Sports Marketing: ESPN secures MLB Right Extension until 2021
ESPN and Major League Baseball have reached an eight-year, multiplatform rights extension which will enhance ESPN’s TV, digital, radio and International MLB rights. The agreement – effective 2014 through 2021 – was announced today by MLB Commissioner Allan H. Selig and ESPN President John Skipper.
The agreement is highlighted by the addition of an annual Wild Card playoff game, the rights to hundreds of additional hours of MLB studio programming, 10 additional regular-season games, increased footage and highlights rights across platforms, increased ability to co-exist in local team markets and added content across digital platforms and WatchESPN. In addition, rights across ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, and ESPN International.
ESPN’s expanded MLB package will include the following additional rights:
• The addition of an annual Wild Card game presented by Budweiser, which will alternate between AL and NL each year;
• The rights to produce a significant amount of additional Baseball Tonight hours;
• The rights to all regular-season tiebreaker games - if necessary;
• In-progress highlights during SportsCenter;
• 10 additional regular-season games per season, including four Pennant Chase games in late September and up to six Holiday games across Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day;
• New and increased co-exist rights on Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball;
• The rights to produce a new, daily baseball studio show;
MLB Commissioner Allan H. Selig said that “On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am thrilled that we will continue our long-standing relationship with ESPN far into the future. The level of ESPN’s commitment to baseball – both financially and through its expanded content – is a testament to the strength of our game and its unprecedented popularity among our fans. Through its various networks and other media platforms, ESPN offers baseball fans more avenues to experience the game than ever before, and we’re thankful for their continued support.”
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