Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Monday, July 09, 2012
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. The world was a simpler place when NBC’s last MLB contract expired in 2000 -— for one thing, NBC was the top-rated network on the tube; for another, it had a lot fewer mouths to feed. And while baseball isn’t going to deliver “ER”-type ratings, that’s not really the point. Instead, sources said NBC is looking at a package to shore up its NBC Sports Network.
Can the peacock outwit the fox?