When MLB and the MLBPA announced that there would be a change to the Wild Card format with the addition of two new teams, one of the questions that surfaced was, who would air the games? Today, that was answered.
Major League Baseball and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. announced that TBS will exclusively televise the American League and National League Wild Card games in 2012 and 2013. The new Postseason format will feature the two Wild Card teams in the American League and National League playing in a single-elimination game with each winner advancing to compete with the three division champions from its League in the Division Series. MLB also announced that two Division Series games in each of the 2012 and 2013 Postseasons will shift from TBS to MLB Network.
While financial terms were not disclosed, the additional postseason games being aired provides yet another new revenue stream for baseball.
To add, TBS will also continue to televise any necessary regular season tie-breaker games. The network has recently aired three memorable regular season tie-breakers, including Padres vs. Rockies in 2007, Twins vs. White Sox in 2008, and Tigers vs. Twins in 2009.
In a landmark moment for the league-owned MLB Network, it was also announced that MLBN will exclusively televise two Division Series games in each of the next two years, marking the first time MLB Network will air live Postseason games.
“The new format will create two compelling Wild Card match-ups for fans that will begin our Postseason with unprecedented pressure and implications,” said Commissioner Selig. “We are confident that TBS will provide outstanding coverage and promotion of the games. I am also very pleased that this arrangement allows for MLB Network to air Postseason games for the first time. MLB Network has done a remarkable job with its live game coverage and I am certain that its extraordinary work will continue as it produces Postseason games.”
“We applaud Major League Baseball on their decision to expand Postseason eligibility and we’re excited to build upon our long-standing partnership with MLB by adding these highly anticipated exclusive Wild Card games to our Postseason coverage on TBS,” said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. “We believe the additional single-elimination Wild Card spots will build upon the popularity of the sport and will serve as a great launching pad for our Division Series and ALCS coverage on TBS.”
The new format this season marks the first amendment to the Postseason since MLB utilized the six-division, eight-team Postseason structure for the first time in 1995.
Source: TBS, MLB
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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is 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 (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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