MLB signs media extension with Fox, lifts Saturday blackouts
In a new national TV deal with FOX, MLB Extra Innings and MLB.tv will no longer black out Saturday out-of-market games. The news was tweeted by the league’s PR department on Tuesday morning:
In new deal w/FOX starting in 2014, no more Saturday blackouts of out of market games for MLB EI & MLB.TV customers—
MLB Public Relations (@MLB_PR) October 02, 2012
The deal comes as part of a new eight-year broadcast rights extension between MLB, Fox and TBS. Together, the deals are worth $6.8 billion, and combined with an ESPN deal signed in August, MLB increased its national TV revenue by more than 100%.
CBS Sports’ Dayn Perry called the blackout lift “woefully belated,” and analysts weighed in on Twitter, explaining what the new policy would mean for fans:
Folks, it's not an entire lifting of the blackout policy, but I'm declaring a national holiday for baseball fans. Thanks, MLB & FOX—
Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) October 02, 2012
Bud Selig spoke at a press conference to announce the new media extension.
MLB press conference has started. Selig: At the end of deal we'll have been with Fox for 25 years and Turner for 48 years.—
John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) October 02, 2012