Bidders Angle for More MLB

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(from Sports Business Journal, September 3, 2012)

When looking at the top businesses in the world today, one can see the most successful companies are the ones with strongest alliances. Major League Baseball’s alliances over the years with Fox, ESPN, and TBS have helped make them become well known all over the world by their national televised event, which these corporations air on their cable networks. Major League Baseball continues to rise to the top in the sports business world. Their success since the Major League Baseball strike in 1994-1995 comes from the excellent decision made by head executive of the league. By the decisions the top executives made last year, helped them earn top honors, by receiving Sport League of the Year. The MLB now faces more tough decision when deciding what packaging contract they should sign. They want continue their dominance in the sports world, but the league would regret ruining their relationships with the companies who have helped them rise to the top.

Major League Baseball executives started contemplating on merging together the Fox and Turner Packages. Executives can look at the recent merge of Time Warner and AOL to help with their decision, because of the success these two corporations started experiencing. Fox Sports continues to try and impress the MLB with what they can offer. For example, the cable network Speed plays strictly motorsports, but they have offered to play other sports such as professional baseball. By merging these two corporations together, Major League Baseball games will air on multiple cable networks, which will increase the television ratings of baseball. Sources which have been around the negotiation talks have said the deal is intriguing, but it’s not exactly what MLB executives are looking for.

The ESPN Corporation has an offer out which is going to double what they have been paying Major League Baseball over recent years. If this is the case, the combination of Fox and Turner would at least triple the amount they’ve been paying, so they can compete with ESPN. This would make their deal up around $800 million. Executives from Turner Sports have sugar coated their offer, which now includes playing Major League Baseball’s biggest events on CBS. If the deal pans out, this CBS will be dealing with the MLB for the first time in about 20 years. As for now MLB’s executives still are unclear about which package deal they are going to sign, but all the companies remain in the hunt.