On November 7, 1995, Fox was awarded partial broadcast rights to Major League Baseball games, in a shared deal with NBC (which had carried the league's telecasts since 1947). Through the deal, which Fox paid a fraction of the amount ($115 million) that CBS paid to obtain the rights effective with the 1990 season, Fox would broadcast approximately 16 regular season Saturday afternoon games per season (unlike the previous Baseball Network deal between NBC and ABC) and offered different game broadcasts shown on a regionalized basis (usually up to three per week). As part of a six-year renewal of this deal – valued at $2.5 billion – in September 2000, Fox Sports became the exclusive over-the-air broadcaster of Major League Baseball, giving it the exclusive rights to the World Series beginning with the 2000 edition, as well as rights to the All-Star Game, select Division Series games and exclusive coverage of the League Championship Series. Under a clause in the contract (which has not been exercised as there has not been a labor dispute during the term of rights while Fox Sports has held the contract), if some of the scheduled games were cancelled by a strike or lockout, Fox would still pay Major League Baseball for a full slate of annual games, while the league in turn had to compensate Fox with additional telecasts.
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Starting with the 2010 National League Championship Series, Fox began using its football theme music for its Major League Baseball broadcasts, to the confusion and dismay of some viewers. Division president Eric Shanks gave a rationale for the change, stating that the NFL theme music was more energetic than the previous theme; Shanks then announced that the NFL theme would be used for all Fox Sports telecasts going forward.
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During baseball broadcasts, the entire banner would flash, with the words "HOME RUN" and the team's name in the team's color zooming in to the center from both left and right. In late 2005, a new white banner resembling a chrome finish was introduced, and the team abbreviations became rendered in white letters in the team's main color; the new banner would then be expanded to NFL and NASCAR broadcasts. The baseball broadcasts continued to use the 2001 scoring banners and graphics in 2004 until the network's coverage of that year's postseason.
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