MLB & Disney Are Reportedly In Talks For ESPN to Air MLB Games in Some Markets





Baseball on the Infield Chalk Line

Earlier today, Warner Bros. Discovery confirmed that by the end of 2023, its AT&T SportsNet RSNs will shut down. Now The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Major League Baseball has had early talks with ESPN to air MLB games in some markets.

This news also comes as MLB is reportedly considering not renewing some team’s contracts with Bally Sports when they come up for renewal starting as soon as this year.

This news comes as it was reported by CNBC recently that Disney and MLB had talks about MLB becoming a part owner of ESPN. This deal could see local broadcasts be made available through ESPN, but the question is exactly how. Will there be a special feed for in-market games or will this be streamed on ESPN+? At this time, we just don’t know.

Recently during an interview with CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Iger recently said he was open to partnering with other companies to make this ESPN streaming service work. He was even open to possibly selling part of ESPN to a 3rd party.

After that interview, CNBC reported that Disney is in talks with the NFL, NBA, and MLB to have them take joint ownership of ESPN along with Disney. It is very easy to see how MLB could buy into ESPN and use it to broadcast MLB games in some markets.

Disney currently owns 80% of ESPN, and Hearst owns 20%. Disney could easily sell part of ESPN to the NFL, NBA, and MLB and still own a controlling majority of ESPN.

Though the New York Post has said they hear Disney may partner with a tech company to help them launch the ESPN streaming service.

It is important to remember that these talks are still in the early stages. Though at this time it sounds like Disney is considering all options for the future of ESPN including maybe getting into local broadcasts of some MLB teams. Sadly at this time, we do not know which markets may come to ESPN.

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