Main article: Major League Baseball on television On August 28,it was announced that ESPN and Major League Baseball had agreed on a new eight-year sports tv deals that greatly increases the network's studio and game content across all of its platforms. The network will alternate airing the American League and National League wild-card games each year. It also will have the rights to all potential regular-season tiebreaker games starting in Under the new deals, Fox and TBS 's coverage would essentially be the same as in the — contract with the exception of Fox and TBS splitting coverage of the Division Series, which TBS has broadcast exclusively dating back to
The broadcast component is important as league execs believe their best chance for success is having games in front of the biggest possible TV audience.
Spring football efforts in recent years, including the Alliance of American Football, which shut down last month , did not have the majority of their games on broadcast TV. As part of the deal, the nets will sell ads around the game; the XFL will handle sponsorships at the venue.
And that's before you even get to the high profile pre-season friendlies and Champions League qualifying.
The two nets also will cross-promote games during game broadcasts. The XFL worked with the nets to come up with a schedule that will have back-to-back games on Saturday afternoons with two more games on Sundays -- a consistency that league and network execs believe will bring viewers.
It is strategy similar to what the AAF employed this year, when CBS carried its inaugural game the week after carrying the Super Bowl -- a game that generated impressive ratings.
Fox will carry one playoff semifinal, and ESPN will carry the other semifinal, followed by the championship.
The nets will pick the game announcers, but have not yet decided who will call or produce them. League and network execs are optimistic that the XFL will break the mold of previous spring leagues.
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