MLB agrees to billion-dollar TV rights deal with Turner Sports, per report


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Major League Baseball and the Players Association have yet to find common ground on the financial component that would allow them to play a modified season around the spread of the coronavirus. But that reportedly hasn’t stopped the league from agreeing to terms on a new postseason television deal with Turner Sports that will pay out more than $1 billion.

The exact length and terms of the deal are unknown, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. The agreement will, however, pay more than $1 billion and will allow Turner to continue airing one of the league’s championship series each October.  

Part of the league’s negotiations with the players have seen the owners push for expanded playoffs. It’s unclear if and how that possibility was accounted for in the Turner deal.

News of the agreement between MLB and Turner comes less than 24 hours after the league made its latest proposal to the players. Under that proposal, the players would have played a 72-game regular season while being paid 70 percent of their prorated salaries — or, essentially, the same amount the players would make if they were paid their prorated salaries for 48 games.

That number — 48 — is significant because commissioner Rob Manfred has the ability to force a season of that length if no agreement can be reached between the two sides. If Manfred enacts that option, the players will be paid their full prorated salaries for those games.

There’s no telling what’s likelier — Manfred imposing his powers, or an agreement — but it’s probably fair to write that the owners would prefer to not have had the TV deal leak when it did. Earlier this week, St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt claimed that the baseball industry “isn’t very profitable, to be quite honest.” 





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