide World of Sports) broached a Saturday Game of the Week
Major League Baseball Game of the Week
The Major League Baseball Game of the Week is the de facto title for over-the-air, nationally televised coverage of regular season Major League Baseball games...

-TV sport's first network series. At the time, ABC was labeled a "nothing network" that had fewer outlets than CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 or NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

. ABC also needed paid programming or "anything for bills" as Scherick put it. At first, ABC hesitated at the idea of a nationally televised regular season baseball program. ABC wondered how exactly the Game of the Week would reach television in the first place and who would notice if it did? In April 1953, Edgar Scherick set out to sell teams rights but instead, only got the Philadelphia Athletics
1953 Philadelphia Athletics season
The Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 59 wins and 95 losses.- Offseason :...

, Cleveland Indians
1953 Cleveland Indians season
The Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished second in the American League with a record of 92-62, 8½ games behind the New York Yankees.- Offseason :* December 11, 1952: Earl Averill, Jr...

, and Chicago White Sox
1953 Chicago White Sox season
The 1953 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 53rd season in the major leagues, and its 54th season overall. They finished with a record 89-65, good enough for third place in the American League, 11.5 games behind the first place New York Yankees....

 to sign on. To make matters worse, Major League Baseball barred the Game of the Week from airing within 50 miles of any ballpark. Major League Baseball according to Scherick, insisted on protecting local coverage and didn't care about national appeal. ABC though, did care about the national appeal and claimed that "most of America was still up for grabs."

CBS took over the Saturday Game in 1955
1955 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Brooklyn Dodgers over New York Yankees ; Johnny Podres, MVP*All-Star Game, July 12 at County Stadium: National League, 6-5 -Other champions:*Caribbean World Series: Cangrejeros de Santurce...

 (the rights were actually set up through the Falstaff Brewing Corporation
Falstaff Brewing Corporation
The Falstaff Brewing Corporation was a major American brewery located in St. Louis, Missouri. With roots in the 1838 Lemp Brewery of St. Louis, the company was renamed after the Shakespearean character of Sir John Falstaff in 1903. Production peaked in 1965 with 7,010,218 barrels brewed, and then...

,) retaining Dizzy Dean
Dizzy Dean
Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season. Dean was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953....

 and Buddy Blattner
Buddy Blattner
Robert Garnett Blattner , commonly known as "Buddy" or "Bud" Blattner, was an American table tennis and baseball player and radio and television sportscaster.-Playing career:Blattner played table tennis in his youth, winning the world men's doubles championship in 1936...

 as the announcers and adding Sunday coverage in .

In , ABC broadcast the best-of-three playoff series
1959 National League tie-breaker series
The 1959 National League tie-breaker series was a best-of-three playoff series to decide the winner of Major League Baseball's National League pennant. The games took place on September 28 and 29, 1959 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Braves. The first game was played in...

 (to decide the National League pennant) between Milwaukee Braves
1959 Milwaukee Braves season
The 1959 Milwaukee Braves season was the seventh season for the franchise in Milwaukee and its 84th season overall. The Braves ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers. With both clubs finishing with records of 86-68, a special best-of-three...

 and Los Angeles Dodgers
1959 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The Los Angeles Dodgers finished in a first-place tie with the Milwaukee Braves, then won the pennant as they swept the Braves in a best-of-three playoff series. They went on to defeat the Chicago White Sox in the 1959 World Series in just their second season since leaving Brooklyn.- Offseason :*...

. The cigarette company L&M
L&M
Created by the company Liggett & Myers in 1953, L&M is a brand of cigarettes produced by Altria Group, Inc. . "L&M" is one of the earliest, perhaps the earliest brand to have a filter that was not a one sided filter...

 was in charge of all of the telecasts. Bud Blattner (who was still working for CBS in the regular season) was one of the announcers.

1960–1965


In , ABC returned to baseball broadcasting with a series of late-afternoon Saturday games. Jack Buck
Jack Buck
John Francis "Jack" Buck was an American sportscaster, best known for his work announcing Major League Baseball games of the St. Louis Cardinals. Buck received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, and is honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame...

 and Carl Erskine
Carl Erskine
Carl Daniel Erskine is a former right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Brooklyn & Los Angeles Dodgers from 1948 through 1959...

 were the lead announcing crew for this series, which lasted one season.

ABC typically did three games a week. Two of the games were always from the Eastern
Eastern Time Zone
The Eastern Time Zone of the United States and Canada is a time zone that falls mostly along the east coast of North America. Its UTC time offset is −5 hrs during standard time and −4 hrs during daylight saving time...

 or Central Time Zone. The late games (no doubleheaders
Doubleheader (baseball)
A doubleheader is a set of two baseball games played between the same two teams on the same day in front of the same crowd. In addition, the term is often used unofficially to refer to a pair of games played by a team in a single day, but in front of different crowds and not in immediate...

) were usually San Francisco Giants
1960 San Francisco Giants season
The San Francisco Giants season involved the team moving their home games from Seals Stadium to the new Candlestick Park. In their third season in the Golden Gate City, the Giants finished in fifth place in the National League, 16 games behind the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.- Offseason :*...

 or Los Angeles Dodgers
1960 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season at 82-72, in fourth place in the National League race, 13 games behind the NL and World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.-Offseason:...

' home games. However, the Milwaukee Braves
1960 Milwaukee Braves season
The 1960 Milwaukee Braves season was the eighth for the franchise in Milwaukee, and the 85th overall in the National League. The Braves finished in second place in the NL with a record of 88-66, seven games behind the NL and World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.- Offseason :* October 13, 1959:...

 used to start many of their Saturday home games late in the afternoon. So if the Giants and Dodgers were both the road at the same time, ABC still would be able to show a late game.

By 1964
1964 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: St. Louis Cardinals over New York Yankees ; Bob Gibson, MVP*All-Star Game, July 7 at Shea Stadium: National League, 7–4; Johnny Callison, MVP-Other champions:*College World Series: Minnesota...

, CBS' Dizzy Dean
Dizzy Dean
Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season. Dean was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953....

 and Pee Wee Reese
Pee Wee Reese
Harold Peter Henry "Pee Wee" Reese was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a shortstop for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from to . A ten-time All Star, Reese contributed to seven National League championships for the Dodgers and, was inducted...

 worked Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. New York got $550,000 of CBS' $895,000. Six clubs that exclusively played nationally televised games on NBC got $1.2 million.

ABC paid $5.7 million for the rights to the 28 Saturday/holiday Games of the Week. ABC's deal covered all of the teams except the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies (who had their own television deals) and called for two regionalized games on Saturdays, Independence Day
Independence Day (United States)
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain...

, and Labor Day
Labor Day
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.-History:...

. ABC blacked out the games in the home cities of the clubs playing those games.

1966–1975


On October 19, 1966, NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 signed a three year contract with Major League Baseball. The year before, NBC lost the rights to the Saturday–Sunday Game of the Week. In addition, the previous deal limited CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 to covering only 12 weekends when its new subsidiary, the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

, played at home. The new package under NBC called for 28 games compared to 1960
1960 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Pittsburgh Pirates over New York Yankees ; Bobby Richardson, MVP*All-Star Game , July 11 at Municipal Stadium: National League, 5-3*All-Star Game , July 13 at Yankee Stadium: National League, 6-0...

's three-network 123.

Under the new deal, NBC paid roughly $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

6 million per year for the 25 Games of the Week, $6.1 million for the 1967 World Series
1967 World Series
The 1967 World Series matched the St. Louis Cardinals against the Boston Red Sox in a rematch of the 1946 World Series, with the Cardinals winning in seven games for their second championship in four years and their eighth overall...

 and 1967
1967 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: St. Louis Cardinals over Boston Red Sox ; Bob Gibson, MVP*All-Star Game, July 11 at Anaheim Stadium: National League, 2-1 ; Tony Pérez, MVP-Other champions:*College World Series: Arizona State...

 All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

, and $6.5 million for the 1968 World Series
1968 World Series
The 1968 World Series featured the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals against the Detroit Tigers, with the Tigers winning in seven games for their first championship since 1945, and the third in their history...

 and 1968
1968 in baseball
-The Year of the Pitcher:In Major League Baseball, the trend throughout the 1960s was of increased pitching dominance, caused by enforcing a larger strike zone beginning in 1963...

 All-Star Game. This brought the total value of the contract (which included three Monday night telecasts) up to $30.6 million.

By 1969
1969 in baseball
-Expansion:Four expansion teams joined Major League Baseball for this season: the San Diego Padres, the Kansas City Royals, the Seattle Pilots, and the first MLB team in Canada, the Montreal Expos. To accommodate the additional teams, the two leagues were split into two divisions of East and West...

, Major League Baseball had grown to 24 teams and the net local TV revenues had leaped to $20.7 million. This is in sharp contrast to 1950
1950 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Yankees over Philadelphia Phillies *All-Star Game, July 11 at Comiskey Park: National League, 4-3 -Other champions:*Caribbean World Series: Carta Vieja *College World Series: Texas...

 when local television brought the then 16 Major League clubs a total net income of $2.3 million. Changes baseball underwent during this time, such as expansion franchises and increasing the schedule from 154 games to 162, led to a wider audience for network and local television.

From 1972
1972 in baseball
-Labor strife and more moving:1972 was tainted by a players' strike over pension and salary arbitration. The strike erased the first week and a half of the season, and the Leagues decided to just excise the lost portion of the season with no makeups. As a result, an uneven number of games were...

1975
1975 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Cincinnati Reds over Boston Red Sox ; Pete Rose, MVP*All-Star Game, July 15 at County Stadium: National League, 6-3; Bill Madlock and Jon Matlack, MVPs-Other champions:...

 NBC televised Monday games under a contract worth $72 million. In 1973
1973 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Oakland Athletics over New York Mets ; Reggie Jackson, MVP*All-Star Game, July 24 at Royals Stadium: National League, 7–1; Bobby Bonds, MVP-Other champions:...

, NBC extended the Monday night telecasts (with a local blackout
Blackout (broadcasting)
Blackout usually relates to the broadcasting of sports events, television programming, that is prohibited in a certain media market.The purpose is theoretically to generate more revenue by obliging certain actions from fans, either by making them buy tickets or watch other games on TV...

) to 15 straight. On September 1, 1975, NBC's last Monday Night Baseball
Monday Night Baseball
Monday Night Baseball is a live game telecast of Major League Baseball that airs most Monday nights during the regular season on ESPN and is also available in high definition on ESPNHD. The official name of the game is Monday Night Baseball presented by Vonage. The game starts at 7 p.m...

game, in which the Montréal Expos
Montreal Expos
The Montreal Expos were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec from 1969 through 2004, holding the first MLB franchise awarded outside the United States. After the 2004 season, MLB moved the Expos to Washington, D.C. and renamed them the Nationals.Named after the Expo 67 World's...

 beat the Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 6–5.

In the aftermath of the thrilling 1975 World Series
1975 World Series
The 1975 World Series was played between the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds . It has been ranked by ESPN as the second-greatest World Series ever played...

, attendance figures, television contracts (this time including two networks, NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 and now ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

), and player salaries all soared. In the eyes of some, that particular World Series restored baseball as America's national pastime (ahead of football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

).

1976–1989: ABC and NBC alternate coverage


Under the initial agreement with ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, and Major League Baseball (1976
1976 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Cincinnati Reds over New York Yankees ; Johnny Bench, MVP*All-Star Game, July 13 at Veterans Stadium: National League, 7-1; George Foster, MVP-Other champions:*Caribbean World Series: Naranjeros de Hermosillo...

-1979
1979 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Pittsburgh Pirates over Baltimore Orioles ; Willie Stargell, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: None.*National League Championship Series MVP: Willie Stargell...

), both networks paid $92.8 million. ABC paid $12.5 million per year to show 16 Monday night games in 1976, 18 in the next three years, plus half the postseason (the League Championship Series
League Championship Series
The League Championship Series is the official name for a round of postseason play in Major League Baseball which has been conducted since 1969...

 in even numbered years and World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 in odd numbered years). NBC paid $10.7 million per year to show 25 Saturday Games of the Week and the other half of the postseason (the League Championship Series in odd numbered years and World Series in even numbered years).

Major League Baseball media director John Lazarus
John Lazarus
John Lazarus, is a Canadian playwright.He is author of Babel Rap, Dreaming and Duelling, The Late Blumer, Homework & Curtains, Genuine Fakes, The Trials of Eddy Haymour, Medea's Disgust, Village of Idiots, Rough Magic Meltdown and Secrets.Lazarus is also the author of many plays for young...

 said of the new arrangement between NBC and ABC "Ratings
Nielsen Ratings
Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research, in an effort to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States...

 couldn't get more from one network so we approached another."
NBC's Joe Garagiola wasn't very fond of new broadcasting arrangement at first saying "I wished they hadn't got half the package. Still, Game, half of the postseason - we got lots left." By 1980
1980 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:World Series: Philadelphia Phillies over Kansas City Royals ; Mike Schmidt, MVP*American League Championship Series: Frank White, MVP*National League Championship Series Manny Trillo, MVP...

, income from TV accounted for a record 30% of the game's $500 million in revenues.

In 1980
1980 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:World Series: Philadelphia Phillies over Kansas City Royals ; Mike Schmidt, MVP*American League Championship Series: Frank White, MVP*National League Championship Series Manny Trillo, MVP...

, 22 teams (all but the Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

, Houston Astros
Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the National League Central division. The Astros are expected to join the American League West division in 2013. Since , they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, known as Enron Field...

, New York Mets
New York Mets
The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

, and St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

) took part in a one-year cable
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 deal with UA
United Artists Television
-Background:UA purchased Associated Artists Productions in 1958, giving UA access to the pre-1950 Warner Bros. library and the Popeye cartoons made by Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios between 1933 and 1957....

-Columbia
Columbia Pictures Television
Columbia Pictures Television was the second name of the Columbia Pictures television division Screen Gems . The studio changed its name on September 4, 1974.-1974-1982:...

. The deal involved the airing of a Thursday night Game of the Week in markets at least 50 miles (80 km) from a major league park. The deal earned Major League Baseball less than $500,000, but led to a new two-year contract for 40-45 games per season.

On April 7, 1983, Major League Baseball, ABC, and NBC agreed to terms of a six year television package worth $1.2 billion. The two networks would continue to alternate coverage of the playoffs
League Championship Series
The League Championship Series is the official name for a round of postseason play in Major League Baseball which has been conducted since 1969...

 (ABC in even numbered years and NBC in odd numbered years), World Series (ABC would televise the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 in odd numbered years and NBC in even numbered years), and All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

 (ABC would televise the All-Star Game in even numbered years and NBC in odd numbered years) through the 1989
1989 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Oakland Athletics over San Francisco Giants ; Dave Stewart, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Rickey Henderson*National League Championship Series MVP: Will Clark...

 season, with each of the 26 clubs receiving $7 million per year in return (even if no fans showed up). The last package gave each club $1.9 million per year. ABC contributed $575 million for regular season prime time
Prime time
Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast programming during the middle of the evening for television programing.The term prime time is often defined in terms of a fixed time period—for example, from 19:00 to 22:00 or 20:00 to 23:00 Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast...

 and Sunday afternoons and NBC paid $550 million for thirty Saturday afternoon games.

By 1986
1986 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Mets over Boston Red Sox ; Ray Knight, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Marty Barrett*National League Championship Series MVP: Mike Scott...

, ABC only televised 13 Monday Night Baseball games. This was a fairly sharp contrast to the 18 games to that were scheduled in 1978
1978 in baseball
-Other champions:*Caribbean World Series: Indios de Mayagüez *College World Series: USC*Japan Series: Yakult Swallows over Hankyu Braves *Little League World Series: Pin-Kuang, Pin-Tung, Taiwan-Awards and honors:*Most Valuable Player...

. The Sporting News
The Sporting News
Sporting News is an American-based sports magazine. It was established in 1886, and it became the dominant American publication covering baseball — so much so that it acquired the nickname "The Bible of Baseball"...

believed that ABC paid Major League Baseball to not make them televise the regular season. TSN added that the network only wanted the sport for October anyway.

Breakdown

  • 1983
    1983 in baseball
    -Major League Baseball:*World Series: Baltimore Orioles over Philadelphia Phillies ; Rick Dempsey, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Mike Boddicker*National League Championship Series MVP: Gary Matthews...

     - $20 million in advance from the two networks.
  • 1984
    1984 in baseball
    -Major League Baseball:*World Series: Detroit Tigers over San Diego Padres ; Alan Trammell, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Kirk Gibson*National League Championship Series MVP: Steve Garvey...

     - NBC $70 million, ABC $56 million, total $126 million.
  • 1985
    1985 in baseball
    -Major League Baseball:*World Series: Kansas City Royals over St. Louis Cardinals ; Bret Saberhagen, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: George Brett*National League Championship Series MVP: Ozzie Smith...

     - NBC $61 million, ABC $75 million, total $136 million.

Note: The networks got $9 million when Major League Baseball expanded the League Championship Series from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven in 1985.
  • 1986
    1986 in baseball
    -Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Mets over Boston Red Sox ; Ray Knight, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Marty Barrett*National League Championship Series MVP: Mike Scott...

     - NBC $75 million, ABC $66 million, total $141 million.
  • 1987
    1987 in baseball
    -Major League Baseball:*World Series: Minnesota Twins over St. Louis Cardinals ; Frank Viola, MVP**American League Championship Series: Gary Gaetti, MVP**National League Championship Series: Jeff Leonard, MVP...

     - NBC $81 million, ABC $90 million, total $171 million.
  • 1988
    1988 in baseball
    See also: 1988 Major League Baseball season-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers over Oakland Athletics ; Orel Hershiser, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Dennis Eckersley...

     - NBC $90 million, ABC $96 million, total $186 million.
  • 1989
    1989 in baseball
    -Major League Baseball:*World Series: Oakland Athletics over San Francisco Giants ; Dave Stewart, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Rickey Henderson*National League Championship Series MVP: Will Clark...

     - NBC $106 million, ABC $125 million, total $231 million.

Major League Baseball on CBS and ESPN: 1990–1993


On December 14, 1988, CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 (under the guidance of Commissioner
Baseball Commissioner
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

 Peter Ueberroth
Peter Ueberroth
Peter Victor Ueberroth is an American executive. He served as the sixth Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1984 to 1989. He was recently the chairman of the United States Olympic Committee; he was replaced by Larry Probst in October 2008....

) paid approximately $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

1.8 billion for exclusive television rights for over four years (beginning in 1990
1990 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Cincinnati Reds over Oakland Athletics ; José Rijo, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP Dave Stewart*National League Championship Series co-MVPs: Rob Dibble and Randy Myers...

). CBS paid about $265 million each year for the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

, League Championship Series
League Championship Series
The League Championship Series is the official name for a round of postseason play in Major League Baseball which has been conducted since 1969...

, All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

, and the Saturday Game of the Week. It was one of the largest agreements (to date) between the sport of baseball and the business of broadcasting
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

.

On January 5, 1989, Major League Baseball signed a $400 million deal with ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

, who would show over 175 games beginning in 1990
1990 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Cincinnati Reds over Oakland Athletics ; José Rijo, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP Dave Stewart*National League Championship Series co-MVPs: Rob Dibble and Randy Myers...

. For the next four years, ESPN would televise six games a week (Sunday
Sunday Night Baseball
Sunday Night Baseball is the Major League Baseball exclusive game of the week that is televised Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN during the regular season...

, Wednesday Night Baseball, doubleheader
Doubleheader (television)
Doubleheader is used by network television to refer to two games in any sport aired back-to-back on the same network, even though they do not involve the same two teams . A doubleheader purposely coincides with a league's scheduling of "early" and "late" games...

s on Tuesdays and Fridays, plus holidays).

The deal with CBS was also supposed to pay each team $10 million a year. A separate deal with cable TV would bring each team an additional $4 million. Each team could also cut its own deal with local TV. For example, the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 signed with a cable network (MSG
MSG Network
The MSG Network, now shortened to simply MSG, is a regional cable television and radio network serving the Mid-Atlantic United States. It is focused on New York City sports teams...

) that would pay the team $41 million annually for 12 years. Radio broadcast rights can bring in additional money. Reportedly, after the huge TV contracts with CBS and ESPN
ESPN Major League Baseball
ESPN Major League Baseball is a promotion of Major League Baseball on ESPN and ESPN2, with simulcasts on ESPNHD or ESPN2HD. ESPN's MLB coverage debuted on April 9, 1990 with three Opening Day telecasts. ESPN Major League Baseball is guaranteed to remain on air until 2013.The title is derived from...

 were signed, ballclubs spent their excess millions on free agent
Free agent
In professional sports, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has expired and who is thus eligible to sign with another club or franchise....

s.

In the end, CBS wound up losing approximately half a billion dollars from their television contract with Major League Baseball. CBS repeatedly asked Major League Baseball for a rebate
Rebate (marketing)
A rebate is an amount paid by way of reduction, return, or refund on what has already been paid or contributed. It is a type of sales promotion marketers use primarily as incentives or supplements to product sales. The mail-in rebate is the most common...

, but MLB wasn't willing to do this.

The Baseball Network: 1994–1995


After the fall-out from CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

' financial problems from their four year long television contract with Major League Baseball, MLB decided to go into the business of producing the telecasts themselves. After a four year hiatus, ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 and NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 returned to Major League Baseball under the umbrella of a revenue
Revenue
In business, revenue is income that a company receives from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers. In many countries, such as the United Kingdom, revenue is referred to as turnover....

 sharing venture called "The Baseball Network."

Under a six year plan, Major League Baseball was intended to receive 85% of the first $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

140 million in advertising revenue (or 87.5% of advertising revenues and corporate sponsorship from the games until sales top a specified level), 50% of the next $30 million, and 80% of any additional money. Prior to this, Major League Baseball was projected to take a projected 55% cut in rights fees and receive a typical rights fee from the networks. When compared to the previous TV deal with CBS, The Baseball Network was supposed to bring in 50% less of the broadcasting revenue. The advertisers were reportedly excited about the arrangement with The Baseball Network because the new package included several changes intended to boost ratings
Nielsen Ratings
Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research, in an effort to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States...

, especially among younger viewers.

Arranging broadcasts through The Baseball Network seemed, on the surface, to benefit NBC and ABC since it gave them a monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 on broadcasting Major League Baseball. It also stood to benefit the networks because they reduced the risk associated with purchasing the broadcast rights outright. NBC and ABC attempted to create a loss-free environment for each other.

After NBC's coverage of the 1994 All-Star Game
1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 65th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League and National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball...

 was complete, NBC was scheduled to televise six regular season games on Fridays or Saturdays in prime time
Prime time
Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast programming during the middle of the evening for television programing.The term prime time is often defined in terms of a fixed time period—for example, from 19:00 to 22:00 or 20:00 to 23:00 Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast...

. The networks had exclusive rights for the 12 regular season dates, in that no regional or national cable service or over-the-air broadcaster may telecast an MLB game on those dates. Baseball Night in America usually aired up to 14 games based on the viewers' region (affiliates chose games of local interest to carry) as opposed to a traditional coast-to-coast format. ABC would then pick up where NBC left off by televising six more regular season games. The regular season games fell under the Baseball Night in America umbrella which premiered on July 16, 1994.

In even numbered years, NBC would have the rights to the All-Star Game and both League Championship Series
League Championship Series
The League Championship Series is the official name for a round of postseason play in Major League Baseball which has been conducted since 1969...

 while ABC would have the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 and newly created Division Series
Division Series
In baseball, the Division Series is the official name for the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Currently, a total of four series are played in this opening round, two each for both the American League and the National League.-1981 season:...

. In odd numbered years the postseason and All-Star Game television rights were supposed to alternate.

The long term plans for The Baseball Network crumbled when the players went on strike on August 12, 1994 (thus forcing the cancellation of the World Series
1994 World Series
The 1994 World Series was canceled on September 14 of that year due to an ongoing strike by the Major League Baseball Players Association, which had begun on August 12...

). In July 1995
1995 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Atlanta Braves over Cleveland Indians ; Tom Glavine, MVP*All-Star Game, July 11 at The Ballpark in Arlington: National League, 3-2; Jeff Conine, MVP-Other champions:...

, ABC and NBC, who wound up having to share the duties of televising the 1995 World Series
1995 World Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 21, 1995 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, GeorgiaAtlanta ace Greg Maddux pitched a two-hit complete game victory in his first World Series appearance ....

 as a way to recoup (with ABC broadcasting Games 1, 4, and 5 and NBC broadcasting Games 2, 3, and 6), announced that they were opting out of their agreement with Major League Baseball. Both networks figured that as the delayed 1995
1995 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Atlanta Braves over Cleveland Indians ; Tom Glavine, MVP*All-Star Game, July 11 at The Ballpark in Arlington: National League, 3-2; Jeff Conine, MVP-Other champions:...

 baseball season opened without a labor agreement, there was no guarantee against another strike. Others would argue that a primary reason for its failure was its abandoning of localized markets in favor of more lucrative and stable advertising contracts afforded by turning to a national model of broadcasting. Both networks soon publicly vowed to cut all ties with Major League Baseball for the remainder of the 20th century.

In the end, the venture would lose $95 million in advertising and nearly $500 million in national and local spending.

Also in 1994
1994 in baseball
-Headline events of the year:As a result of a players' strike, the MLB season ends prematurely on August 11, 1994. No postseason is played...

, ESPN renewed its baseball contract for six years (through the 1999
1999 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Yankees over Atlanta Braves ; Mariano Rivera, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Orlando Hernández**American League Division Series:*National League Championship Series MVP: Eddie Pérez...

 season). The new deal was worth $42.5 million per year and $255 million overall. The deal was ultimately voided after the 1995
1995 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Atlanta Braves over Cleveland Indians ; Tom Glavine, MVP*All-Star Game, July 11 at The Ballpark in Arlington: National League, 3-2; Jeff Conine, MVP-Other champions:...

 season and ESPN was pretty much forced to restructure their contract.

Baseball comes to Fox and stays with NBC: 1996–2000


Soon after the Baseball Network fiasco, Major League Baseball made a deal with Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 and NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 on November 7, 1995. Fox paid a fraction less of the amount of money that CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 paid for the Major League Baseball television rights. Unlike The Baseball Network, Fox went back to the tried and true format of televising regular season games (approximately 16 weekly telecasts that normally began on Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 weekend) on Saturday afternoons. Fox did however, continue a format that The Baseball Network started by offering games based purely on a viewer's region. Fox's approach has usually been to offer four regionalized telecasts, with exclusivity from 1–4 p.m. in each time zone. When Fox first got into baseball, it used the motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 "Same game, new attitude."

Under the five year deal (from 1996
1996 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Yankees over Atlanta Braves ; John Wetteland, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Bernie Williams**American League Division Series*National League Championship Series MVP: Javy López...

2000
2000 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*Regular Season Champions*World Series Champion - New York Yankees*Postseason - October 3 to October 26Click on any series score to link to that series' page....

) for a total of approximately $400 million, NBC didn't televise any regular season games. Instead, NBC only handled the All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

 and the American League Championship Series
American League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series , played in October, is a round in the postseason that determines the winner of the American League pennant...

 in even numbered years and the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 and National League Championship Series
National League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the National League Championship Series is a round in the postseason that determines who wins the National League pennant and advances to Major League Baseball's championship, the World Series, facing the winner of the American League Championship Series. The reigning...

 in odd numbered years, in addition to three Division Series
Division Series
In baseball, the Division Series is the official name for the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Currently, a total of four series are played in this opening round, two each for both the American League and the National League.-1981 season:...

 games in each of these five years.

Also in 1996
1996 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Yankees over Atlanta Braves ; John Wetteland, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Bernie Williams**American League Division Series*National League Championship Series MVP: Javy López...

, ESPN began a five year contract with Major League Baseball worth $440 million and about $80 million per year. ESPN paid for the rights to a Wednesday doubleheader and the Sunday night Game of the Week, as well as all postseason games not aired on Fox or NBC. Major League Baseball staggered the times of first-round games to provide a full-day feast for viewers: ESPN could air games at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 11 p.m. EDT, with the broadcast networks telecasting the prime time game.

Beginning in 1997
1997 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Florida Marlins over Cleveland Indians ; Liván Hernández, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Marquis Grissom**American League Division Series*National League Championship Series MVP: Liván Hernández...

, Fox
Fox Entertainment Group
The Fox Entertainment Group is an American entertainment industry company that owns film studios and terrestrial, cable, and direct broadcast satellite television properties...

 entered a four year joint venture with Liberty Media Cable
Liberty Media
Liberty Media Corporation is an American media conglomerate and the control is exercised by company Chairman John C. Malone, who owns a majority of the voting shares....

 (which resulted in the placement of a Thursday night baseball game on Fox Sports Net alongside an FX Saturday night game, Fox Family would later replace Fox Sports Net) worth $172 million. The deal called for two games a week that aired games on its choice of two weeknights other than Wednesday, with no exclusivity.

Fox's exclusivity: 2001–2006


In September 2000, Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 signed a six year, $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

2.5 billion contract with Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 to show Saturday baseball, the All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

, selected Division Series
Division Series
In baseball, the Division Series is the official name for the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Currently, a total of four series are played in this opening round, two each for both the American League and the National League.-1981 season:...

 games and exclusive coverage of both League Championship Series
League Championship Series
The League Championship Series is the official name for a round of postseason play in Major League Baseball which has been conducted since 1969...

 and the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

.

Under the previous five year deal with NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 (1996
1996 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Yankees over Atlanta Braves ; John Wetteland, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP: Bernie Williams**American League Division Series*National League Championship Series MVP: Javy López...

2000
2000 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*Regular Season Champions*World Series Champion - New York Yankees*Postseason - October 3 to October 26Click on any series score to link to that series' page....

), Fox paid $115 million while NBC only paid $80 million per year. Fox paid about $575 million overall while NBC paid about $400 million overall. The difference between the Fox and the NBC contracts implicitly values Fox's Saturday Game of the Week at less than $90 million for five years. Before NBC officially decided to part ways with Major League Baseball (for the second time in about 12 years) on September 26, 2000, Fox's payment would've been $345 million while NBC would've paid $240 million. Before 1990
1990 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Cincinnati Reds over Oakland Athletics ; José Rijo, MVP*American League Championship Series MVP Dave Stewart*National League Championship Series co-MVPs: Rob Dibble and Randy Myers...

, NBC had carried Major League Baseball since 1947
1947 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Yankees over Brooklyn Dodgers *All-Star Game, July 8 at Wrigley Field: American League, 2-1-Other champions:*First College World Series: California...

.
NBC Sports
NBC Sports
NBC Sports is the sports division of the NBC television network. Formerly "a service of NBC News," it broadcasts a diverse array of programs, including the Olympic Games, the NFL, the NHL, MLS, Notre Dame football, the PGA Tour, the Triple Crown, and the French Open, among others...

 chairman Dick Ebersol
Dick Ebersol
Duncan "Dick" Ebersol is an American television executive and a senior adviser for . He had previously been the chairman of NBC Sports, producing large scale television events such as the Olympic Games and National Football League broadcasts....

 added that it wasn't cost-effective
Cost-effectiveness
Cost-effectiveness analysis is a form of economic analysis that compares the relative costs and outcomes of two or more courses of action. Cost-effectiveness analysis is distinct from cost-benefit analysis, which assigns a monetary value to the measure of effect...

 for NBC to be putting out the kind of money that Major League Baseball wanted.

Fox, TBS, and ESPN era: 2007-


After weeks of speculation and rumors, on July 11, 2006 at the All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

, Major League Baseball and the Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 announced a renewal of their current contract through 2013. The contract would continue to give Fox exclusive rights to televise the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 and the All-Star Game for the duration of the contract. The World Series would begin the Wednesday after the League Championship Series
League Championship Series
The League Championship Series is the official name for a round of postseason play in Major League Baseball which has been conducted since 1969...

 are completed.

OLN
Versus (TV channel)
Versus is a sports-oriented cable television channel in the United States. It was previously known as Outdoor Life Network and was launched on July 1, 1995, focusing on fishing, hunting, and other outdoor sports...

 (now Versus
Versus (TV channel)
Versus is a sports-oriented cable television channel in the United States. It was previously known as Outdoor Life Network and was launched on July 1, 1995, focusing on fishing, hunting, and other outdoor sports...

) was briefly considering picking up the rights to the Sunday and Wednesday games, which expired after the 2005
2005 in baseball
-Headline events of the year:*Chicago White Sox swept the Houston Astros to win the 2005 World Series.*2005 also marked the inaugural season of the Washington Nationals, who relocated from Montreal and were formerly known as the Expos....

 season. On September 14, 2005 however, ESPN, then the current rights holder, signed an eight year contract with Major League Baseball, highlighted by the continuation of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball series with additional, exclusive team appearances.

Fox would also get exclusive rights to televise the American League Championship Series
American League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series , played in October, is a round in the postseason that determines the winner of the American League pennant...

 in odd years beginning in 2007, and exclusive rights to televise the National League Championship Series
National League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the National League Championship Series is a round in the postseason that determines who wins the National League pennant and advances to Major League Baseball's championship, the World Series, facing the winner of the American League Championship Series. The reigning...

 in even years beginning in 2008. (However, if Fox is scheduled to broadcast the NLCS and the ALCS series is a showdown between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, then MLB will move the ALCS to Fox). Additionally, Fox would have the right to broadcast its regional Saturday Game of the Week
Major League Baseball Game of the Week
The Major League Baseball Game of the Week is the de facto title for over-the-air, nationally televised coverage of regular season Major League Baseball games...

package for all 26 weeks (up from 18 under the previous contract).

Additionally, Time Warner
Time Warner
Time Warner is one of the world's largest media companies, headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Formerly two separate companies, Warner Communications, Inc...

's TBS gained rights to a Sunday afternoon Game of the Week, beginning in the 2008 season. TBS will be allowed to choose the games that it will carry and may select a single team up to 13 times. These games will normally be shown outside the participating teams' markets, and thus TBS has the option of producing an alternate game in those markets. As of the 2008 season, they have decided against this. TBS also gained exclusive broadcast rights to the Division Series
Division Series
In baseball, the Division Series is the official name for the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Currently, a total of four series are played in this opening round, two each for both the American League and the National League.-1981 season:...

 in both leagues, as well as any tiebreaking games. TBS will also gain the rights to the All-Star Game Selection Show, meaning that ESPN (which previously carried it) can only broadcast the information after it airs on TBS.

It was announced on October 17, 2006 that TBS will get exclusive rights to televise the National League Championship Series
National League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the National League Championship Series is a round in the postseason that determines who wins the National League pennant and advances to Major League Baseball's championship, the World Series, facing the winner of the American League Championship Series. The reigning...

 in odd years beginning in 2007, and exclusive rights to televise the American League Championship Series
American League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series , played in October, is a round in the postseason that determines the winner of the American League pennant...

 in even years beginning in 2008. This contract also runs through 2013. As part of the contract, TBS relinquished its rights to air Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 games nationally after the 2007 season, by separating WTBS (now WPCH) channel 17 from the TBS network, rebranding as Peachtree TV on October 1, 2007. The new station would still air Atlanta Braves games. Those games have been made available to local cable and satellite operators in the Southeast for the 2008 season. In addition, some Braves games have appeared on TBS as part of the new package.

Extra Innings and The MLB Network


It was reported that when DirecTV
DirecTV
DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider and broadcaster based in El Segundo, California. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, and the Anglophone Caribbean. ...

 and Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 completed their deal for MLB Extra Innings
MLB Extra Innings
MLB Extra Innings is an Out-of-Market Sports Package distributed in North America by satellite provider DirecTV since 1996 and by most cable providers since 2001. The package allows its subscribers to see up to 80 out-of-market Major League Baseball games a week using local over the air stations...

in 2007
2007 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*Regular Season Champions*World Series Champion – [Boston Red Sox]*Postseason – October 2 to October 28Click on any series score to link to that series' page....

, the deal will include DirecTV carrying Major League Baseball's league owned MLB Network
MLB Network
MLB Network is an American television specialty channel dedicated to professional baseball. It is primarily owned by Major League Baseball. Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications have minority ownership of the new network, with MLB retaining a controlling two-thirds share...

, at first on an exclusive basis. With the later agreement between MLB and iN DEMAND
IN DEMAND
In Demand is a provider of pay-per-view and subscription video-on-demand services, jointly owned by Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks...

 expanding the distribution of Extra Innings to cable, it was announced the MLB Network will also be carried on most major cable services starting January 1, 2009
2009 Major League Baseball season
The 2009 Major League Baseball season began on Sunday, April 5, 2009 with the Atlanta Braves defeating the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies 4–1. The regular season ended on October 6, extended two days for a one-game playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins to...

. The channel will air Saturday night games (and possible games on other days) and a daily highlight show (although ESPN's Baseball Tonight will be protected for the duration of ESPN's current TV deal).

Sources


External links