MLB, ESPN extend new-media deal

Network to stream live games online for the first time

NEW YORK -- ESPN and Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced Thursday that they have extended their new-media rights deal.

Financial terms of the agreement, which run through 2013, weren't announced. The deal will significantly increase ESPN's ability to put MLB content onto any number of platforms and, for the first time, allow ESPN to stream live games and the Home Run Derby telecast on ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV.

The live streamed games available will be "Sunday Night Baseball," "Monday Night Baseball" and "Wednesday Night Baseball." They will appear on ESPN360.com, ESPN's online broadband service that is different than ESPN.com.

Also included in the deal are online and mobile highlights and interactive TV applications. It will also include other platforms like Apple iTunes and Microsoft's Xbox Live.

Marie Donoghue, senior vp business affairs and development at Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN, said that a renegotiated deal was important because the breadth and depth of digital products that ESPN offers have expanded since the last deal was put into place.

"It was a good time for us to redo our deal so we can take the content to additional platforms," Donoghue said.

The deal also includes fantasy baseball and data rights for ESPN's popular GameCast.
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