Major League Baseball finally has something to celebrate.
According to Andrew Marchard of the New York Post, MLB and Turner Sports have reached a new billion-dollar agreement to continue broadcasting postseason games on TBS and TNT.
Exact terms of the deal have not been revealed. However, it is known that Turner Sports will retain rights to one league championship series.
In 2012, Turner Sports committed to pay $325 million a year for a package that includes one league championship series, two division series and extensive digital rights, according to Sports Business Journal. That contract, which included 13 regular-season Sunday afternoon games, is set to expire following the 2021 season.
During that contract, Turner Sports alternated broadcasting the ALCS and NLCS with FOX Sports.
The report notes that ESPN/ABC was making a move to acquire more postseason broadcasts before the Turner deal was reached. If and when MLB expands its postseason, that would open up another opportunity for ESPN to jump in. That decision seems inevitable at this point given the money Turner Sports and FOX Sports have been willing to spend. In 2018, FOX agreed to pay $525 million annually for regular-season games, the All-Star game and postseason games through 2021.
This news gives MLB a reason to smile. But it’s also another reason for the players to question why the league’s owners continue crying poor during talks to revive the 2020 season. Expect to hear this contract mentioned more than a few times in the days and weeks ahead.
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