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Tuesday Night Baseball is the de facto branding used for nationally televised live game telecasts of Major League Baseball games on Tuesday evenings during the regular season. Up until the 2021 season, Tuesday night games aired on FS1, ESPN and MLB Network. Beginning with the 2022 season, games will air on TBS, branded as MLB on TBS Tuesday Night.

Because TBS airs only one game on Tuesday nights, MLB Network will often air a second doubleheader game before, or after, the TBS game airs.

History

Prior to 1980

Prior to 1984, only the Major League Baseball All Star Game aired on consistently on Tuesday nights. The only nationally regular season game aired on a Tuesday was by ABC in 1954.

NBC (1980, 1982–1983, 1987–1989)

Under the initial agreement with ABC, NBC, and Major League Baseball (19761979), the two networks paid a combined $92.8 million. ABC paid $12.5 million per year to show 16 Monday night games in 1976, 18 in the next three years, plus half the postseason (the League Championship Series in even numbered years and World Series in odd numbered years). NBC paid $10.7 million per year to show 25 Saturday Games of the Week and the other half of the postseason (the League Championship Series in odd numbered years and World Series in even numbered years).

On April 7, 1983, Major League Baseball agreed to terms with ABC and NBC on a six-year television package, worth $1.2 billion. The two networks would continue to alternate coverage of the playoffs (ABC in even-numbered years and NBC in odd-numbered years), World Series (ABC would televise the World Series in odd-numbered years and NBC in even-numbered years) and All-Star Game (ABC would televise the All-Star Game in even-numbered years and NBC in odd-numbered years) through the 1989 season, with each of the 26 clubs receiving $7 million per year in return (even if no fans showed up). This was a substantial increase over the last package, in which each club was being paid $1.9 million per year. ABC contributed $575 million for the rights to televise prime time and Sunday afternoon regular season games and NBC paid $550 million for the rights to broadcast 30 Saturday afternoon games.[1]

NBC also would normally televise two prime time games during the regular season (not including All-Star Games). Generally, NBC would broadcast at least one game (per season) on a Tuesday.

ESPN (consistently: 1990–1993, select games: 1995, 1997–2021)

On January 5, 1989, Major League Baseball signed a $400 million deal with ESPN, who would show over 175 games beginning in 1990. For the next four years, ESPN would televise six games a week (Sunday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball and doubleheaders on Tuesdays and Fridays), as well as multiple games on Opening Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

Since the end of that contract ESPN has not officially aired a full slate of Tuesday night games but has consistently aired several games per year since 1997. With Turner Sports gaining the exclusive rights to MLB games on Tuesday nights, it is not clear if Tuesday night ESPN games will continue.

2021 schedule

Date Matchup Network
April 6, 2021, 7:00PM Mets Phillies ESPN
April 13, 2021, 7:00PM Phillies Mets
April 13, 2021, 9:30PM Reds Giants ESPN2/ESPN (JIP)
April 20, 2021, 7:30PM Mets Cubs ESPN
April 27, 2021, 7:00PM Red Sox Mets
May 4, 2021, 7:00PM Astros Yankees
May 11, 2021, 7:00PM Yankees Rays
May 18, 2021, 8:00PM Yankees Rangers
June 15, 2021, 7:00PM Cubs Mets
June 29, 2021, 10:00PM Giants Dodgers ESPN2/ESPN (JIP)
July 6, 2021, 10:00PM Yankees Mariners ESPN
August 24, 2021, 10:00PM Dodgers Padres
September 21, 2021, 7:00PM Red Sox Rays
September 28, 2021, 10:00PM Padres Dodgers

Fox Sports

FX (1997–1998)

In 1997, FX obtained the partial pay-TV rights to Major League Baseball games; while most game telecasts aired on Monday nights or Saturday nights, 11 games in 1997 and 1 game in 1998 aired on Tuesdays.

Fox Broadcasting Company (All–Star Game: 1997, 1999, 2001–2019, 2021–present) (regular season: 1998)

Main article: Major League Baseball on Fox

While usually airing MLB on Saturday nights Fox aired one Tuesday Night Baseball game in 1998, a game where Mark McGwire hit his record-breaking 62nd home run of the season, which earned a 14.5 rating share for Fox, and remains the network's highest-rated regular season Major League Baseball telecast to this day. In 1997, 1999, and every year since 2001 (with the exception of 2020, when the MLB All Star Game was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic) Fox has aired the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on the second Tuesday of July.

FS1 (2014–present)

Main article: Major League Baseball on FS1

While not weekly, FS1 has aired baseball on Tuesday nights occasionally since 2014. The games include:

Schedule
Year Date Matchup
2014 April 8, 2014, 8PM Reds Cardinals
July 29, 2014, 8PM Yankees Rangers
August 26, 2014, 8PM Twins Royals
2015 June 23, 2015, 7PM Cardinals Marlins
July 28, 2015, 8PM Yankees Rangers
2016 April 26, 2016, 9:30PM Cardinals Diamondbacks
August 6, 2016, 7:00PM Cardinals Reds
2017 May 9, 2017, 7:00PM Yankees Reds
August 1, 2017, 10:00PM Twins Padres
August 8, 2017, 8:00PM Cardinals Royals
August 15, 2017, 8:00PM Tigers Rangers
2018 April 17, 2018, 7:00PM Indians Twins
May 15, 2018, 8:00PM Cardinals Twins
June 5, 2018, 8:00PM Marlins Cardinals
June 26, 2018, 7:00PM Diamondbacks Marlins
July 10, 2018, 8:00PM Royals Twins
September 4, 2018, 8:00PM Angels Rangers
2019 August 27, 2019, 10:00PM Rangers Angels
2020 July 28, 2020, 9:00PM Dodgers Astros
August 11, 2020, 7:00PM White Sox Tigers
August 18, 2020, 8:00PM Cardinals Cubs
August 25, 2020, 6:30PM Orioles Rays
August 25, 2020, 9:30PM Dodgers Giants
September 1, 2020, 6:30PM Blue Jays Marlins
September 8, 2020, 7:30PM Red Sox Phillies
September 15, 2020, 8:30PM Athletics Rockies
September 22, 2020, 9:00PM Rangers Diamondbacks
2021 May 25, 2021, 8:00PM Dodgers Astros
June 1, 2021, 6:00PM White Sox Indians
June 8, 2021, 7:00PM Nationals Rays
August 31, 2021, 9:30PM Brewers Giants
September 7, 2021, 6:30PM Mets Marlins
September 14, 2021, 7:30PM Indians Twins
September 21, 2021, 10:00PM Giants Padres
September 28, 2021, 7:00PM Phillies Braves

MLB Network Showcase (2009–present)

Main article: MLB Network Showcase

On April 9, 2009, MLB Network aired its first ever self-produced live baseball telecast. The network typically produces 26 non-exclusive live games a year during the regular season; since one or both teams' local TV rights holders also carry the games, the MLB Network feed is subject to local blackouts. In that event, the cities in the blacked-out markets will instead see a simulcast of another scheduled game via one team's local TV rights holder.

MLB on TBS Tuesdays (2022–present)

Main article: Major League Baseball on TBS

Prior to 2022, during the regular season, TBS broadcast a weekly game nationally on Sunday afternoons, under the title Sunday MLB on TBS. These games were not exclusive to TBS and were blacked out in local markets, to protect the stations that hold the local broadcast rights to the games. In the affected areas, simulcasts of programming from sister network HLN aired in place of the games.[2]

On September 24, 2020, it was announced that Turner Sports had renewed its baseball rights through 2028 (aligned with the conclusion of Fox's most recent extension). However instead of a package of Sunday afternoon games the contract includes primetime games on Tuesday nights throughout the regular season.[3][4][5]

The program includes a 30-minute studio show before and after each game.[6]

References

  1. ^ "Searchable Network TV Broadcasts – NBC Sports (1980s)". rec.sport.baseball.
  2. ^ Fang, Ken (October 25, 2016). "DOES THE MLB ON TBS PACKAGE REALLY BENEFIT FANS AND VIEWERS?". Awful Announcing.
  3. ^ "Turner Sports, MLB officially agree to new seven-year media rights deal Turner Sports, MLB officially agree to new seven-year media rights deal". Awful Announcing. 2020-09-24. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  4. ^ Hayes, Dade (September 24, 2020). "WarnerMedia, Major League Baseball Reach 7-Year Rights Extension At Reported $3.75B; Will HBO Max Benefit?". Deadline.
  5. ^ Marchand, Andrew (September 24, 2020). "MLB's new $3.75 billion deal with Turner includes big changes". New York Post.
  6. ^ "New MLB on TBS Tuesday Night Season-Long Live Franchise to Debut with NL West Clash – San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants – Tuesday, April 12, at 9:30 p.m. ET". Turner Sports. March 21, 2022.