OTT streamers seem to be waiting until the last minute, or maybe not at all, to hammer out deals.
ESPN and Major League Baseball are closing in on a TV deal that would provide the network exclusive rights to the first round of the playoffs. Now all that is needed is a first round of the playoffs. That needs to be negotiated between MLB and the Players Association, which is to say that, while an ESPN-MLB deal is close, they are still far from knowing when — and even if — there will be playoffs expanded from 10 to likely 14 teams to include a best-of-three first round.
Could changes to telecasts made during the coronavirus pandemic become permanent?
The heavens opened up on Major League Baseball’s opening day in more ways than one Thursday night. With Biblical rain coming down on National Park, the long-awaited and coronavirus-delayed face-off between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals was cut short. However, if the record-breaking viewership on ESPN is any indication, fan fervor in a live sports-deprived America was hot and heavy.
Pent-up demand for sports is translating into major advertising bucks, according to Fox, which is kicking off baseball season with its first-ever-triple header on Saturday. The advertising inventory for the nine-hour block of games is sold out, according to Fox’s head of sports sales, Seth Winter.
The World Series champion Washington Nationals have shut down their spring training after just three days, and their players and front office are questioning the wisdom of baseball’s return to play. In a statement Monday, GM Mike Rizzo said the team canceled its morning workout due to a delay in receiving test results from Major League Baseball’s lab. The Houston Astros, the Nationals’ opponent in last year’s World Series, also canceled workouts on Monday after test delays.
The bitter, months-long negotiation between Major League Baseball and its players’ union effectively ended Monday night when the union’s executive board voted to reject the owners’ last offer of a 60-game regular season and expanded postseason, and MLB responded by saying it intended to exercise its power to implement a 2020 schedule — which it will attempt to shoehorn into a dwindling calendar amid a global pandemic.
MLB rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game regular season with no additional salary cuts, and will turn its attention to a shortened slate of perhaps 50 games or fewer.
The Walt Disney-owned sports-media giant, scrambling to fill its programming grid as most major U.S. sports leagues have suspended play, said it had struck a deal with Eclat Media Group to show six live 2020 regular-season games per week from the KBO League, South Korea’s baseball organization. One game will air each day, Tuesday through Sunday, generally on ESPN2 and on the ESPN App — but the telecasts will air in wee-morning hours, owing to the time difference between the U.S. and South Korean.
Major League Baseball’s delay of opening day could last another two months after commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday the league will follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s coronavirus guidance issued Sunday to restrict events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. This new timeline will push the season openers into May at the earliest; originally, the first games were scheduled for March 26.
Major League Baseball is discovering the upside of streaming and moving away from a pay-TV-focused model, according to some league insiders. The prospect for change is happening because MLB’s current contract with 22 Fox regional sports networks expires at year-end. As part of that deal, each RSN pays the league $2 million for those streaming rights. MLB is said to favor a plan to transfer in-market streaming rights from the league to individual teams.
NEW YORK (AP) — It’s a little easier to watch baseball online this year, though no one would call it safe at home quite yet. Major League Baseball has broadcast games over the Internet since 2002, but always with one huge catch: A blackout on all local team games – both home and away. That […]
Time Warner Cable is expected to shoulder the burden of its bad deal to acquire TV rights to Los Angeles Dodgers games by writing down the value of the asset by up to $1 billion, sources say. Time Warner Cable and Dodgers fans are facing a second season of silence from West Coast TV distributors who, so far, are balking at the price for carrying Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA, which carries the Dodgers games exclusively.
The ABC O&O to become first network-owned station in Chicago to pick up game broadcast rights in the 68-year Chicago Cubs TV broadcast history.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Comcast SportsNet have agreed to a massive 25-year contract worth more than $2.5 billion that will provide Comcast SportsNet with invaluable live summer programming and the Phillies with another substantial revenue source.
As bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers enters its final innings, News Corp’s Fox sports unit and Time Warner Cable are headed toward what could be a multi-billion dollar showdown over the rights to telecast the franchise’s baseball games.
SEATTLE (AP) – For 34 seasons, Dave Niehaus narrated baseball in the Pacific Northwest. The golden Midwestern tones and trademark “My Oh My” and “It will fly away” tags of Seattle’s first baseball icon were silenced Wednesday. Niehaus, who called the first pitch in Seattle Mariners history and described more than three decades of occasionally […]