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Monday, December 14, 2020

ESPN landing MLB rights to playoff round that doesn’t yet exist

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, The Post has learned.

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.

In the deal between ESPN and MLB, the network would reduce the amount of national games it broadcasts, while increasing the number of marquee matchups.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2020 at 12:42 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: expanded playoffs, television

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   1. bfan Posted: December 14, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5994137)
it is actually a very good idea, if the parties are willing to invest the time to price an item which they may not be able to deliver. The players and owners can now bargain with good information on what the agreement to play an extra round of play-offs is worth to each of them.
   2. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: December 14, 2020 at 09:37 PM (#5994205)
MLB’s hopes for 2021 likely mirror what they want for a new CBA: Seven teams making the playoffs in each league, the top seed getting a first-round bye and the remaining six teams playing a best-of-three to advance to the Division Series along with the top seed.
That's ####### horrible.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2020 at 03:42 AM (#5994234)
14 teams is too many, even if they expand to 32 teams. And the playoff structure is moronic. At least stick to 12, then 4 get a bye and the other 8 play 2 of 3. Even that would reduce the importance of a division title in one division per league but the 14-team structure obliterates it such that the only possible advantage is going to the team with the best record. FWIW, 12 would also work better if they ever have to go back to the 3 regional confernece set-up, taking 2 teams per division.

But of course it's 12-18 games instead of 8-12. Agreed with #1 though, easier for MLB-MLBPA negotiations to have this settled.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: December 15, 2020 at 08:29 AM (#5994246)
Even that would reduce the importance of a division title in one division per league but the 14-team structure obliterates it such that the only possible advantage is going to the team with the best record.


Yes, but think of the excitement when you have a tie for the best record, and teams will have a one-game playoff to determine the team who gets the top seed. Or, better yet, decide this valuable prize through a tiebreaker based on winning percentage against common opponents in the last third of the season.
   5. winnipegwhip Posted: December 15, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5994257)
Yes, but think of the excitement when you have a tie for the best record, and teams will have a one-game playoff to determine the team who gets the top seed. Or, better yet, decide this valuable prize through a tiebreaker based on winning percentage against common opponents in the last third of the season.


I think the playoff rankings should be done NCAA style with a selection committee where they can not just determine participants but also matchups. It is a network's wet dream. Plus the drama of the last weekend.

"Well the committee liked the record of the 88-74 Royals BUT you cannot ignore the series loss to the Tigers with the 59-103 record last weekend. When you consider the Yankees at 83-79 but with quality wins over Tampa and Boston and they got to 83 wins with an injured Aaron Judge for a good part of the season. Now that Judge is healthy I feel the Yankees deserve to be in the playoff and are a competitive team. We just thought the Yankees resume was more impressive."
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 15, 2020 at 10:24 AM (#5994264)
"Well the committee liked the record of the 88-74 Royals BUT you cannot ignore the series loss to the Tigers with the 59-103 record last weekend. When you consider the Yankees at 83-79 but with quality wins over Tampa and Boston and they got to 83 wins with an injured Aaron Judge for a good part of the season. Now that Judge is healthy I feel the Yankees deserve to be in the playoff and are a competitive team. We just thought the Yankees resume was more impressive."
When you put it that way...

[crumples up bracket form and tosses it aside]
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 15, 2020 at 11:00 AM (#5994271)
I think the playoff rankings should be done NCAA style with a selection committee where they can not just determine participants but also matchups. It is a network's wet dream. Plus the drama of the last weekend.


I always thought that the NCAA football playoff should guarantee that each of the Power 5 conference winners gets a spot in the tournament and the committee just picks 1-3 wild cards to fill out the bracket. It would require an extra playoff round, but it would take out some of the subjectivity and make teams feel less cheated. "Your team didn't get picked by the committee? Win your conference next time!"
   8. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: December 15, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5994359)
In the deal between ESPN and MLB, the network would reduce the amount of national games it broadcasts, while increasing the number of marquee matchups.


So in other words, fewer games overall but even more Red Sox-Yankees games.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 15, 2020 at 05:52 PM (#5994368)
Reportedly, MLB is looking to delay the regular season until May, when the players (and some fans) would be vaccinated, leaving a ~ 130-game season. That might still be a significant revenue hit, depending on how soon spectators could be allowed under somewhat normal conditions, but much better than 2020. With the extra playoff TV $$, it could almost pass for normal.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 15, 2020 at 06:13 PM (#5994370)
14 teams is too many, even if they expand to 32 teams. And the playoff structure is moronic. At least stick to 12, then 4 get a bye and the other 8 play 2 of 3. Even that would reduce the importance of a division title in one division per league

Go back to two divisions and the 12 team structure works.
   11. winnipegwhip Posted: December 16, 2020 at 09:27 AM (#5994454)

I always thought that the NCAA football playoff should guarantee that each of the Power 5 conference winners gets a spot in the tournament and the committee just picks 1-3 wild cards to fill out the bracket. It would require an extra playoff round, but it would take out some of the subjectivity and make teams feel less cheated. "Your team didn't get picked by the committee? Win your conference next time!"


Your system would address a lot of the ills of what is going on. If this year's college football season has accomplished anything it is proof that there will never, under any circumstances....be a non-power 5 team in the playoff.

Years back I read a book called "What's Wrong with the BCS" The author proposed a 16 team playoff with each conference champ getting an automatic berth and a few at-large bids. This created a 16 team playoff. The first round was played at the home of the higher seed. That meant the first games were on campus which would create a lot of excitement. The later playoff rounds could be in the bowl games.

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