Major League Baseball and XM Satellite Radio announced an 11-year, $650 million agreement allowing XM to broadcast Major League Baseball (MLB) games, beginning with the 2005 regular season.
XM said it will devote approximately 15 channels to baseball and will air games for every team beginning with spring training. XM will also create a separate MLB radio channel offering original content, baseball news and classic MLB game broadcasts, it said, adding that it will also broadcast games in Spanish.
XM will have rights to use the MLB silhouetted batter logo and the logos of the 30 MLB teams.
XM's president and CEO Hugh Panero and baseball commissioner Bud Selig both proclaimed that radio has played an important role in the history of baseball and is a natural fit for satellite radio. Panero said, “There are over 2,400 games played over seven or eight months and these games are available at different times across the country, basically every time of day. So if you are looking for a breadth of content this it. The sport is reaching heights it has not before.”
Approximately 73 million people attended MLB baseball games this year, said the MLB. Panero said a poll of XM subscribers showed that 15 percent asked for baseball broadcasting.
The deal follows an agreement in August between Sirius and the NFL which allowed Sirius to begin broadcasting NFL games and offer a dedicated 24/7 football channel.