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March 8, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2007 — Major League Baseball announced the launch of the MLB Channel today in connection with its seven-year agreement with DIRECTV to carry the MLB EXTRA INNINGS subscription package of out-of-market games. DIRECTV will be a minority partner in the MLB Channel, and will work with MLB to develop the new network. Scheduled to launch in 2009, the MLB Channel will be the first and only network dedicated to providing baseball programming to MLB fans 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a year-round basis.
Covington & Burling LLP advised MLB on the MLB Channel transaction. Washington corporate lawyers Doug Gibson and Peter Zern led the Covington team, with Andy Friedman in Washington and Rob Heller in New York providing the tax advice.
Covington’s sports law practice is among the most far-reaching and well-regarded in the nation, representing, among others, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and the United States Tennis Association, as well as a number of professional clubs. The practice has received top ranking from Chambers USA in the “Sports Law” category.