The latest happenings from around the world of sports

Business highlights from around the world of sports on television, video and the Internet.
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ESPN, Major League Baseball sign rights agreement
ESPN and Major League Baseball have reached an eight-year, $2.4 billion deal granting the network rights to for up to 80 regular-season telecasts.

The sweeping agreement lifts blackout restrictions, grants the network up to five appearances per team per year on the exclusive “Sunday Night Baseball” series, and the continued right to do in-progress highlights and live cut-ins during daily “Baseball Tonight” programs. The new agreement runs through 2013.

Verizon, LG Electronics invite customers to register for multimedia phone
In a sign that may point to a high demand for streaming sports, news and other information to handsets, Verizon Wireless and LG Electronics have asked customers to register for new LG VX9800 multimedia handsets before their official introduction next month.

For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.

ABC Sports, ESPN help NFL raise Katrina relief funds
ABC Sports and ESPN joined the National Football League (NFL) on Monday evening to raise $5 million in pledges during a six-and-a-half-hour telethon for recovery and rebuilding in the Gulf Coast region.

The fundraising event was televised during an NFL “Monday Night Football” primetime doubleheader on both networks. Donations from the telethon go to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund (www.bushclintonkatrinafund.org).

NBC Sports garners 11th Emmy this year
NBC Sports' Bucky Gunts has won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Director of a Variety, Music or Comedy Program for his direction of the Opening Ceremony of the Athens Summer Games. Gunts' Primetime Emmy brings NBC Sports' Emmy total this year to 11.

Verizon FiOS TV to offer 12 Disney and ESPN networks
Verizon and Walt Disney have entered into a long-term, wide-ranging programming agreement for multiple Disney and ESPN networks and services.

Under the agreement, Verizon will carry 12 television services on Verizon FiOS TV's expanded basic, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPNU and ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD.

Verizon will also be granted retransmission consent of ABC's owned and operated television stations.

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