Baseball's Long, Hot Summer

Heated battle for sports deal waits as NBC, Turner prepare to face off for MLB's national TV rights

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Negotiations for Major League Baseball’s national TV rights deals are likely to be the knottiest in sports media history, as fundamental pricing agreements will be complicated by a host of thorny issues. Renewed interest from a former network partner and a bifurcated linear/digital rights structure could keep baseball at the table throughout the summer. The only certainty is that the cost of doing business with America’s pastime almost certainly will soar.

MLB’s network partners (Fox, ESPN and Turner) last month saw their respective exclusive negotiating windows slam shut, letting NBC make its first official overture to baseball in more than a decade.



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