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ABC blocks baseball play for deal

ABC has put the brakes on Major League Baseball’s plan to quickly sew up new rights deals for the 1996 season and beyond.

Although NBC and ABC earlier said they want out of the Baseball Network, the Alphabet web has sent letters to rival networks insisting that its exclusive negotiating window not be violated.

NBC and ABC have from Aug. 15 until January to ink a renewal pact; if they say no sooner, MLB can begin talks as early as Oct. 9.

ABC appears to be merely exercising contractual rights rather than angling for a new rights deal, but the web wouldn’t elaborate.

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