The MLB wild card games are a hot commodity this offseason, with as many as four networks vying for the rights to air the two quasi play-in games that take place on Friday, October 5th according to Sports Business Daily. Initially, Turner thought it possessed the rights to air the games since it had aired game 163 playoff games in prior years, but the MLB decided that these games were different, and required a new contract. MLB and Turner had an exclusive negotiating window that closed last week, and there was nary a mention of a deal between the two outlets, which makes me think that the two games are still up for grabs among the networks.
Your four contenders for the games are....
ESPN. Currently airs games nationally on both Wednesday and Sunday nights, with the Sunday game holding an exclusive national blackout window.
FOX. Currently airs games nationally on Saturdays, with an exclusive blackout window. FOX also airs playoff games, possessing half of the LCS games, as well as the entire World Series.
Turner. Currenly airs games nationally on Sunday afternoons, with no national blackout window. Turner also airs the LDS and the other half of LCS games not aired on FOX.
MLB Network. Currently airs games simulcast from other stations on various days, with no blackout window. Also airs a Thursday game of the week with its own broadcast crew.
Looking at each network, there are benefits and flaws to each one. Here are the outlines for each network's pros and cons for airing the games.