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Q&A: MLB Blackouts, TBS and FOX PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 28 February 2008 06:49

TBSLast year saw TBS broadcasting the Division Series and the National League Championship Series (NLCS), as part of a new television agreement with Major League Baseball. This year, TBS gets into regular season baseball broadcasts with “Sunday MLB on TBS”. Here’s a Q&A on TBS and MLB for the upcoming season.

Will TBS only be showing games on Sundays?

No. They also will televising the All-Star Game Selection show, as well as games in the postseason.

There has been talk about TBS broadcasting games on holidays, such as Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day, is that true?

No, but that hasn't stopped the talk of it. As a matter of fact, the MLB on TBS Wikipedia entry has/had, "Additional games are planned for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. These games will not be exclusive to TBS but will be blacked out in local markets (an alternate game is currently scheduled to be offered)." We contacted TBS and they informed us that, "TBS will only carry games during the regular season on Sundays, which none of those holidays fall on this year."

What about the postseason?

Last year, TBS had their inaugural run at showing postseason games for MLB, showing the Division Series and NLCS. But, the deal with TBS, also impacted FOX, with MLB setting up alternating years for the two broadcasters.

How are they splitting up the years?

TBS will have the ALCS in 2008, 2010 and 2012, and the NLCS in 2009, 2011 and 2013. As part of another deal reached in 2006, FOX will continue to broadcast the ALCS, in, 2009, 2011 and 2013, and the NLCS, in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

When does FOX’s deal to carry the All-Star Game and World Series end?

FOX’s over-the-air agreement runs to 2013.

Does the deal with TBS impact how games will be blacked out nationally?

Yes. Your EI package is worthless for the majority of the weekend.

Due to Major League Baseball national exclusivities with FOX and TBS, each Saturday until 7:00 PM EST (beginning May 17, 2008 and continuing for remaining Saturdays during the regular season) and each Sunday night (for games that begin after 5:00 PM EST), all scheduled Extra Innings and webcasts of games played within such time period will be blacked out.

What about the Post-Season?

Due to Major League Baseball national exclusivities with both FOX and TBS, during the MLB postseason, if you live within the following nations or territories, Extra Innings and webcasts of all postseason games will be blacked out: United States, Canada, Guam, US Virgin Islands, South Korea and Japan.

Are there plans to address the black out policy at the local level?

Yes, some adjustments will be made to the policy before the 2009 season. Bob DuPuy has said, and MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman has confirmed, that the broadcast territories for the clubs will be tweaked in advance of the MLB Network launch. 


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
 
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