And the winner for baseball’s new Wild Card games is…


At least for the next two years until the new contract kicks in. Not exactly a surprise, given how much of the postseason it airs already, including any tiebreaker games.

What is a minor surprise is that TBS is trading in two Division Series games for this, which will go to MLB Network. What sort of division series games isn’t clear at the moment – will they be early games, or will MLBN take on a similar role to NBA TV and air games TBS doesn’t have the space for, which used to air on TNT? If the latter, given the way the Division Series schedule is laid out now, MLBN would get a Game 1 or 2 and a Game 3 or 4 from the weakest series, but the latter is dependent on two series not ending in sweeps, and the press release doesn’t suggest that the number of games MLBN gets is in any way dependent on the length of series. Are we in for another change to the Division Series schedule, perhaps with the first two games of both series taking place on the same two days? And will local carriers be able to pick up MLBN games, or will they be exclusive broadcasts with fans of the local teams needing to get MLBN to see the games? If the latter, that’s a humongous leap forward for MLBN; these games could be considered completely ignorable otherwise.

Not updating the Sports TV Wars count because it’s basically a gap-filler until the new TV contracts can be penned out in full.

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