FOX, Turner to spend $800M per year on MLB rights

Michelle Clancy | 21-09-2012

Major League Baseball is about to sign FOX and Turner Sports on eight-year contracts through 2021, according a new report, for a collective $800 million annually--double today's broadcast rights price.

According to the Associated Press, unnamed sources are saying that FOX will retain rights to the World Series and a league championship series every year, and will pay about $500 million per year for the privilege. FOX will also gain additional regular-season rights under the new contract--right now it airs one Saturday regular-season game each week.

Turner meanwhile will continue to broadcast a championship game, two division series and 13 regular-season Sunday telecasts per season. However, it will gain more simulcasts with local club TV feeds and increased digital rights.

In case there was any doubt as to the value of sports programming, ESPN and MLB recently signed a $700 million deal covering 2014-21--up from the $360 million it was paying before. ESPN gets additional rights to highlights and digital content and the ability to show a wild-card game starting in 2014. Otherwise, it shows 26 Sunday games per season.