Fox Sports, Samsung Enable NLCS Custom Broadcasts Via 5G

MLB Wild Card Games Average 1.8M Viewers

ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC averaged 1,836,000 viewers for 16 broadcasts in Major League Baseball’s expanded wild-card round, drawing far more viewers for 16 games but an average down vastly from the single-knockout contests in previous years.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | Pandemic Means New Playbook For Sports Production

New remote production techniques, distributed workflows and onsite safety protocols have dramatically reshaped sports production. As COVID-19 continues to be a threat, sports producers can expect less travel, trucks staying in place and a slowdown of UHD production until the crisis abates.

Turner Expands MLB Deal Through 2028

COMMENTARY

Cursing Surge Torments Baseball, Other Sports

With no fans in the stands, colorful language is getting extra play on the field and on air.

Baseball On TV Has Broadcast Workers Worried

Could changes to telecasts made during the coronavirus pandemic become permanent?

NEWS ANALYSIS

Every Sport Has A Coronavirus Plan. MLB’s Lasted Four Days

MLB Calls Emergency Meeting After 14+ Players Contract COVID In First 4 Days

Multiple outlets are reporting that Major League Baseball will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the remainder of the already-truncated 2020 season, after more than a dozen members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19.

Baseball’s Rainy Return Shatters Opening Night Viewership Records On ESPN

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.

Fox Will Fill Empty Baseball Stadiums With Virtual Fans

DAZN Won’t Air MLB Show This Season

The DAZN streaming network won’t air its “MLB ChangeUp” show this season, according to multiple people familiar with the decision. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly on the matter. The show debuted at the start of baseball season last year and was […]

Baseball’s Return Helps Fox Reel In A ‘Tsunami’ Of Advertising Dollars

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.

Baseball Advertisers Get Ready For Big New Swing

Baseball advertising appears to have pivoted from a months-long slump to hitting above average. Fox Corp. has sold more than 90% of its ad inventory in its share of games in Major League Baseball’s pandemic-truncated 2020 season, as well as all the ad berths in its planned broadcast of four games slated to air this Saturday on Fox Broadcasting and Fox Sports 1. Meanwhile,  Home Team Sports, the Fox-owned unit that sells ad time on 44 regional sports networks, is trying to accommodate a new rush of advertisers trying to get time in local broadcasts.

Baseball’s Return Could Be In Peril

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.

MLB To Restart With No Deal In Place

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.

Report: 24% Of Fans May Cut Cable If MLB Canceled

As the nation begins to reopen after months of shutdown, both the NBA and NHL have made definitive plans to resume their respective seasons. However, baseball fans are still holding their breath as the MLB seems to be struggling to get things going. A survey by research firm Mindnet Analytics examined how fans view the uncertainty surrounding the MLB return.

MLB, Turner Sports Close To Rights Renewal

Major League Baseball has agreed to broad terms on a new rights deal with Turner Sports at around a 40% average annual increase, sources said. Nothing has been signed formally, but this new deal will see Turner pay an average of around $470 million per year from 2022 through 2028 for a rough total of $3.29 billion. Its expiration will sync with a Fox deal signed in November 2018. Turner now pays an average of $325 million a year under an eight-year deal that expires after the 2021 season.

MLB, Players Booted A Golden Opportunity

There will almost certainly be a Major League Baseball season in 2020, a reality that reflects less a strong degree of confidence in MLB and its players’ union striking an economic deal and more an acknowledgment that Commissioner Rob Manfred can essentially impose his will, with some caveats, in the absence of one. Whatever that ends up looking like, it will satisfy almost no one and infuriate many.

MLB Rejects 114-Game Schedule Proposal

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.

MLB, Union Discuss Playing All Games In Arizona

Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area this season and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

MLB.TV Offers Every 2018-19 Game For Free

MLB Extends Delay Of Opening Day

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.

MLB Kills Spring Training, Delays Opening Day

Major League Baseball has delayed opening day by at least two weeks and canceled spring training games as of 4 p.m. ET today in response to the emergency situated created by the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.  made the decision after a call with the league’s 30 clubs and a consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

MLB Demos ‘Ultra Reality Viewing’ Experience During ALDS

Postseason Is Sleepless Season For Diehards

The MLB postseason begins Tuesday night with the National League Wild Card Game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Washington Nationals, and if you are a die-hard fan of those or any other team playing in this year’s postseason, you are about to spend the rest of this month as a member of the walking dead. There’s a simple logic driving the late start times and low TV ratings.

Royals To Be Sold To KC-Based Group

David Glass and his family have agreed to sell the Royals to an ownership group led by Kansas City entrepreneur John Sherman in a deal that is expected to be worth about $1 billion.

UPFRONTS

Fox Locks Up World Series For Next 10 Years

The World Series will air on Fox for the next 10 years, the network announced Monday at its annual upfront presentation. Alongside Alex Rodriguez, postseason regular Joe Buck announced the news to press and advertisers.

YouTube Inks Deal To Stream MLB Games

The 13-game package will stream on the MLB channel on YouTube platforms globally. The games will include pre- and post-game shows, and will be produced by MLB Network.

Malone To Battle MLB Over Fox RSNs

Billionaire media mogul John Malone is cobbling together a team to bid for the Fox-owned regional sports networks being sold by Disney — and his roster will be going head-to-head against Major League Baseball.

MLB May Make Play To Buy Fox RSNs

Major League Baseball is in the running to buy 21 local TV sports networks being sold by Disney, The New York Post reports. The league has teamed up with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to buy all of the networks with the exception of the YES Network, which the Yankees are expected to take hold of, sources said.

ESPN In Talks To Extend MLB Media Rights

According to industry sources close to the situation but who wished to remain anonymous, Disney-owned ESPN is actively in negotiations with Major League Baseball for an extension of its media rights to show live games. The deal would come on the heels of Fox reaching an extension that runs seven years and begins in 2022 for $5.1 billion. ESPN’s current agreement with MLB expires in 2021 and has a total value of $5.6 billion over an eight-year span.

MLB Eyes Giving Teams Streaming Rights

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.

Sunday MLB Games To Be Hour Earlier In 2019

ESPN plans to announce it will move up the starting time of the nationally televised game by one hour, with the first pitch planned for shortly after 7 p.m. ET. The network intends to make the announcement on Monday at the winter meetings, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

MLB Emerges As Suitor For Fox’s RSNs

Add Major League Baseball to the list of 40-plus suitors for 21st Century Fox’s 22 regional sports TV networks for sale by Disney as a condition of clearing its $71.3 billion purchase of Fox.

Nats-Orioles MASN Dispute Could Finally End

Fox Moving Toward $1B World Series Deal

Fox has been broadcasting the World Series since Derek Jeter was a rookie in 1996 — and there is momentum for that to continue. Major League Baseball and Fox are moving toward a new multibillion-dollar deal to extend the network’s longtime hold on the World Series for the foreseeable future.

AL Wild-Card Scores Big Ratings For TBS

The telecast of the New York Yankees’ 7-2 win over the Oakland Athletics was the most-watched program on cable Wednesday night, based on overnight delivery. It reached a peak of 7.5 million viewers, the best for an AL wild-card game ever on TBS. Its average viewership of 6.4 million was up 51% from TBS’s 2016 broadcast of the AL game between Baltimore and Toronto and 45% from last year’s NL game between Arizona and Colorado.

MLB Streaming Arm Sued Over Disney Sale

As Major League Baseball begins a new season, a former executive is calling foul on the organization’s interactive media and internet company. John Dinn Mann claims in a lawsuit that over 17 years he helped build MLB Advanced Media from a “fledgling startup” into a “media juggernaut,” but was shut out of promised profits when the majority of the unit was sold to Walt Disney Co. for $2.6 billion.

DMA 26: BALTIMORE

After 64 Years, No Orioles Games On OTA TV

There will be no lineup of Orioles baseball games on WJZ or any other over-the-air Baltimore TV station this season, the CBS O&O and Orioles confirmed Tuesday. The end to a Baltimore TV tradition that dates to 1954, when the Orioles’ first home game was played on WMAR, is the result of a decision made by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, according to WJZ and the Orioles.

OVERNIGHTS

World Series Ratings Improve With Game 2

The game, which saw the Houston Astros top the L.A. Dodgers in extra innings, is currently averaging a 3.9 rating in adults 18-59 and 14.6 million viewers. Game 1 initially drew a 2.9 and 10.9 million viewers, but eventually adjusted up to a 3.9 and 14.97 million. Game 2 will likely adjust up later today when the final numbers are calculated. Beyond the World Series, it was a fairly steady night on broadcast. (AP photo)