No Tigers on Free TV?

The Detroit Tigers may be a cable-only team. Today’s Detroit News reports that the Tigers and UPN outlet WKBD have broken down. The channel aired 25 games last season. If the Tigers cannot find a free TV outlet, that means Fox Sports Net will be the only place to see the Tigers. FSN is contracted to show 110 games this season.

The Hollywood Reporter says Disney is looking to get a break for its NFL contract. Negotations for a new contract have been contentious between Disney and the NFL. The Hollywood Reporter, citing sources, says that Disney is looking to break even on Monday Night Football with the deal potentially reaching more than $600 million/year. The current contract which expires after the upcoming season totals $550 million/year. Disney could retain the cable contract through ESPN by paying considerably more, possibly in the range of $1 billion annually.

If that happens, ESPN would either keep Sunday nights or obtain MNF. Either way, the NFL would promise no cable competition for ESPN with the exception of its own NFL Network. ABC would have to give up its exclusive negotiating rights and allow the NFL to put up Sunday nights for the highest bid. CBS and Fox retain the rights to the AFC and NFC Sunday afternoon games respectively through 2011.

In keeping with the trend of sports leagues signing with satellite radio, Sports Business Journal reports that XM Satellite Radio has signed exclusive rights to the Indy Racing League. Last week, NASCAR announced it was moving its radio broadcasts to Sirius Satellite Radio when its current contract with XM expires.

And the Hollywood Reporter adds that Sirius Satellite is now looking to purchase exclusive local NFL radio rights which would shut out regular radio opening more advertising opportunities for Sirius.

Boston Radio Watch has learned that WEEI will be back on the internet, streaming online. It had stopped three years ago amid copyright issues. Thanks to Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch for the link.

Boston Radio Watch also reports that Dave Jageler, the midday host of 1510 WWZN’s show with Eddie Andelman is leaving that station to join the Steve Hyder as the radio broadcast team for the Pawtucket Red Sox, the minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.