TBS expands MLB coverage to include more post-season, TV Everywhere

Michelle Clancy | 04-10-2012

Turner Broadcasting and Major League Baseball have reached an eight-year media rights extension through 2021 that will include an extensive TV Everywhere and multiscreen component.

The deal particularly expands TBS's television rights for the MLB postseason. Beginning with the 2014 MLB season, Turner's expanded package will include exclusive television rights to one League Championship Series each year of the agreement. As part of the deal, the ALCS and NLCS will alternate each year between TBS and FOX. TBS also will have exclusive rights to one Wild Card game and two of the four MLB Division Series games, which will alternate between the American League and the National League each year. And, TBS will air afternoon games with new co-exist rights on the final 13 Sundays of the regular season as part of the network's Sunday MLB on TBS Game of the Week package.

In addition to the television rights, the deal encompasses an expansion of Turner's digital rights across a wide spectrum of screens and platforms including mobile, Web, tablets and connected devices. TV Everywhere rights will allow TBS to simulcast its MLB games and related programming across Turner platforms, along with Increased footage and highlights rights for Turner Websites and applications. This includes Bleacher Report, which Turner Sports acquired in August 2012, and its popular Team Stream app.

TBS also nabbed the rights to create companion and ancillary products related to the TBS broadcast of regular and postseason games.

The extended agreement, effective 2014 through 2021, will guarantee a 45-plus year continuous relationship between Turner and MLB, dating back to 1973 when the company began televising MLB games on WTCG (now TBS). The current agreement between MLB and Turner, which started in 2007, will conclude following the 2013 season.

"I have often said in recent years that we are living in the golden age of baseball and that the game has never been more popular," said MLB Commissioner Allan Selig. "But to see the unprecedented commitment these networks have made to televising Major League Baseball for years to come is truly amazing. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am thrilled that we will continue our relationships with both FOX and Turner. Both networks are passionate about baseball and are truly committed to covering, promoting and growing the sport, and I want to thank them for their continued support."