sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Major league shake-up in postseason baseball telecasts……

Fox announced yesterday that it would likely carry only one League Championship Series in 2007, slashing its annual rights fee from $417 million to $257 million.

The reason? Fox is tired of having to delay its fall primetime lineup to televise baseball:

“Fox’s new deal is a reflection of its growing success in prime time, where the network has finished No. 1 the last two seasons among adults 18 to 49. It shed the division series, and at best, will have a part of the other L.C.S., giving Fox’s prime time more nights to showcase its fall season.”

Who would televise the other LCS? TBS, home of the Braves:

“TBS, the onetime superstation created by Ted Turner, might swoop in to buy the second L.C.S., the first time that one of baseball’s semifinals would not appear on broadcast television, but negotiations have not ended.”

Here’s the future, baseball fans:

“With more postseason games going to cable and the prospect of an L.C.S. leaving broadcast television, baseball appears to be following the model of the National Basketball Association, which increased its rights fees by shifting more of its games to cable in 2002. Cable networks like ESPN and TNT, which share N.B.A. rights, have revenue streams from cable subscribers and advertisers, giving them a major advantage over ad-supported broadcasters.”

Is it possible that, one day, the World Series will be not televised by a major network?


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