New York, NY – Major League Baseball and ESPN have reached a new eight-year broadcasting deal.
MLB said the agreement, announced Tuesday, is the largest in league history. It runs from 2014 through 2021 and increases ESPN's annual rights fee 100 percent over current deals.
"Through its various networks and other media platforms, ESPN offers baseball fans more avenues to experience the game than ever before, and we're thankful for their continued support," MLB commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
As part of the deal, ESPN gets an annual wild-card game alternating between the AL and NL each year. It will broadcast Sunday, Monday and Wednesday night games.
ESPN also gets 10 additional regular-season games each season, including four pennant chase games late in the season and as many as six holiday games across Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. It will have the rights to broadcast any regular-season tiebreaker games.
The expanded deal includes upgrades in the network's studio shows and its ESPN Deportes package, including more hours for "Baseball Tonight" and the right to produce a new daily baseball studio show.
ESPN Deportes will broadcast at least 21 Sunday night games, and at least 25 Monday and/or Wednesday night games each season. It will broadcast opening day and holiday games and the Home Run Derby.
"We're thrilled to renew our long-standing agreement with Major League Baseball into the next decade. It's a great property. The enormous scope of what we acquired will provide fans with more live baseball and more ways to access baseball content than ever before," said ESPN president John Skipper in a statement.
MLB and ESPN have had a relationship since 1990, one of the longest between a network and sports league.