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MLB, Fox and TBS reach eight year broadcast rights extension — some blackout restrictions lifted

Oct 2, 2012, 12:10 PM EDT

old TV

The key thing that you should care about most first: starting in 2014, Saturday out-of-market games will no longer be blacked out from and Extra Innings customers, even when Fox has a national game.  It’s not as significant as, say, MLB lifting the territory-driven blackouts currently enforced for vast swaths of the country despite the fact that they are unable to watch the games on TV, but this is a step in the right direction.

As for the stuff that the league, the owners and the networks care most about: the league just announced an eight year extension of the TV rights deals for Fox and TBS.  For the most part it will remain the same — Saturday games on Fox, Sundays on TBS, the World Series and All-Star Game on Fox, the rest of the playoffs split between them — with a lot of interactive and live streaming as part of the deal.

The money: Selig says that the ESPN, Fox and Turner deals are collectively worth $12.4 billion between 2014 and 2021.

There will be big money rolling in to every major league team now as a result of this deal.  Adjust your surprise at teams’ spending habits accordingly.

  1. xjokerz - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    more Joe Buck!? cant wait!…

    • bh0673 - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:07 AM

      Amazing isn’t it Buck is terrible and it has gotten to the point I would rather listen to a game on the radio then watch the game and have to listen to Buck and McCarver. The only the only thing worse was Miller and Morgan and ESPN finally listened to the fans and replaced them.

  2. mrfloydpink - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Tim McCarver will remain employed. Our long national nightmare is over.

    • mazblast - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      I think you mean it will continue.

    • bigharold - Oct 2, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      I think you got that backwards.

      I hear that the new contract pays Mc Carver by the word. Where’s Dion Sanders and a bucket of cold water when you need him??

  3. levistahl - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    I’m sorry if this has been covered in comments and I’ve missed it, but what I’m still not sure about in the wake of this deal and the big local TV deals that teams are signing is why the payments are skyrocketing? Were they that undervalued in the previous deal, or is growth projected to be that strong? I would think that in the face of the various online channels for watching games and the fragmentation of the TV audience in general the price would be going the other way. What am I missing?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      It’s about advertising dollars. Thanks to DVRs and Tivo, commercials are being increasingly ignored on all of TV, except when it comes to live sports. People will still watch live sports live, so there is far less fastforwarding through the ads. Advertisers have noticed this and are paying more and more to place ads during live sporting events than they would for scripted TV. This is sending rights fees higher.

      The online deliver of sports is notable, but it’s still very small overall.

      • levistahl - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Aha–here’s where I’ve been blinded by my own experience! I regularly watch sports on delay so I can skip ads (and visits to the mound). We have people over throughout October to watch baseball, and everyone’s now gotten used to starting forty minutes late and catching up to reality by about the 7th.

        But I know that’s rare, so your explanation makes a lot of sense.

      • bh0673 - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:19 AM

        Craig the local black out restrictions to MLB TV still don’t make sense. I can finally PAY to have YES on my computer or laptop when I can’t watch the game on TV. Think about it I am paying to have YES on my TV at home and paying again to have it on my computer. But lets pause a moment hmmm my 52 inch flat screen or my 20 inch desktop at work or my 17 inch laptop. I am paying for the right to watch the game on another source because I can’t watch at home. Now let;s take it one step further I will use at bat 12 and watch the pitch by pitch on my cell phone or listen to the radio broadcast on my cell phone but can’t watch the local game on my cell phone because blackout restrictions apply. Again if I were able to be home and watch TV I would and let’s face it would I rather be on a beach or out enjoying summer on a Saturday afternoon or home inside watching TV and having to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Time has come to lift the black out restrictions let me pay for the right to watch the games anywhere at any time on any medium. MLB has to wake up times have changed and if we have more options IF I WERE HOME I WOULD BE WATCHING THE GAME BUT I AM NOT SO GIVE ME OPTIONS I WILL PAY. However one note here I will still listen to a game on the radio over Joe Buck and McCarver. ESPN finally listened and dumped Miller and Morgan who were the worst it is time for Fox to dump these two idiots and let me pay to watch the game from anywhere inside my home market or not.

  4. indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I wish they woul

    • indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Stupid cell phone. Sorry about that. Anyhow, I wish they would lift those restrictions with local markets.

      • natslady - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        So do I!!! It is my pet peeve. Of course, I get around it by getting cable for 6 months (now seven) and a Vulkano (=Slingbox). I cancel cable after the baseball season is over. I don’t want anything else that is on cable except my Nats. So basically what MLB and the cable companies are doing is requiring me to buy an extra piece of hardware. Some cable companies (I think in NY) now let you watch sports online or on your device if you are a subscriber. They basically have you by the throat if you want to follow your team as it goes on the road. And I’m luckier than Nats fans in North Carolina.

        The cable companies and MLB are missing the fact that many people don’t watch games in their mancaves or on huge HD TV’s in their living rooms. They watch them (or want to watch them) on the beach or at the gym, etc.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Exactly. I would watch the games on my ipad while at the beach or doing cardio if I could. I would even pay a premium fee to get around that restriction. Oh, well. I guess I just have continue to look at the sunset or whatever while at the beach. :-)

  5. xmatt0926x - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    who cares about the money in this deal. I only ask two things if we are to be forced to watch the TBS broadcasts. Somebody tell David Wells not to speak and someone tell Eckersley to stop dyeing that mullet jet black. It’s tough on the eyes…

    • bh0673 - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:20 AM

      MAtt at least the guys on TBS aren’t as bad as Buck and McCarver

  6. drewsylvania - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    More Buck/McCarver. /hangingself

    • thebadguyswon - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Who actually watches the Fox games on Saturdays anyway? Those are the games you go outside and do something else. Watch on the weekdays and avoid Fox all year. (except for the playoffs, unfortunately)

      • drewsylvania - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Agreed. I almost never watch Fox, but the playoffs force me to watch there.

      • bh0673 - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:23 AM

        that is the problem we have to have those two idiots do the play by play through the playoffs and world series which ruins it. I only watch a Saturday game if the weather sucks even a Saturday night game is tough to catch as much as I want to watch I can’t sit home on a Saturday night just to watch a game.

  7. blues1988 - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    do we know the times of the upcoming wild card play in games on Friday? i assume it’ll be something like one game at 6 and one game at 9, but i haven’t been able to find any solid concrete answers online. if anyone could help me that would be great!

    • mazblast - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      If the Yankees are playing, you know they’ll be in the late game. Heaven forbid they should have to play in daylight.

      • thebadguyswon - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        God only wants to watch them at night….he’s busy in the daytime.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      AL around 5:00 P.M. (ET) & NL around 8:00 P.M. (ET).

  8. randygnyc - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I hate’s blackout policies, although I understand them.

    • vallewho - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      yeah. Me too…but a step in the right direction as noted with the Saturday games on FOX. Unfortunately, people will continue to get screwed over until 2021. MLB simply does not care about the average fan. As long as they get their $$$ up front, all is well in their world.

  9. stex52 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    It’s incredible to me the amount of money each MLB franchise will be bringing in. 12.4 billion$ over eight years for 30 teams? Roughly 50 MM$ per team per year. I assume the front office absorbs a chunk and there are costs involved in showing the games. Still, you guess 45-50 MM$/yr for that.
    Now look at the Astros; worst team in MLB.
    Next year they start a new private network with the basketball Rockets that has rights fees of 80 MM$/yr and a 45% equity stake. Assume they get back to a poor, but improved 2.5 MM customers, at $50 each for tickets and concessions (undoubtedly low). So far you are at about 260 MM$/yr in receipts, without a dime for merchandise or the advertising revenues off of the equity stake.

    Right now, they probably have to pick up about 10 MM$ in terminated contracts (not sure) and 20-25 MM$ in salaries for 2013. Now do we all understand why rich guys are so eager to own franchises?

  10. foreverchipper10 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Let’s be real here. There will be no “extra spending” for the Braves. The new deal will only increase their profit which Liberty will put in their pocket. Bastards.

    • The Rabbit - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Yeah they are…but why should they be different than an other corporation?
      Wall Street runs the US economy on its assessment of a company’s shareholder equity and profit growth. Until the sheeple stop thinking greed is good, this won’t change.

  11. zidanevalor - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Wait, I’m confused.

    So baseball isn’t dying?

  12. moogro - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    The terrible national broadcasters like Joe Buck do so much to ruin the game of baseball. When you listen from the other room, the timbre and idiocy are hard to distinguish from an NFL broadcast. Maybe that’s the point. When you channel surf between these irritating clowns and Vin Scully, it’s almost like watching two different sports.

  13. johngaltx - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    I just hope they all keep, no, increase, the swooshing sound effects they use with every replay. And don’t forget the bright sparkly flashes that drill into my skull after a super-slo-mo (Fox-mo!) replay. Since they replay every pitch at least once and every hit at least three times, by the end of a game I figure I have been swooshed or driven to near epileptic fits nearly 2000 times. Keep up the good work Fox and friends.

    Maybe I will just stick to the old AM radio—-but no, the games are on FM now!!!!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      “by the end of a game I figure I have been swooshed or driven to near epileptic fits nearly 2000 times.” Hahaha!
      You should know it is a very good thing (for you)…that I am NOT next to you with a strobe light.
      Cause’ if I was…I would be holding it in your face.

  14. stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    For me personally…I find zero interest in this. Unless this means FoxSportsMidwest will NOT be blacking out the Cardinals games in Central Indiana.
    If they are still blacked out…and I continue to be force fed the sorry ass Redlegs games…then it has zero interest for me. So…still gonna’ be blacked out huh?

  15. metalhead65 - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    I am a reds fan and refuse to watch network games because of those restrictions. all week they advertise the reds game then when it comes game time I get the cubs or cardinals or lately they have decided that northern Indiana is tiger country. unless it is the espn game of the week then forget it I am not watching.

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