ESPN Extends Contract with MLB


ESPN has nearly doubled the price they pay for baseball content by extending their contract with Major League Baseball until 2021.

The new contract was announced on Tuesday and unites the rights for TV, radio, digital and international which have not been combined prior to the new deal. New rights to air a wild-card game, highlights and digital content have been included. ESPN will also have more freedom to broadcast games involving popular teams.

"ESPN's financial commitment to baseball is extraordinary. ... It's a testament to not only the strength of our game, but the unprecedented popularity with our fans," Commissioner Bud Selig said.

"We're ESPN. We promote the game all day, we take 'Baseball Tonight' to the area and then when the game starts, there's a message that says 'Not carried in your area,'" ESPN President John Skipper said. "We are now out of that business. The coexist is very important to us."

"I think this deal is very fair," Selig said. "Given the number of games that we have, we certainly don't want to hurt any local rights holders. I don't think we have here at all. The clubs, on balance, are all going to be remarkably better off."

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