MLB and Turner Sports have finalized a seven-year, $3.7 billion rights deal that will last through 2028, according to Sports Business Journal. This extension, which will begin in 2022, will pay MLB $535 million a year. The broad terms of the deal were reported back in June, but Turner announced the final details on Thursday.
Turner Sports and @MLB reach 7-year media rights extension through 2028, featuring TBS exclusively televising the most Postseason games of any network, new Tuesday Night live game franchise beginning in ‘22 & more
Details: https://t.co/gbEhWoXGgP & https://t.co/O5a7cBeZ7i pic.twitter.com/2vYBZYxb5S
— TurnerSportsPR (@TurnerSportsPR) September 24, 2020
Turner is currently paying MLB an average of $325 million a year for the rights to broadcast postseason games and one regular season game a week. This new deal is a 65 percent increase over the current deal.
More money, more games
Turner isn’t getting nothing for the extra $210 million a year they’ll be paying. Commissioner Rob Manfred told Sports Business Journal that TBS “came to the negotiating table with a lot of new ideas about exactly how we were going to make our combined efforts better.”
Starting in 2022, TBS will be home to more postseason games than any other network. They will start airing one wild-card game every year as well as two Division Series and a League Championship Series. The featured league (American League or National League) will switch every year, but the league for each season’s games on the network will be consistent.
TBS already airs one regular season game per week on Sunday afternoon, but the new deal has that game moving to Tuesday night. The previous commitment was for half a season of weekly games, but the new contract expands that to a full season.
New studio show
To accompany the weekday night game, TBS will be producing a pre-show with a reconfigured team. Ernie Johnson, who had been doing play-by-play for TBS, will be anchoring the show. Former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez will continue their roles, and they will be joined by another new addition: recently retired outfielder Curtis Granderson, who played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, and New York Mets. The new team will make their debut during this season’s playoffs in October.
TBS will also make the games they broadcast available on their digital platforms to authenticated viewers.
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