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MLB completes domestic rights deals worth $6.8bn

North America’s Major League Baseball has agreed new eight-year rights deals, from 2014 to 2021, with US network Fox and cable-television broadcaster Turner Broadcasting System.

The renewals are worth a combined $6.8bn (€5.3bn) in rights fees, or $850m per year, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

The league said its domestic rights income for the US would double in the 2014 to 2021 cycle as a result of the new deals, including a deal with pay-television broadcaster ESPN for the same eight-year period.

Fox has retained rights for the All-Star Game and the season-ending World Series, with coverage of the regular season and playoffs shared across Fox Sports, Turner and league-operated pay-television channel MLB Network.

Fox Sports will double the number of live game broadcasts on Saturday afternoons – from 26 to 52 – with up to 40 of those also available on another national Fox channel. Fox Sports will also show a weekly 30-minute magazine show created by Major League Baseball Productions, the league’s in-house production unit.

Turner has retained rights for one league championship series and two division series per year as well as one of the wild card games. Turner will also be able to broadcast afternoon games on the final 13 Sundays of the regular season.

The new deals include digital rights for exploitation on mobile and online platforms.

The league also said MLB Network had acquired rights for the MLB All-Star Game Selection Show and the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, in addition to two division series games.