FOX Sports, Major League Baseball reach new multi-year agreement
FOX Sports and Major League Baseball have reached a new multi-year, multiplatform rights agreement expanding the network's television, digital and Spanish-language rights. The agreement was announced today by Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred and Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox Lachlan Murdoch. FOX Sports and FOX Deportes maintain the television rights to MLB's "jewel events, including serving as the exclusive television broadcast partner of the World Series, one League Championship Series, two Division Series and the All-Star Game." The network's League Championship Series and Division Series coverage will remain the same as it's been since 2014, alternating leagues each season. As in previous agreements, MLB Network will continue to have the rights to two games from the League's Division Series that FOX is airing. Under terms of the new deal, FOX Sports will also expand its digital rights. Under the new agreement, FOX Sports continues its Saturday regular-season broadcast windows - two per Saturday - with highlights packages as well as MLB-centric programs and Spanish-language rights through FOX Deportes. Beginning in 2022, the amount of regular season and postseason games televised by the FOX broadcast network will increase. Fox agreed to pay at least $5B over the seven-year extension, representing a 36% annual average increase over the existing contract, Bloomberg reported this morning, citing people familiar with the deal.