Raising the stakes in its programming battle with rival Sirius Satellite, XM Radio has forged an 11-year, $650 million deal with Major League Baseball.

NEW YORK (Billboard Radio Monitor) -- Raising the stakes in its programming battle with rival Sirius Satellite, XM Radio has forged an 11-year, $650 million deal with Major League Baseball.

Revealed Oct. 20 by MLB commissioner Bud Selig and XM CEO Hugh Panero at a press conference at MLB's New York offices, the pact calls for XM to carry games from every major league team beginning next year.

In addition to broadcasting live games, XM will create a Major League Baseball radio channel featuring original content and classic baseball broadcasts. XM also will broadcast select games in Spanish.

The deal underscores the fierce competition between the two satellite broadcasters to attract premium, subscription-bait programming. In a major coup recently, Sirius announced a five-year deal with Howard Stern valued at $500 million. In the same week, XM began airing bad boys Opie & Anthony, back on air after being exiled from terrestrial radio.

In partnering with Major League Baseball, XM becomes a bigger contender in the sports radio arena, adding to its NASCAR and college sports offerings. Sirius is already airing its first season of National Football League games and is the exclusive satellite radio outlet for the NHL.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print