Pro football (and college football) may have passed baseball by as America's favorite sport, but that does not mean Major League Baseball is going away anytime soon. Just the opposite, in fact.
MLB and its broadcast partners, Fox and Turner, are about to renew their agreement, which includes eight years of broadcast rights valued at nearly $7 billion dollars - that's like 10 beers at a game! That rate is nearly double what MLB got last time the deal was negotiated.
Sports as a whole are very lucrative right now. Every deal that is announced is staggering and dwarfs the last.
I mean, Fox is going to pay about $500 million per year for rights to the World Series and the right to share the League Championship Series. Half a billion dollars for games that, let us be honest, do not draw that terrific of ratings. The NBA Finals on average draw more than the World Series does.
Turner had carried coverage of the League Championship Series exclusively under the old deal.
Some of those games are expected to land on a new Fox national sports channel, tentatively called Fox Sports One, which reportedly will be a re-branding of the existing Speed Channel.
Turner Broadcasting will pay about $2.8 billion under the contract running through 2021, or more than $300 million per year.
Under the new deal, Turner will air 13 games on Sunday afternoons. It had two divisional series under the new contract.
Turner did acquire more digital rights that will help it feed the Bleacher Report, a terrible web site it bought earlier this year.