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Selig on XM: ‘Best Sports Deal in Next Century’

Selig on XM: 'Best Sports Deal in Next Century'

Stern. Bob Edwards. Opie & Anthony. Football and auto racing. College sports.
Now professional baseball.
The satellite radio companies are lining up big talent and programming to establish their presence as a choice for consumers. Sirius Satellite Radio had the buzz during the NAB Radio Show when it announced Howard Stern is leaving Infinity for the satcaster.
Now, XM Satellite Radio gets its turn in the limelight, landing the right to air Major League Baseball games. XM President/CEO Hugh Panero called it “the crown jewel, the deal we’ve been waiting for.”
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig called the deal with XM to carry games “the best sports deal in the next century.” The $650 million pact covers 11 years.
Panero said reports that it would cost XM $25,000 to air each game were wrong, but he did not offer a different figure, instead referring to the overall price tag. He said XM owes the MLB an initial $10 million, followed by $40 million in 2005 and $60 million in 2006 through 2012.
Selig called the initial payment a “bounty” that would be offered if Major League Baseball clubs set up programs to sign up XM subscribers.
For terrestrial radio, there is no single national contract for the rights to air the games. Individual teams negotiate with individual stations in each market. Unlike when Stern goes to Sirius, with this deal, terrestrial stations wouldn’t lose their baseball games.