MLB reportedly eyeing own TV channel ESPN.com news services
Major League Baseball is mulling whether to start its own television channel that could begin broadcasting as early as the 2004 World Series, a league executive told Bloomberg News on Monday.
The channel could give MLB bargaining power in future negotiations with ESPN, Fox, and other networks, Bloomberg reports.
"It's obligatory that we examine this option,'' MLB vice president Tim Brosnan told Bloomberg. "Like every good business, we're trying to plan for the future.''
"This is just another way for baseball to slice the pie and get more revenue,'' John Mansell, a sports media analyst with Paul Kagan & Associates, told Bloomberg. "In the long-term, it probably would give them more leverage with network and cable broadcasters.''
Last month, the six-member board of Major League Baseball Properties Inc. discussed the proposal, Brosnan told Bloomberg.
The NBA already has a channel and earlier this month, the NFL announced its channel would begin airing on DirecTV next year.
The channels give the leagues an option to present games if they can't reach agreements with networks.
According to Bloomberg, during the playoffs a baseball channel would probably air pre- and post-game shows because Fox and ESPN have rights to show playoff and World Series games through 2006.
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You guys got Mariano Rivera too? Wickman may have led the league in saves, but he was far from the best closer. Rivera and Huston Street were easily better, and I would have preferred Ryan or K-rod to Wickman.