TV Contracts and Broadcasting in Sports

  • Princeton Tigers vs. Columbia Lions

    Princeton Tigers vs. Columbia Lions
    Covered by one camera providing one point of view along the third base line. Was broadcasted by NBC from Columbia's Baker Field to 400 or so sets.
  • First NHL game to be televised

    First NHL game to be televised
    The Montreal Canadiens host the Detroit Red Wings in the first ever NHL television broadcast. The game took place at the Montreal Forum. This monumental event was broadcasted by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation.
  • AFL's first TV contract

    AFL's first TV contract
    The first major contract in football history came in the AFL in 1960. This 5-year contract with ABC distributed income equally to all eight teams in an effort to increase exposure and help all teams survive and prosper. Since the television contract came in the league's first year, their primary goals were to create a fan base and a reputation that would help them compete with the NFL.
  • First Nationwide Baseball broadcasting contract

    First Nationwide Baseball broadcasting contract
    Major League Baseball makes its first venture into television on a nation wide basis with a $12.2 million contract that allowed the American Broadcasting Company the right to broadcast 25 Saturday and two holiday games in both the 1965 and 1966 seasons. The money was to be divided equally among the teams bringing the 18 participating clubs about $300,000 the first year and $325,000 for the second year in addition to the revenue from local telecasts.
  • Monday Night Football

    Monday Night Football
    The premiere of Monday NIght Football debuted in 1970, as an idea to combine entertainment with football to increase interest of fans, and create a strong viewership on ABC. Though the idea was met with some hesitance at first, it has been wildly successful since, and remained on ABC for 36 years before ESPN bought the rights to it.
  • First NBA Contract

    First NBA Contract
    In 1979 the National Basketball Association established rules for national and local television rights for their company. At this same time ESPN was launched and shockingly there were no significant contracts with the NBA till 2002. The only engagement on ESPN with the NBA was the NBA All-Stars verse the Chinese National Army that took place in Shanghai, China. The NBA would be the last of the four major league sports to get a contract with ESPN.
  • Founding of ESPN

    Founding of ESPN
    Conceived by Bill Rasmussen, a television sports reporter for an NBC affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts. The original idea was a cable television network focused on covering sports events in Connecticut. ESPN started with the debut of SportsCenter, hosted by Lee Leonard and George Grande.
    The first score on SportsCenter was from women’s tennis on the final weekend of the US open.
  • Whalers and Capitals face-off in First NHL Broadcast on ESPN

    Whalers and Capitals face-off in First NHL Broadcast on ESPN
    In 1979, at the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, MA, ESPN broadcasted their first NHL hockey game. This would begin a long, "on-and off," partnership between the NHL and ESPN that would not end until 2004.
  • ABC & NBC join Forces to broadcast baseball

    ABC & NBC join Forces to broadcast baseball
    ABC and NBC agreed to a six-year TV package worth a total of $1.2 billion.The networks would alternate coverage of the playoffs, World Series, and All-Star games through 1989.Under this deal, each club would receive $7 million a year.
  • NBA Created a Form of Cable Licensing

    NBA Created a Form of Cable Licensing
    In 1984 the NBA created a form of cable licensing. With the new cable licensing the NBA started to extend their markets by fostering the growth of regional sports networks. This year was very crucial for the expansion of the NBA. The NBA not only became more popular in the United States but it started to expand internationally as well.
  • CBS Purchases Rights to Broadcast MLB Games

    CBS Purchases Rights to Broadcast MLB Games
    CBS paid $1.8 billion for the exclusive rights to broadcast Major League Baseball’s League Championship Series, World Series, and All-Star Game, along with the Saturday Game of the Week. It was the largest deal ever between a broadcasting company and Major League Baseball.MLB commissioner Peter Ueberroth pushed this deal forward
  • ESPN Broadcasts Baseball

    ESPN Broadcasts Baseball
    ESPN also purchased the rights to broadcast baseball on Janurary 5th 1989, with the first broadcast on April 15th 1990. John Miller and Joe Morgan, who would remain with ESPN until November of 2010, called the first game. ESPN restructured their contract in 1996 for $440 million over five years. ESPN 2 started airing baseball in 2000 and had the rights to select Division Playoff series.
  • The Baseball Network

    The Baseball Network
    The biggest obstacle for the network to overcome was the player’s strike that occurred on August 12, 1994, which forced the cancellation of the World Series. In July 1995, ABC and NBC announced that they were going to opt out of their agreement with Major League Baseball. Since there was no labor agreement when the 1995 season began, the networks felt like there could potentially be another strike.
  • Interphase Graphics and Live Audio Streaming

    Interphase Graphics and Live Audio Streaming
    “In 1996 the NBA became the first professional sports league to utilize television interface graphics during game broadcasted on NBC.” They were also the first league to network the statistics of all the NBA athletes. After the globalization of the NBA, the NBA launched the first website where fans could watch live audio streaming of every game. This ended up being the first subscription of sports service ever on the web.
  • The FOX Era

    The FOX Era
    In September of 2000 MLB agreed to a six year $2.5 billion contract with FOX to show Saturday baseball, the All-Star Game, selected Division Series games and exclusive coverage of both League Championship Series and the World Series. FOX would pay the MLB $417 million per year.
  • 2002 "Groundbreaking Television Deal"

    2002 "Groundbreaking Television Deal"
    In 2002 the NBA secured a “groundbreaking television deal with ABC, Turner, and ESPN.” The NBA was also innovative enough to start the instant replay technology for all NBA games. ABC, Turner and ESPN were probably the most popular channels on which to watch professional sports. Also now that the NBA was getting television time on three national television networks their fan base was expanding more. The contract was a six year agreement, which was one of the NBA league’s longest contracts.
  • NBC and NHL agree to unprecedented deal

    NBC and NHL agree to unprecedented deal
    The NHL and NBC came to an agreement that was unheard of in the four major sports leagues. NBC got the rights to broadcast seven regular-season games and six playoff games. NBC would have the exclusive rights to games three through seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Under the agreement, NBC gave no money to the NHL up-front, but instead a revenue sharing method of payment was decided upon.
  • Latest TV contracts in NFL

    Latest TV contracts in NFL
    In April 2005, the league agreed to new deals with CBS and Fox on Sunday afternoon games, NBC on Sunday night games, ESPN on Monday Night Football and DirecTV on the Sunday ticket package. It marked the first time games would be shown on cable television, and the deals also totaled to over $3 billion annually in income for the NFL. The massive amount of income is more than all other major sports, and as viewership continues to increase, the deals are likely to increase again in the near future.
  • ESPN drops the NHL during lockout

    ESPN drops the NHL during lockout
    ESPN declined to match the $135 million dollar bid of Comcast's Oudoor Living Network (OLN). OLN, later known as Versus bought two years of broadcasting rights from the NHL, with a Network option for a third year. It marked the end of a 12-year partnership between the NHL and ESPN