While Fox and Turner are crowing about their new eight year deals, one thing that’s been quietly announced is that MLB Network will continue to air two League Division Series games as sublicensed from a rightsholder. Starting this year, MLB Network gains two LDS games from Turner Sports as part its two year deal to air the Wild Card Playoff Games.
In 2014 when the new eight year contracts with ESPN, Fox and Turner kick in, MLB Network will still air two League Division Games, but they will be sublicensed from Fox.
MLB Network will pick up the MLB All-Star Game Selection Show from TBS. It also gets the All-Star Futures Game which has been aired on ESPN.
Overall, MLB Network will air 150 regular season games, the most of any of baseball’s national TV partners as ESPN will have 90, Fox 52 and TBS 13.
Here’s the MLB Network announcement.
MLB Network to Continue to Air Two League Division Series Games,
More than 150 Regular Season Games and the MLB First-Year Player Draft
MLB Network to Televise the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Starting in 2014
Secaucus, N.J., October 2, 2012 – Major League Baseball and MLB Network today announced it will continue to televise exclusive live baseball content for eight years beginning in 2014. MLB Network will exclusively air two League Division Series games every Postseason, with the two game telecasts coming from one League Division Series each year. Today’s announcement follows MLB Network’s current plans to televise two League Division Series games in 2012 and in 2013, as announced in May.
MLB Network’s first League Division Series game telecasts are scheduled to air this Sunday, October 7, called by Matt Vasgersian and Jim Kaat, who will be returning to the MLB Postseason booth for the first time since 1995, and on Wednesday, October 10, with Kaat and Bob Costas, in his first Postseason game call in 12 years.
MLB Network will continue to air more than 150 regular season games, including MLB Network Showcase game productions, each season. MLB Network has produced regular season game telecasts since its inaugural season in 2009 with a roster of on-air talent including Costas, Kaat, Al Leiter, Harold Reynolds, John Smoltz and Vasgersian.
MLB Network also will televise the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the MLB All-Star Game Selection Show each year starting in 2014, while continuing to produce the MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight seven days per week, and other regular season and offseason studio programming including Quick Pitch, The Rundown, Intentional Talk, Hot Stove and Clubhouse Confidential.
“Securing two exclusive Postseason games, in addition to televising regular season games, special events and our Emmy Award-winning studio programming, demonstrates our commitment to grow MLB Network and provide baseball fans with high-quality production and programming over the next decade,” said MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti.
I’ll have a wrap-up post on the deals coming this evening.