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Channel Listings For MLB Network Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 26 December 2008 23:29

MLB NetworkThe MLB Network launches on Jan. 1 -- less than one week away -- to approximately 50 million households. Many have contacted The Biz of Baseball wondering where they can catch the new 24/7/365 channel when it launches.

Here’s some (not all) channel options in several markets, for those looking for where MLB Network will be broadcasted starting on New Year’s Day (see the comments as more markets are being looked at):

Nationwide (DirecTV is in all locations, Verizon FiOS in select locations):

  • DirecTV (channel 213)
  • Verizon FiOS (channel 86)
Select major markets (may not cover every zip code location)
  • Phoenix area:
    Cox Communications (channel 175)
  • Chicago area:
    Comcast (channel 410)
    RCN (channel 410)
  • San Francisco area:
    Comcast (channel 412)
  • San Diego area:
    Cox Communications (channel 130)
  • Seattle area:
    Comcast (channel 407)
  • Portland area:
    Comcast (channel 419)
  • Denver area:
    Comcast (channel 420)
  • Salt Lake City area:
    Comcast (channel 279)
  • Albuquerque area:
    Comcast (channel 271)
  • El Paso area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel TBD)
  • Austin area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel 423)
  • Dallas area:
    Charter Communications (channel 291)
    Time Warner Cable (channel TBD)
    Verizon FiOS (channel 86)
  • San Antonio area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel 255)
  • Houston area:
    Comcast (channel 108)
    Phonoscope Ltd (channel 103)
  • Lincoln, Nebraska area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel 237)
  • Omaha area:
    Cox Communications (channel 227)
  • Witchata area:
    Cox Communications (channel 263)
  • Kansas City, KS area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel 199)
  • Minneapolis area:
    Comcast (channels 272 and 733)
  • St. Louis area:
    Charter Communications (channel 412)
  • Cincinnati area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel 178)
  • Memphis area:
    Comcast (channel 279)
  • Jackson, MS area:
    Comcast (channel 279)
  • New Orleans area:
    Cox Communications (channel 312)
  • Milwaukee area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel 122)
  • Detroit area:
    Charter Communications (channel 94)
    Comcast (channel 279)
  • Indianapolis area:
    Bright House Networks (channel 124)
  • Columbus, OH area
    Time Warner Cable (channel 413)
  • Cleveland area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel 326)
  • Harrisburg, PA area:
    Comcast (channel 280)
  • Pittsburgh area:
    Comcast (channels 181 and 124)
    Verizon FiOS (channel 86)
  • Allentown area:
    Service Electric Cable TV (channel 30)
  • Philadelphia area:
    Comcast (channel 280)
    Hotwire Communications (channel TBD)
  • Buffalo area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel TBD)
  • Albany, NY area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel TBD)
  • Manchester, NH area:
    Comcast (channels 185 and 269)
  • Providence area:
    Cox Communications (channel 129)
    Verizon FiOS (channel 86)
  • Boston area:
    Comcast (channels 195 and 269)
    RCN (channel 391)
  • Springfield, MA area:
    Comcast (channels 185 and 269)
  • Danbury, CT area:
    Comcast (channel 280)
  • New York, New York area:
    RCN (channel 391)
    Time Warner Cable (channel 174)
  • Edison, NJ area:
    DirecTV (channel 213)
  • Dover, DE area:
    Comcast (channels 185 and 269)
  • Baltimore area:
    Comcast (channel 267)
  • Washington, D.C. area:
    Comcast (channel 280)
    RCN (channel 391)
  • Richmond, VA area:
    Comcast (channel 280)
    Verizon FiOS (channel 86)
  • Hampton, VA area:
    Cox Communications (channel 214)
  • Charlotte area:
    Time Warner Cable (channel TBD)
  • Macon area:
    Cox Communications (channel 339)
  • Jacksonville area:
    Comcast (channel 279)
  • Gainesville area:
    Cox Communications (channel 108)
  • Orlando area:
    Bight House Networks (channel 100)
    Comcast (channel 100)
  • Tampa area:
    Bright House Networks (channel 159)
  • Palm Bay area:
    Bright House Networks (channel 100)
  • Sarasota area:
    Comcast (channel 279)
    Verizon FiOS (channel 86)
  • Jupiter area:
    Comcast (channel 741)
  • Miami area:
    Comcast (channel 279)
  • Key West area:
    Comcast (channel 279)

Use MLB Network’s Zip Code Locator to verify your exact coverage

LISTING OF SOME NOT CARRYING

  • Dish Network/Echostar
  • MDU Communications
  • AT&T U-Verse
  • Stellar Private Cable Systems
  • Intertech Private Cable
  • Cavalier Telephone And TV
  • Watson Cable Company
If you find a company that is NOT CARRYING MLB Network, that is not in our list, please post in the comments

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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Mitch Williams, Greg Amsinger, and Jon Heyman Added to MLB Network Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 26 December 2008 12:58

Mitch Williams

Mitch "The Wild Thing" Williams is coming
to the MLB Network on January 1.

MLB Network announced today that former Major League Baseball pitcher Mitch Williams has joined their on-air personality roster as a Studio Analyst, as well former CBS College Sports veteran Greg Amsinger as a Studio Host. Also, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated and SI.com was officially announced as a “Baseball Insider.”

All three will appear on MLB Tonight, the live, nightly studio show that will be the signature program of the new network, and Hot Stove, a live, nightly off-season studio show, as well as other programming across MLB Network, which will launch on January 1, 2009.

MLB Network will be launching to 50 million households, the largest cable channel launch in history. It will be available on channel 213 on DirecTV, and channel 86 for Verizon FiOS subscribers (other channel selections, such as Cablevision, and Bright House are starting to surface).

Those that register on The Biz of Baseball can login and see a larger carrier listing that was provided at the time MLB Network was announced (NOTE: Registering on The Biz of Baseball means periodic updates on our content will be delivered to your in-box).

 


 

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Subscribe to The Biz of Baseball

Add to GoogleAdd to My Yahoo!

Subscribe in Bloglines


 
Jon Heyman Added to MLB Network Roster Print
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 25 December 2008 21:43

MLB NetworkNeil Best of Newsday is reporting, and we have had it confirmed, that Jon Heyman will be joining the upcoming MLB Network as a reporter in an “insider” capacity.

Heyman was formerly with Newsday, and now covers MLB for SI.com, SNY, and WFAN.

MLB Network will be launching to 50 million households on January 1, the largest cable channel launch in history. It will be available on channel 213 on DirecTV, and channel 86 for Verizon FiOS subscribers (other channel selections, such as Cablevision, and Bright House are starting to surface).

Those that register on The Biz of Baseball can login and see a larger carrier listing that was provided at the time MLB Network was announced (NOTE: Registering on The Biz of Baseball means periodic updates on our content will be delivered to your in-box).

Look for more details of upcoming MLB Network news on Friday.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Subscribe to The Biz of Baseball

Add to GoogleAdd to My Yahoo!

Subscribe in Bloglines


 
Advertisement and Channel Details for MLB Network Surfacing Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 17:22

MLB NetworkOne week from tomorrow, the MLB Network launches to approximately 50 million homes, the largest cable channel launch in history.

The launch also comes during the throws of the worst economic downturn in 80 years, highlighting difficulties that are facing the broadcast industry.

According to a report in this week’s SportsBusiness Journal, MLB Network has been working on attracting advertisers through existing league corporate sponsors, although the network has yet to announce any formal deals. The new network is exploring integrated sponsorship avenues through programming content.

As reported by the SBJ:

“We’re not unique from any other sports entity,” said Bill Morningstar, MLB Network executive vice president of advertising and sales. “We have room to have really significant relationships with our league partners.”

For example, the network could create programming around the All-Star Game’s State Farm Home Run Derby that provides on-screen sponsorship opportunities for the insurance company, from preview shows to highlights from previous years.

The report outlines that this year, more than maybe any year past, landing sponsors in the recession is a difficult task.

“There’s no Christmas for me,” Morningstar said. “This is clearly a challenging, unprecedented time [economically]. What helps me sleep at night is the knowledge that we’re looking to build an asset, not just for 2009, but for decades afterward.”

While sponsorships for MLB Network may be a difficult task early on, the Network does have an advantage that another channel launch may not have: deep subscriber-fee revenues. With the launch reaching 50 million households, MLB Network should be able to weather any early difficulties in filling ad space due to the locked in fees being paid by carriers.

As for carriers, word is beginning to trickle out as to where on your menu you might find the upcoming MLB Network.

  • In the New York area, Cablevision 149 and Cablevision HD Channel 790 is already showing a teaser loop of what the channel will be like.
  • Neil Best of Newsday reports that Verizon FiOS will be broadcasting on Channel 86.
  • Time Warner New York City will be on channels 174 and 783(HD)
  • For DirecTV users, they will be able to find MLB Network on Channel 213 (it is unknown as of publication if this is an HD channel, or not)
  • Those in the Tampa Bay area that have Bright House Networks will be able to get the all-baseball network on Channel 159 for digital users and Channel 744 for HDTV
  • In the New Jersey area (Comcast Of Central NJ II - Somerset), MLB Net can be seen on Channel 280

For those wondering if MLB Network is broadcasting in their area, MLBNetwork.com will shortly have a page in which users can enter their zip code to find all the carriers in your location along with the corresponding channels

NOTE: If you know of a channel not listed here where MLB Network is slated to be shown, please post it in the comments.

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Subscribe to The Biz of Baseball

Add to GoogleAdd to My Yahoo!

Subscribe in Bloglines


 
Barry Larkin Leaving Nationals for MLB Network Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 02:08
Barry Larkin

Barry Larkin, 44, who has spent the last four seasons with the Washington Nationals as a special assistant, is leaving to take a position with the MLB Network, set to launch on Jan. 1. As reported by MLB.com, Larkin was approached by the Nationals with a position within the organization, but declined.

During the final weeks of the 2008 season, however, Larkin was in talks with Bowden about his future with the club. Bowden offered Larkin the first-base coaching job, but Larkin turned it down because of family commitments and business interests outside of baseball. The position eventually went to Marquis Grissom.

"Jim offered me a job, but I needed more flexibility," Larkin said by phone.

The Reds, the team Larkin played for 19 seasons, also offered him a position, but he opted for MLB Network.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Subscribe to The Biz of Baseball

Add to GoogleAdd to My Yahoo!

Subscribe in Bloglines


 
MLB Network to Broadcast Ken Burns' Baseball Print
User Rating: / 12
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 20 December 2008 12:23

Ken Burns BaseballIt has been lauded and panned, but few baseball fans would say that they haven't seen all or parts of it at some stage. Get the DVR and VHS players warmed up, Ken Burns' Baseball is returning to television.

MLB Network will be showing Baseball on Tuesdays starting at 8pm ET. The new network is set to launch in less than 2 weeks on January 1 (BizofBaseball.com is working to get a complete carrier listing, and will post just as soon as it is available).


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB Network to Go After Playoff Games. Regular Season Games Avoid Blackouts Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 18 December 2008 10:30

MLB NetworkMLB Network starts on Jan. 1, but already the fledgling 24/7/365 baseball channel has plans for the future. Playoff games are being considered by MLB Network, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

“We want to be ready to take on anything. Five years from now when those deals come up, we would love to be considered as a viable alternative,” MLB Network president and CEO Tony Pettiti said. “Our distribution would need to grow some, but production-wise and programming-wise we are more than ready for that.”

In other news that will surely please consumers, of the 26 regular season games that MLB Network will broadcast on Thursdays this season, MLB Network will select its games about 10 days before they air, as well as alternate games that will be telecast in the local markets so there are no blackouts.

Another twist to broadcasts comes by way of camera technology. MLB Net says it will have two robotic cameras at every MLB stadium which can be operated from its control room in Secaucus, N.J.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB Network Unveils More January Programming Offerings Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 12:55

MLB NetworkMLB Network announced more programming options for January as the network prepares for its launch on January 1, just 2 weeks from tomorrow.

Here are some program offerings coming for the MLB Network, which will be the largest in cable channel history, reaching 50 million homes on the basic tier.

Special programming in January includes (All times Eastern):

  • Hall of Fame Election (Monday, Jan. 12, 2:00 p.m.)
    The Hall of Fame Election Special will provide live coverage announcing the players who have been voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for the class of 2009 and a prime time special at 9:00 p.m. celebrating the careers of those elected.
  • Pride and Perseverance: The Story Of The Negro Leagues (Monday, Jan. 19, 9:00 p.m.)
    On January 19, MLB Network will pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and air Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues at 9:00 p.m. ET. This one hour documentary, never before aired, is narrated by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.

Other MLB Network prime time programming includes (all times Eastern):

  • Prime 9 (Mondays, 8:00 and 8:30 p.m.):
    This half-hour program breaks down the top nine all-time in a variety of areas in baseball history, such as players at different positions, great comebacks and unbreakable records. The show will premiere on January 5 with All-Time Centerfielders at 8:00 p.m., followed by All-Time Home Runs at 8:30 p.m.
  • Cathedrals of the Game (Mondays, 9:00 and 9:30 p.m.):
    This half-hour show provides behind the scenes footage of the ballparks and spotlights historical moments in some of the cities throughout the nation. The show will premiere on January 5 with Busch Stadium in St. Louis at 9:00p.m., followed by Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia at 9:30p.m.
  • Baseball Seasons (Wednesdays, 8:00 p.m.):
    This series of one hour episodes showcases unforgettable years in baseball history within the context of the culture and society of the time. The show will premiere on January 7 with a focus on 1995.
  • AL and NL Awards Shows (Wednesdays, 9:00 p.m.):
    These new shows will feature spotlights on the 2008 American League and National League MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year award winners, as chosen by the Baseball Writers Association of America. There will also be shows highlights the "Players of the Year" for both leagues.

In addition to these new shows, other weekly prime time programming will include Home Run Derby highlights on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET and World Series highlights on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Weekend programming during the offseason will feature theme days, beginning in January with recent World S eries games. The full prime time schedule is summarized below, and complete program listings are available at www.MLBNetwork.com.

Source: MLB Network


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Day Two of MLB Network to Offer World Series Highlights, "Inside the Moments" Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 15 December 2008 17:40

MLB NetworkWith 17 days to go, the launch of the MLB Network is just about to arrive. While the Jan. 1 has been the focus, given it will be the fledgling net's first day (technically, the “day” doesn’t start until 6pm ET), Day Two of MLB Net will offer increased programming that will be the staple early on in its lifecycle.

Starting at 8am, Hot Stove and the “All-Time Games” show highlighting Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game will start the day, much as it will on Jan. 1, but after that, new programming picks up steam. Here’s the details:

  • 12:30pm ET: Baseball Heaven premiers, covering the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals season.
  • 2:00pm ET: Inside the Moments premiers with the “Aura of the Home Run”
  • 3:00pm ET: Inside the Moments continues with the “Icons of the Game”
  • 4:00pm ET: Inside the Moments continues with the “Unforgettable Feats”
  • 5:00pm ET: Inside the Moments continues with the “Magic on the Mound”
  • 6:00pm ET: Inside the Moments continues with the “Fall Classic Finales”
  • 7:00pm ET: While Jan. 2 started with a repeat of Hot Stove from Jan. 1, at 7pm, Hot Stove Live will run for one hour
  • 8:00pm ET: World Series Highlights premiers with the 2004 World Series matchup between the Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals
  • 9:30pm ET: The premier of Red Sox Memories premiers with Part 1 of a five part series.
  • 10:00pm ET: Repeats of programming throughout the day runs till 11am on Jan. 3rd when the Game 5 clincher for the Phillies of the 2008 NLCS airs till 2pm.

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Report #2: MLB Network Press Conference Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 08 December 2008 17:49

MLB Winter Meetings - Las VegasMonday (2:30pm), Las Vegas

With less than 25 days to go before MLB Network's launch, Tony Pettiti (President, CEO MLB Network), Harold Reynolds (Studio analyst), Trenni Kusnierek (Reporter), Hazel Mae (Reporter) addressed the media regarding the fledgling channel's launch.

The press conference started with a teaser video, narratted by Reynolds, on what to expect with the new network.

While much of the information addressed has been available prior, here is a recap:

  • MLB Network launches at 6pm ET on Jan. 1st with the debut episode of "Hot Stove" followed by the original broadcast of Don Larsen's perfect game in the '56 World Series. Larsen and Yogi Berra will be in-studio discussing the game.
  • During the season, the studio show "MLB Tonight" will run 6pm to 2am, or whenever the last games on the West Coast are completed.
  • Two studios have been created and named after former greats: Studio 3 is named after Babe Ruth, and Studio 42 is named in honor of Jackie Roibinson.
  • Studio 42 will simulate a "ballpark" inside the stadium (See details, here)
  • A new show called "Prime 9" will count down the top nine in a variety of baseball catagories.
  • MLB Network will broadcast 16 WBC games
  • The scoreboard in Studio 42 is 25' in size.
  • The show "30 Teams in 30 Days" will feature reports from spring training.
  • As of December 1, there are 43 multiple system operators carrying MLB Network (see a partial listing here - must be registered and logged in)
  • Studio 3 will be sprinkled with 108 HD displays.
  • There will be 173 seats in Studio 42 in three separate seating areas.
  • In the first year of MLB Network, there will be approximatly 1,400 hours of live content on MLB Network.

In Other News...

As one veteran reporter said to me, "It's God awful this year" in reference to the pace of FA activity here on Monday afternoon.

Next Up... Report from the Trade Show


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Dan Plesac Joins MLB Network On-Air Roster Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 06 December 2008 14:00
Dan PlesacVeteran Comcast Sportsnet Chicago studio analyst and former Major League pitcher Dan Plesac has been added to MLB Network's roster of on-air talent, joining Matt Vasgersian, Al Leiter, Harold Reynolds, Joe Magrane, Trenni Kusnierek and Hazel Mae. Plesac will join the cast of MLB Tonight, the live, nightly studio show that will be the signature program of the new network, and Hot Stove, a live, nightly off-season studio show. All of the on-air personalities will appear on both shows, as well as other programming across MLB Network, which will launch on Jan. 1, 2009, in approximately 50 million homes as the largest network debut in cable history.

"With extensive experience in the Major Leagues and at Comcast SportsNet Chicago to draw upon, Dan's thoughtful analysis will be a great addition to our current roster of on-air talent," said Tony Petitti, President and CEO of MLB Network.

Plesac, who previously served as a studio analyst on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago for the Chicago Cubs live pregame and postgame shows and made weekly appearances on "Chicago Tribune Live" covering the Cubs and White Sox, will now be a part of the MLB Network exclusively. While in the Major Leagues, Plesac was a three-time American League All-Star reliever for the Milwaukee Brewers, participating in the Midsummer Classic each year from 1987-1989. The durable left-hander posted a 3.64 ERA and collected 158 saves in his 18-year Major League career, and his 1,064 games pitched ranks sixth in baseball history. Plesac remains Milwaukee's all-time leader in games pitched (365), saves (133) and earned run average (3.21; min.: 500 IP). He also pitched for the Cubs (1993-94), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1995-96), the Toronto Blue Jays (1997-1999, 2001-2002), the Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2000) and the Philadelphia Phillies (2002-2003). Plesac was the last Phillies pitcher to appear in a game at Veterans Stadium in 2003. Plesac is one of 10 first-time candidates listed on the 2009 Hall of Fame ballot.

MLB Tonight will air live beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern until the final MLB game of the night ends between Monday and Saturday, and will be based out of MLB Network's headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. The program will feature live look-ins of games in progress, updates, highlights, reporting and analysis. Hot Stove will air during the off-season at 7 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday and feature news, reports, and analysis of the moves clubs are making and planning in preparation for the upcoming season.

Projected to launch in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes on Jan. 1, 2009, MLB Network will be the largest debut in cable television history, exceeding any other cable television launch by approximately 20 million.

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB Network to Offer "Ballpark" in the Studio Print
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Friday, 05 December 2008 11:59

MLB Network's Studio

Take me out to the ballgame? MLB Network will have
a "ballpark" in their new studios where former players
Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds can demonstrate game
situations for television viewers.
(Click to see larger view. Photo: MLB Network)

Al Leiter digs into the rubber, puts the ball into the loaded position and fires toward home plate. Harold Reynolds positions himself off of second base, gobbles up a ball, and throws to first.

No, you’re not watching classic game footage; you’re watching part of a new studio show on the upcoming MLB Network, set to launch on January 1st.

Baseball’s soon-to-be 24/7/365 network is transforming part of MSNBC’s former studios into a “ballpark in the studio” replete with bleachers, where fans will sit, padded outfield walls, a moveable pitchers mound, scoreboard, and details down to Jackie Robinson’s retired “42” emblazoned on the wall of the simulated ballpark, just like every other in MLB.

(Click the image provided to see in a larger view)

The studio, dubbed Studio 42, after Robinson's number, marks a progression of former players turned analysts demonstrating game situations as part of in-studio programming. The model has been leveraged with the NFL, but to date, it has not been applied to MLB content.

MLB Network will be the largest cable launch in history, reaching 50 million homes on the basic tier through both cable providers and satellite provider, DirecTV.

MLB Network’s studios, at the former home of MSNBC, are located in Secaucus, N.J.

Source: MLB Network, USA Today


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Blackout Blues Update: Owners to Meet in NY to Address TV Territories Print
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Wednesday, 19 November 2008 12:14
Blackout Blues

As part of their quarterly meetings, MLB owners will congregate today in New York, with a chief topic being adjustment of the regional television territories for the 30 clubs.

The television territories are at the heart of MLB’s blackout policy and has created consumer aggravation for those purchasing MLB Extra Innings, the out-of-market television package for the league.

The owners are working to address the convoluted and arcane manner in which territories are defined.

The topic was tabled in the August meetings as owners voiced concerns over several matters, including the so-called “haircut provisions” – the fact that many times advertising deals are tied to audience size, which a paring down a given territory for a club or clubs might impacted.

The proposed adjustment will involve clubs losing a territory or market if they do not broadcast within it. Currently, markets such as Las Vegas sees six clubs claiming the television territory, including the A’s, Giants, Padres, Angels, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks.

MLB sees the urgency in addressing the blackout policy with MLB Network coming online January 1. The fledgling network will reach 50 million households and plans on broadcasting 26 games each season.

The discussion between the owners will not involve national broadcast deals with FOX and ESPN. Those agreements are exclusive, and therefore, national blackouts will remain in place.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB Network to Officially Announce Harold Reynolds, Al Leiter, Hazel Mae, Trenni Kusnierek to On-Air Line-up Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 12 November 2008 09:25

Harold Reynolds

Harold Reynolds will be one of four new
on-air personalities introduced today for
the upcoming MLB Network.

Representatives from the MLB Network will hold a 1:30pm ET press conference today to announce that the following will be added as on-air personalities to the fledgling network slated to launch on January 1:

Al Leiter, Studio Analyst, MLB Network

Harold Reynolds, Studio Analyst, MLB Network

Trenni Kusnierek, Reporter, MLB Network

Hazel Mae, Reporter, MLB Network

The press conference follows last week's announcement that Matt Vasgersian will be a studio host.

The announcement will be made by Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer, MLB Network.

MLB Network will be the largest cable channel launch in history reaching 50 million homes.

Source: MLB Network


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 

 

 
MLB Network Secures Carriage Agreement with Verizon FiOS TV. Extra Innings Included Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 10 November 2008 09:16

Major League Baseball and Verizon announced today that MLB Network and the MLB Extra Innings Package will be offered on Verizon’s FiOS TV service as a result of new multi-year agreements.

Financial terms were not released.

MLB Network will be available to all Verizon FiOS TV customers as part of the Essentials and Extreme HD packages on channel 86, when it debuts January 1, 2009. Verizon also will offer a high-definition (HD) simulcast of MLB Network on channel 586. MLB Network, which will air live games, original programming, highlights, classic games, and coverage of baseball events, is expected to be available to approximately 50 million homes on TV systems across the country, the largest launch in cable history.

In addition, Verizon and Major League Baseball have entered into a new multi-year agreement to provide the MLB Extra Innings package on FiOS TV, offering baseball fans up to 80 out-of-market Major League Baseball games per week. The two agreements mark the first television arrangements between Major League Baseball and Verizon.

“We are looking forward to launching MLB Network on Verizon FiOS TV, which is the fastest growing television provider in the country,” said Tony Petitti, MLB Network President and CEO. “MLB Network will offer baseball fans an insider’s perspective on the sport that has never been seen before. This partnership further expands on our ability to bring the ultimate coverage of the national pastime to fans on a 24/7 basis.”

Terry Denson, vice president - FiOS TV content and programming, added, “Verizon FiOS TV is the best place to watch sports. Baseball fans will be able to keep up with their favorite teams and rivalries with access to 80 games from around the country each week. And FiOS TV’s stunning rock solid picture will make fans feel like they’re sitting right behind home plate.”

“The MLB Extra Innings package plays a key role in our continuing effort to provide fans around the country with access to as many MLB game telecasts as possible,” said Chris Tully, Major League Baseball Senior Vice President, Broadcasting. “Adding Verizon FiOS TV to our roster of MLB Extra Innings distributors provides our fans with more choice in accessing the package.”

Source: MLB Network


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Programming Details for MLB Network Surface. Vasgersian Officially Announced as Host Print
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 05 November 2008 12:21

MLB NetworkAs first reported yesterday, Matt Vasgersian has been selected by the fledgling MLB Network as studio host and anchor of MLB Tonight, the live, nightly studio show that will be the signature program of the new network, and Hot Stove, a live, nightly off-season studio show. Vasgersian is the first on-air personality announced by MLB Network, which will launch on January 1, 2009, in approximately 50 million homes as the largest network debut in cable history.

“Matt’s experience behind the mic, his ability to carry a broadcast and his enthusiasm for baseball make him ideally suited to serve as the ‘voice of MLB Network,’” said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of the MLB Network. “MLB Tonight and Hot Stove will be an important source of MLB coverage for baseball fans, and Matt’s presence will help ensure that the programs have an authoritative and experienced voice from day one.”

“As a huge baseball fan, I’m excited about how MLB Network will change the way we enjoy baseball on TV,” said Vasgersian. “These live shows will be a dream come true for baseball fans and I can’t wait to get started.”

With the MLB Network making the announcement, details of the two studio shows -- MLB Tonight and Hot Stove -- were released.

MLB Tonight will air live beginning at 6:00 p.m. Eastern until the final MLB game of the night ends between Monday and Saturday, and will be based out of MLB Network’s headquarters -- the former MSNBC headquarters -- in Secaucus, New Jersey. The program will feature live look-ins of games in progress, updates, highlights, reporting and analysis. Hot Stove, will air during the off-season at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday and feature news, reports, and analysis of the moves clubs are making and planning in preparation for the upcoming season.

Source: MLB Network


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 
MLB Network to Tap Matt Vasgersian as First Studio Host Print
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 04 November 2008 15:41

Matt VasgersianWhen the MLB Network launches on January 1, 2009, (register and log in to see a complete listing of carriers), San Diego Padres play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian will be its first studio host according to Broadcasting & Cable.

According to B & C, “Prior to the Padres, Vasgersian handled play-by-play for the Milwaukee Brewers.  He also was a member of NBC’s 2008 Olympic coverage and among several other roles, was the lead voice for the XFL, the one-season football league that was run by NBC and World Wrestling Entertainment.”

An MLB spokesperson had no comment.

The MLB Network will mark the largest cable channel launch in history since it is expected to reach approximately 50 million digital television households just on basic cable tier packages.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Bob Costas May Become Part of MLB Network Broadcast Stable Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 09:20

Bob CostasWhile no contract agreement is in the offing, the Sports Business Daily is reporting that the MLB Network is in talks to bring Bob Costas on-board as part of the fledgling network's growing list of broadcasters.

According to The Daily, "the network has discussed using Costas – a noted baseball fan – on some of its game coverage, which will consist of at least one game per week, or its studio coverage, which will be on air for several hours per night during the season starting at 7:00pm ET."

(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Bob Costas)

The MLB Network is slated to launch on Jan. 1, 2009 and will be the largest cable channel launch in history. See our section dedicated to the MLB Network and MLB Extra Innings.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 

 
MLB Network to Broadcast 16 WBC Games in 2009 Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 09:58

MLB NetworkMLB Network will televise 16 World Baseball Classic games this Spring along with a nightly studio show dedicated to the world’s premier international baseball tournament.

The World Baseball Classic will feature players representing 16 countries and territories, and will be played in seven different venues in five nations and territories from March 5 – 23.

World Baseball Classic Tonight, which will debut in late February, will feature highlights, analysis, feature stories and special reports on the tournament, its teams, players and coaches. MLB Network also will air the World Baseball Classic Selection Show, a studio show reporting on the announcement of the rosters.

“The acquisition of the World Baseball Classic demonstrates our commitment to airing big events and showcasing a wide variety of baseball programming,” said Tony Petitti, MLB Network President and CEO. “With game broadcasts and studio programming dedicated to the World Baseball Classic, MLB Network will provide in-depth coverage to all of the action and stories of the ultimate global baseball tournament.”

“MLB Network’s coverage of the World Baseball Classic is a perfect example of how the network will be able to provide a unique perspective, expanded coverage, and studio analysis of an event that baseball fans are passionate about,” said Bob DuPuy, Major League Baseball President and Chief Operating Officer.

"MLB Network's association with the World Baseball Classic adds an exciting new dimension to the coverage of the Classic, already the premier international baseball event in the world," stated Gene Orza, Major League Baseball Players Association Chief Operating Officer. "What is particularly exciting is the knowledge that, with the team it has assembled, MLB Network's history is bound to be a memorable one, and the World Baseball Classic will have been there at the beginning."

The opening round of the 2009 tournament will begin on March 5 and will be played entirely outside of the 50 United States, with Pool A (China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea) competing at the Tokyo Dome, home to the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Pro Baseball league; Pool B (Australia, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa) at Estadio Foro Sol in Mexico City, Mexico, home to the Mexico City Red Devils of the Mexican League; Pool C (Canada, Italy, United States and Venezuela) at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, MLB regular season home to the Toronto Blue Jays; and Pool D (Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico) at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In the opening round, MLB Network will air the entire Mexico City pool, three games from the Toronto pool, and two games from the San Juan pool.

Round Two games will be played in PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and Dolphin Stadium, home of the Florida Marlins. The four advancing teams from Pools A and B will compete in San Diego from March 15 – 19, and the four teams emerging from Pools C and D will contend in Miami from March 14 – 18. MLB Network will air one game from San Diego and four games from Miami.

MLB Network launches on January 1, 2009 and is expected to be the largest cable channel launch in history reaching 50 million households.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 
MLB Network Hires Five New Executives Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 06 October 2008 10:25

MLB NetworkMLB Network has announced the hiring of five employees from Major League Baseball including Mary Beck as Senior Vice President, Marketing & Promotion; Robert McGlarry as Senior Vice President, Programming & Business Affairs; Susanne Hilgefort as Senior Director, Affiliate Sales & Marketing; Tom Guidice as Director, Remote Operations; and Marc Caiafa as Coordinating Producer of Remote Field Production.

Beck, formerly Major League Baseball’s Vice President of Brand Advertising and Marketing, will report to Tony Petitti, President & Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network, in her new position. She will lead the building of MLB Network’s brand and oversee the advertising strategy to drive viewership. Beck, who joined Major League Baseball in 2001, was responsible for promoting the MLB brand and supporting the marketing initiatives of all the league’s departments in an effort to grow the popularity of the game. Prior to 2001, Beck was a co-founder of the East Coast office of Move.com and also held positions for Turner Broadcasting Sales at CNN and TBS/TNT.

McGlarry, MLB’s former Vice President of Broadcasting Business Affairs, will report to Petitti and will be responsible for all program acquisitions as well as business and legal affairs for MLB Network. Since joining MLB in 2003, McGlarry worked on all of MLB’s recent broadcasting deals including those with DirecTV, ESPN, FOX, TBS, XM Satellite Radio and the landmark agreements to create and launch MLB Network. Prior to MLB, McGlarry was an associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher and an assistant to former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
Hilgefort, the former MLB Senior Director of Distribution Development for Broadcasting will report to Art Marquez, SVP, Affiliate Sales & Marketing. She will be responsible for new affiliate sales as well as ongoing affiliate operations and marketing. Hilgefort began with The Baseball Network in 1994 and joined the Broadcasting department at the Office of the Commissioner in 1996. In her 15 years with MLB, she has overseen MLB’s relationships with XM Satellite Radio, FSN/FX, ESPN Radio, HDNet, iNHD, and helped to develop the MLB EXTRA INNINGS television package which allowed fans of out-of-market Clubs to watch their games.

Guidice, formerly Senior Manager, Broadcasting – International at MLB, will report to Susan Stone, VP, Operations. He will be responsible for overseeing all MLB Network production operations outside of the studio including the primetime game of the week, spring training shows and All-Star Game studio shows. Prior to joining Major League Baseball in 2001, Guidice was a Production Manger at ABC where he worked on Monday Night Football, Wide World of Sports and college football games.

Caiafa, the former Coordinating Producer of Field Production for Major League Baseball Productions, will report to John Entz, SVP of Production. He will be responsible for overseeing the daily activities of MLB Network’s remote production which includes booking interviews and features with players and other Club personnel, while providing content ideas for the nightly studio shows. Caiafa joined MLB Productions in 1999 and previously worked at NBA Entertainment as an editor and production assistant.

Beck, McGlarry and Hilgefort have already assumed their new positions at MLB Network while Guidice and Caiafa will join at the completion of the 2008 Championship Season.
With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games, and coverage of baseball events, MLB Network will be the ultimate destination for baseball fans on television.

Projected to launch in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes on January 1, 2009, MLB Network will exceed any other cable television launch in history by approximately 20 million cable and satellite television households.

Source: MLB Network


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

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