The new deal also slams the door on any loose talk that a Google or Facebook would muscle in on this particular sports-rights package, inasmuch as the 2022-2028 pact provides Fox with beefed-up streaming, social media and highlight rights.
Major League Baseball also signed off on a new television deal with Fox. Once the new deal goes live in spring 2022, Fox will be granted an undisclosed boost in regular-season and postseason games. The deal joins others set recently by Fox for wrestling, boxing and the National Football League as the company reinforces Fox's live programming focus ahead of the close of the $71.3 billion merger with Disney. Sports Business Journal reported that the new contract marks an "annual percentage increase well into double digits" over Fox's current deal, where it pays $525 million annually.
What exactly this means for cord cutters is still unknown, but hopefully, this means FOX's 52 regular season games and the World Series will become more friendly to streaming.
MLB Network will continue to hold the rights to two games from the League's Division Series that Fox is also airing. "This significant multi-year agreement not only cements FOX's role as Major League Baseball's number one broadcast partner, it ensures that FOX will remain America's leader in live sports well into the future".
ESPN, the third broadcaster holding Major League Baseball rights, having began televising games in 1990, will still show up to 90 regular fixtures per season as part of an eight-year deal running until 2021.
"FOX Sports has been our national television partner for over 20 years and I could not be more pleased to announce the extension of our relationship through the 2028 season", said recently extended commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement announcing the new agreement. TBS airs one Wild Card Game, two Division Series and a League Championship Series.