ESPN, MLBAM Extend Rights Agreement Through 2013

ESPN and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) have reached a digital rights agreement that will extend and expand their current agreement through 2013. The agreement includes rights for ESPN.com, ESPN360.com, ESPN’s mobile initiatives (ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Mobile Publishing, ESPN MVP), content on emerging platforms including video game consoles, interactive television and portable devices (ex: iTunes/iPod, Zune) and syndication of ESPN-licensed content.

The deal also covers all new platforms ESPN creates or develops relationships with through the end of the agreement, and includes digital rights that extend worldwide (except select Asian and Pacific Rim markets). Paired with ESPN and Major League Baseball’s most recent television deal and ESPN’s deal for exclusive U.S. terrestrial radio rights, the combination represents ESPN’s most comprehensive multi-platform collection of baseball rights ever.

“This agreement further solidifies the great relationship we have with Major League Baseball and together with our television deal, allows us to bring the game of baseball to more fans than ever before,” says George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports. “Our goal is always to deliver sports to fans across any platform, and this is yet another agreement that fulfills that strategy.”

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig added, “Major League Baseball is very pleased with this opportunity to enhance our partnership with ESPN. We have a great relationship with ESPN and this new agreement will bring our game to our fans in a variety of new and exciting ways.”

Under the new agreement, ESPN digital media’s coverage of Major League Baseball will include live game streaming, expanded online and mobile highlights, interactive television, interactive online applications, alternative platforms and content syndication.

ESPN also holds television rights for Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball and Baseball Tonight through 2013, and exclusive national terrestrial radio rights through 2010 for regular and post-season games (including the World Series), the Home Run Derby and MLB All Star Game.

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