There is a feeding frenzy happening right now in sports. The current MLB TV contracts are all expiring in 2013 and that leagues TV partners are lining up to get in on the action. Of course paying big money for sports programming is only half the story. The sports media environment has changed, and there are big players sitting around ready to pay big money to air all manners of sports.
So this gets a little complicated, but let’s says that every major free over the air network not only needs programming for their main national networks, but the four big networks also own a sports network of their very own. CBS and NBC are the recently launched their own sports channels joining ABC whose parent company also owns ESPN, and Fox with their collection of regional sports channels.
ESPN ponied up 5.6 billion dollars to keep Sunday night Baseball, and MLB games on Monday and Wednesday nights for eight additional years. Per year they paid more than double what they had been paying and they only thing they gained was one MLB Wild Card playoff game. The rumor was that NBC was ready to add MLB games to both their parent network and their fledgling sports network.
While all the players have NFL deal (we include ABC because of ESPN), they are all vying for additional content to feed the appetite of their viewers. The CBS sports network has inked a deal to televise United Football League games later this fall, and just this week the NBC sports network countered that move by getting a deal to broadcast Canadian Football League games for the rest of the year. In all 14 CFL games will appear on the NBC sports network including playoff games and the 100th annual Grey Cup game.
With four major media companies that all operate at least one (and in two cases several) sports specific networks; the price of televising sports is going up. It is a sellers market out there, and we haven’t even had any word yet on a possible TV deal for the revamped USFL yet.