The networks have agreed to extend their current contracts with Major League Baseball to 2021 at about double what they’re paying now, according to media reports. The deals have not been officially announced. If true, though, it means Fox will pay about $4 billion over eight years for its slate of games that includes the World Series and some League Championship Series matchups that it shares with TBS, according to USA Today. TBS parent Turner will play about $2.8 billion over the eight years. The packages are essentially the same, with TBS giving up some first-round playoff games to Fox and its soon-to-be-rebranded Speed channel, Sports Business Daily reports. The publication also says MLB Network could receive some of those early-round games — the League Divisional Series — from Fox.
The re-ups come after ESPN renewed its deal with MLB last month for a reported $5.6 billion over eight years — also double the current contract — and locks up media rights to the last big marquee U.S. sports league. In all, it puts baseball’s rights at a value of $1.55 billion a year, Sports Business Daily says. NBC and CBS were also in the running for games — NBC to boost content for its nascent NBC Sports Network and CBS in a packaged bid with Turner.