MUMBAI: US broadcaster Turner Broadcasting System and Major League Baseball have reached an eight-year, media rights extension that will encompass a variety of screens and platforms.
This new agreement builds on MLB’s long-standing relationship with Turner Sports and is highlighted by an extension of TBS’s television rights for the MLB postseason and the addition of co-exist rights for the network’s ’Sunday MLB on TBS’ franchise. The agreement also features TV Everywhere rights and expanded digital rights for Turner’s portfolio.
The extended agreement, effective 2014 through 2021, will guarantee a 45-plus year continuous relationship between Turner and MLB, dating back to 1973 when the company began televising MLB games on WTCG (now TBS).
The partnership represents one of the longest-running relationships between a media company and league in the history of televised sports. The current agreement between MLB and Turner, which started in 2007, will conclude following the 2013 season.
Turner Broadcasting president of sales, distribution and sports David Levy said, "Major League Baseball on TBS has been a staple of our programming foundation and the home to so many memorable baseball moments. This agreement reflects our respect for one another’s business and the mutual regard we have with MLB."
MLB Commissioner Allan H Selig said, "I have often said in recent years that we are living in the golden age of baseball and that the game has never been more popular. But to see the unprecedented commitment these networks have made to televising Major League Baseball for years to come is truly amazing. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am thrilled that we will continue our relationships with both Fox and Turner. Both networks are passionate about baseball and are truly committed to covering, promoting and growing the sport, and I want to thank them for their continued support."
In addition to the television rights, the deal encompasses an expansion of Turner’s digital rights across a spectrum of screens and platforms including mobile, web, tablets and connected devices.
The agreement also includes:
• TV Everywhere rights that will allow TBS to simulcast its MLB games and related programming across Turner platforms.
• Increased footage and highlights rights for Turner websites and applications. This includes Bleacher Report, which Turner Sports acquired in August 2012, and its popular Team Stream app.
• Interactive television rights. This includes the rights to create companion and ancillary products related to the TBS broadcast of regular and postseason games.
"This new agreement adds considerable value to our portfolio of offerings. We’re pleased to extend our relationship with the MLB brand across multiple screens to create an even richer baseball experience for our viewers, advertisers and distribution partners," said Levy.