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Mariners to buy majority interest in ROOT Sports

Update, 12:13 p.m.: The Mariners have announced they’re partnering with Direct TV to form a new regional sports network. According to the press release, the Mariners will own a majority stake. The network will televise Mariners games through the end of the 2030 season.

In a move that should result in a significant increase in future revenue, the Mariners will buy a majority interest in ROOT Sports, a source tells 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard.

The Mariners’ 10-year, $450 million TV deal with ROOT Sports was considered rich when it was signed in 2007, but it pales in comparison to recently-inked contracts like those of division-rivals Los Angeles and Texas.

The Mariners’ deal with ROOT went into effect in 2011 and runs through 2021 but includes an opt-out clause that the team can exercise after the 2015 season. The move to purchase a controlling interest in ROOT Sports gives the team a head start on cashing in on the increasing value of regional sports networks throughout the country.

According to Huard, an announcement is expected within the next few days.

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