Diamondbacks confirm ‘game-changing’ rights extension

Major League Baseball team the Arizona Diamondbacks has confirmed a lucrative extension to its local rights deal with regional sports network Fox Sports Arizona.

Diamondbacks president and chief executive Derrick Hall did not comment on the terms of the new long-term agreement with the Fox Sports affiliate, but added that it is a “game-changing” deal that will put the team “on par” with a number of its MLB rivals.

The MLB.com website said the new deal runs for more than 15 years and is worth over $1.5bn (€1.3bn). The Diamondbacks’ current deal with Fox Sports Arizona runs through the 2015 season and is said to be worth around $30m per season.

Hall said the team held talks with other potential partners before recommitting to Fox. However, he added: “It made sense for us to remain with Fox. They've been great partners. In fact we believe so much in Fox that we got creative through the process in finding other ways to make this deal more lucrative, to partner with them.”

MLB.com said these creative methods could include an equity stake in Fox Sports Arizona, a similar model engaged in by other MLB teams and their local rights partners.