MLB and WarnerMedia-owned Turner Sports have reached a seven-year media rights extension set to begin in 2022 that keeps the league on TBS through 2028. The deal is for “nearly” $3.75 billion, or $535 million per year, according to the New York Post.
Under the deal, TBS will televise more postseason games than any other network. That will include one wild card game, two division series — alternating between the AL and NL each year — and one league championship series every season.
In 2018, Fox Sports extended its exclusive rights to the World Series and All-Star Game through 2028 in a deal reported to be worth $5.1 billion.
Word is yet to come on ESPN and MLB’s rights deal, which expires this year; though the network will air seven of the eight new first-round playoff series this season.
Under Turner’s new contract, regular season coverage will include a new Tuesday TBS game package with a national game telecast each week. Alongside that, there will also be a studio show anchored by Emmy-winner Ernie Johnson, Hall of Famer Pedro Martinzer, former MLB MVP JImmy Rollins, and three-time All-Star Curtis Granderson.
Rollins retired in 2019 and went on to join NBC Sports Philadelphia as a color commentator. Granderson, who retired in January, previously did color commentary during the 2007 and 2008 postseasons.
The studio team will debut during the upcoming MLB postseason, beginning with the American League Division Series.
The extension also includes increased footage and highlight rights for Turner Sports-owned website and social platforms like Bleacher Report, where Granderson is also slated to make “creative contributions.”
MLB has been notoriously stingy with its highlight rights. In early September, however, the league did introduce “MLB Film Room,” a website that allows fans to create custom highlights reels to share online.
“We’re delighted to extend our long-standing relationship with Major League Baseball and all of the opportunities this agreement offers us as we broaden our coverage of the game across all of our platforms,” WarnerMedia News and Sports Chairman Jeff Zucker said. “We will continue to further evolve our multiplatform delivery of content with a focus on storytelling and innovation in all forms.”