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MLB.com Releases RBI Baseball 14 for Xbox 360, PS3, and iOS Devices PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:00

When it comes to video games, like movies, reboots can come with a mixed bag. On one hand, we’re happy to rekindle a beloved title, but updating it can come with that purist mantra, “Don’t mess with a classic.”

So, it was with much interest that MLB.com yesterday released R.B.I. Baseball 14 for Xbox 360, PS 3, and iOS (all via download). The title, developed in-house by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), is available for $4.99. The nice thing is, since it was done with the MLB Players Association in tow, you get not only all the MLB logos, but yes, actual players. Want to load up and have a rematch of the 2013 World Series starting in St. Louis, you can select John Lackey as your starter out of the SP roster.

For those wondering why PS3 and Xbox 360, as opposed to PS4 and Xbox One, MLB.com informs that they were far down the development path at the time that the the two new hardware platforms were released. There will be an update as MLBAM is "well on the way" for the newer consoles, so stay tuned.

While the game has been graphically updated from the Namco version for the original NES platform, the controls and game play are pretty much the same. The pitcher and batter can be moved around before a pitch is made, and if you’re on the defensive side, you can use the joystick function to move the ball up, down, left, or right after released. For fielding, there’s updated graphics for the windows in the outfield, or base runners should you want to attempt pickoffs. For iOS, a joystick icon and base paths touch graphic is in the lower left and right of the screen to mimic controllers.

All-in-all, it’s cool to go back to the future. Will retro gamers dump their Namco cartridges for NES in favor of it? Likely not. Will they augment for newer platforms? Based on the update, chances seem very good.

Below are screenshots of R.B. I. Baseball 14 for the Xbox 360 and iOS (iPhone)

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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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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FOX Releases 2014 MLB Broadcast Schedule; Blackouts Eased PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 16:07

MLB on FOXFOX Sports today announced their 2014 MLB broadcast schedule, and with it, fans will see a several changes compared to year’s prior, including changes to the blackout policy. As part of the new eight-year, multiplatform media rights agreement that adds national cable and digital coverage to its portfolio, doubling regular season exposures, mostly on Saturdays, from 26 to 52 combined on the FOX Broadcast Network and FOX Sports 1, with 20 Saturday doubleheaders, 10 exclusively on FOX Sports 1 and 10 split between FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Broadcast Network.

FOX Sports 1 makes its MLB debut on Saturday, April 5 with a doubleheader as the Minnesota Twins take on the Cleveland Indians (1:00 PM ET) followed by the San Francisco Giants visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers (4:00 PM ET).  The NL champion St. Louis Cardinals debut in FOX Sports 1’s first primetime showing on Tuesday, April 8 (8:15 PM ET) with a visit from their division rival Cincinnati Reds.  Fresh off an inspirational and thrilling 2013 championship run for the city of Boston, the World Champion Red Sox premiere on FOX Sports 1 Saturday, April 12 (1:00 PM ET) against their longtime nemesis New York Yankees, from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y.  The FOX Broadcast Network picks up its first Yankees-Red Sox matchup on Saturday, June 28 (7:00 PM ET).

Major League Baseball makes its 2014 MLB debut on the FOX Broadcast Network Saturday, May 24 (7:00 PM ET), the first of eight consecutive primetime windows leading up to the 85th MLB All-Star Game, with regionalized coverage of three exciting matchups, preceded by the Detroit Tigers hosting the Texas Rangers on FOX Sports 1 at 1:00 PM ET. As reported on Forbes SportsMoney, this year sees a slight easing up on national blackouts as part of the new agreement. Starting this season, subscribers of MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV have the opportunity to watch Saturday MLB on FOX games subject to certain geographic black outs that protect games assigned to local FOX affiliates.

In addition to the All-Star Game, this year live from Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15 (8:00 PM ET), FOX Sports remains the home of MLB’s crown jewel events, including the World Series, two Division Series and the League Championship Series.

In addition to the All-Star Game, this year live from Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15 (8:00 PM ET), FOX Sports remains the home of MLB’s crown jewel events, including the World Series, two Division Series and the League Championship Series.

All regular season games, Division Series, League Championship Series, World Series games and the All-Star Game broadcast by FOX Sports are being streamed live via FOX Sports GO through participating video providers.

Eric Shanks and John Entz are FOX Sports’ Executive Producers. Bardia Shah-Rais serves as coordinating pregame producer. Pete Macheska is coordinating producer of FOX Sports’ MLB coverage. Bill Webb is lead director.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE FOX MLB BROADCAST SCHEDULE

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Controversial Game 3 of 2013 World Series Sees TV Ratings Up 21% Over Last Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 27 October 2013 21:35

2013 World Series Logo

At first it seemed that the Boston Red Sox had nailed two St. Louis Cardinals base runners at the plate in the bottom of the ninth and Game 3 of the 2013 World Series was headed to extra innings.  However, umpires ruled that Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks had interfered with Cardinals base runner Allen Craig who was awarded home, giving St. Louis a controversial 5-4 victory and a two games to one lead in the best of seven series.

A closely contested Game 3 posted a 7.4/14 household rating/share with 12.5 million viewers, according to fast national ratings issued today by Nielsen Media Research, up 21% and 19% respectively compared to Game 3 a year ago (6.1/11, 10.5 million), and is the highest-rated, most-watched World Series Game 3 since 2009 (9.1/18, 15.4 mm).  Last night's game also out-rates four of the last five Game 3s dating back to 2008, is projected to power FOX to an easy first place finish in prime time among households and key male and adult demos and is the network's best Saturday performance in prime time since January.

As is typically the case for close postseason games, the rating and audience after 11:00 PM ET was larger than before 11:00 PM ET in total and among younger viewers.  Game 3 averaged a 7.0 household rating and 12.0 million viewers before 11:00 PM, and increased 19% in rating (8.3) and 14% in audience (13.7 million) after 11:00 PM.  Among teens (age 12-17), ratings post-11:00 PM ET increased 18% (1.3 vs. 1.1).

Last night’s game opened with a 5.6/11 with 9.3 million viewers from 8:00-8:30 PM ET, and grew steadily throughout the night peaking with an 8.5/16 with 14.1 million viewers from 11:00-11:30 PM ET.

In addition to its overall success, last night’s game posted huge increases across key male and adult demos: Men 18-34, +27% (3.8 vs. 3.0); Men 18-49, +17% (4.2 vs. 3.6); Adults 18-34, +12% (2.8 vs. 2.5); and Adults 18-49 , +18% (3.3 vs. 2.8).

The World Series on FOX through three games is averaging an 8.1/14 with 13.4 million viewers, +13% over last year’s first three game average (7.2/12, 11.7 million viewers) in households and +15% on average viewership.

Through World Series Game 3, FOX’s nine-game postseason average (5.9/10, 9.5 million viewers) is up +18% in rating and +17% in audience from the 5.0/8, 8.1 million viewers produced by the network’s postseason coverage through World Series Game 3 last year (7 LCS, 3 WS), and ranks as FOX’s best postseason since 2010 (6.3/11, 10.6 million viewers).

Not surprisingly, St. Louis led all markets posting a 37.2, followed by Boston (32.4), with Providence (30.2), Hartford (19.1) and Oklahoma City (13.1) rounding out the top five.  Also posting double digit ratings were Ft. Myers (11.2), Richmond and Tulsa (11.0), Kansas City (10.9) and Memphis (10.3).  Among the nation's five biggest markets, New York posted a 7.6, while Los Angeles recorded a 6.9, Chicago 5.6, Philadelphia 6.4 and Dallas 7.0.

FOX was the No. 1 most social TV network on Saturday, led by World Series Game 3.  According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, Twitter activity for last night’s World Series Game 3 drew over 482,000 tweets (up +171% from 2012 World Series Game 3) from more than 211,000 unique authors (up +120%).

According to Facebook, World Series Game 3 generated 4.8 million interactions from 2.8 million users during the game.  For the first time in three games, Missouri topped Massachusetts in generating buzz, followed by users in California, Illinois, and New York.  Team buzz was evenly split with Cardinals and Red Sox fans each responsible for 50% of the comments, likes, and posts related to the game.

Source: FOX Sports


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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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MLB Advanced Media Revenues at $600 Million Annually PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:41

MLBMLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) has been a cash cow for Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs, but how it has increased over the past few years has been unreported. As part of an extensive report by Bloomberg that shows the enterprise value of each club in MLB, it’s reported that annual revenues from the digital-rights arm of baseball is now at $600 million annually and that the equity value of MLBAM is now at $3.3 billion. Since each of the 30 clubs invested equally in it when launched in 2000, according to the report, each club garners $110 million in value each year via the lucrative digital-media arm.

To place this in perspective, launched in 2000, MLB.com was funded by the clubs in an agreement that had them each investing $1 million a year over four years. The cost was targeted at $120 million. To the joy of the owners and MLB, the website started generating excess revenue in only the second year of its existence, allowing them to invest only $70-$75 million before beginning to see a return on their investment.

While each club does not see $110 million annually in cash, MLBAM and the overall explosion in television media rights shows why when owners sell clubs they reap incredible rewards over what they initially purchased clubs for. The equity value of MLB Advanced Media is just one reason why when you hear, “We can’t afford to spend on player payroll at competitive levels,” it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

UPCOMING ARTICLE…. Inside the Bloomberg MLB enterprise valuations


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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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Want to Work in Baseball? MLB.com Seeking Stats Stringers for the 2014 Season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 18 October 2013 15:27

MLB.com

The 2013 postseason hasn’t been completed, but already those that are looking to get a job in Major League Baseball for the 2014 season have an opportunity to do so, if they apply now…. Via press release

MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, is seeking stats stringers to cover these clubs in 2014 and beyond:

  • Anaheim/Los Angeles
  • Chicago (both teams)
  • Cleveland
  • Colorado
  • Detroit
  • Miami
  • Oakland/San Francisco
  • Texas

Stats stringers are responsible for digitally scoring games from the MLB ballparks, which provides the data used in the live content applications on MLB.com, including At-Bat, Gameday and MLB.TV, real-time highlights and text alerts, and by our business partners. This is a perfect part-time job for a responsible, computer-savvy person who happens to be a big baseball fan.

Responsibilities include:

• Arrive at the ballpark no later than one hour prior to the scheduled start time;

• Double-check and verify all pre-game information: rosters, umpires, weather conditions, etc.;

• During the game, enter the results of every pitch and game event (plays, substitutions, etc.) using our proprietary software and coding language;

• Work closely with our game-night support staff (via AOL Instant Messenger) to ensure proper scoring of all game events and accuracy of data;

• After the game, enter all post-game information: winning and losing pitcher, saves, holds, time and attendance

• Validate all stats and data in our scoring software against the official box score provided by the Official Scorer.

Qualifications include:

• Exceptional (and demonstrable) knowledge of baseball and how to score a baseball game;

• Strong computer proficiency (Windows OS and Windows-based software) and the ability to quickly learn and operate new software;

• Previous experience (including pressbox exposure) with a professional or college sports team, preferably baseball;

• Regular availability to attend games in-person as required by the schedule: weekdays, nights and weekends;

• A "team player" with a great attitude, including but not limited to a willingness to make and learn from mistakes and the ability to work closely and cooperatively (and take direction from) our game-night staff;

• Professionalism. It's a fun job and MLB.com pays people to watch baseball, but it's also an important job and we want people who will take the responsibility seriously.

(New stringers undergo an 8-10 week correspondence training program, and co-score several practice games in the ballpark with a returning stringer, before scoring any games solo in the ballpark.)

Those interested in applying should send a resume and cover letter, addressing the above-listed qualifications, to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ONLY those who reply to that  e-mail address will be considered, and due to volume, MLB.com says they may be unable to respond to all applicants.


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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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MLB Releases Broadcast Schedule for 2013 World Series PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 18 October 2013 12:59

2013 World Series Logo

Major League Baseball today announced the national broadcast schedule for the 2013 World Series, set to begin on Wednesday, October 23rd at either Boston’s Fenway Park or Detroit’s Comerica Park on FOX.  The 109th Fall Classic will feature either the Red Sox or the Tigers representing the American League and either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Los Angeles Dodgers representing the National League.

The Cardinals currently lead the NLCS over the Dodgers by a 3-2 margin, with Game Six tonight (8:37 p.m. ET/7:37 p.m. CT first pitch) in St. Louis on TBS.  The Red Sox currently lead the ALCS, 3-2, over the Tigers, with Game Six tomorrow at Fenway on FOX.  Game Six of the ALCS is currently slated for a 4:37 p.m. (ET) first pitch, unless the NLCS ends tonight; if the NLCS ends tonight, then the start time of Saturday’s ALCS game will shift to 8:07 p.m. (ET).

The FOX Sports tandem of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, who is stepping down from his lead analyst position at season’s end, will call their record 16th and final World Series together.  This year will mark the all-time high 24th career World Series behind the microphone for McCarver, the 2012 recipient of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence.  This year marks FOX’s 18th straight as the television home for the Postseason, and the 2013 Fall Classic will be FOX’s 14th consecutive and 16th  overall.

ESPN Radio will provide complete coverage of all World Series games.  MLB International, MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive coverage of the Fall Classic.

Select Read More to see the 2013 World Series broadcast schedule

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Red Sox Dramatic Comeback in Game 2 of ALCS Delivers Massive Ratings Win for FOX PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 14 October 2013 17:15

Ortiz Grand Slam

The dramatic comeback by the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALCS was a massive ratings win for FOX Sunday night.

That dramatic comeback that saw David Ortiz hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singling in the bottom of the ninth to drive in Jonny Gomes delivered a 5.2/8 national household rating, with 8.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, up +44% compared to last year’s National League Championship Series Game 2 on FOX (3.6/6; 5.6 million viewers). Last night’s Game 2 was also up +24% over 2011’s Game 2 of the ALCS on FOX (4.2/8; 6.6 million viewers) for Tigers vs. Rangers. The series is now tied 1-1 as it heads to Detroit for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Through two games, the 2013 ALCS on FOX is averaging a 4.7/8 (7.5 million viewers), up +21% over last year’s 3.9/6 for NLCS on FOX, tying 2010’s LCS average as FOX’s highest-rated through two games since 2009.

Additional Demo Highlights:

  • Last night’s Game 2 out-performed last year’s NLCS Game 2 in key male demographics led by an +86% increase in Men 18-34 (2.6 vs. 1.4) and a +56% increase among Men 18-49 (3.1 vs. 2.0) respectively. Game 2 is up +50% among adults 18-49 (2.4 vs. 1.6).
  • In key demo rating comparisons through two games, the 2013 ALCS on FOX is up +33% among Men 18-34 (2.4 vs. 1.8); up +22% among Men 18-49 (2.8 vs. 2.3); and up +17% among Adults 18-49 (2.1 vs. 1.8).

Through two games, Detroit leads all markets with a 30.5/47 and recorded its best LCS rating ever with last night’s game (34.5/50).  Boston’s two-game average is a 21.2/39, followed by Providence (20.1/33.5); Hartford (16.5/29); Baltimore (16.0/29); San Diego (11.4/26); Indianapolis (8.8/15); Las Vegas (6.5/11) and St. Louis (6.4/11.5).


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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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Pirates-Cardinals Game 5 NLDS Sees An Average of 6.1 Million Viewers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 10 October 2013 20:23

2013 MLB Postseason logo

With a decisive Game 5 between the Pirates and the Cardinals, with the winner moving on the meet the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, viewers reached for the clicker to watch.

The complete game by Adam Wainwright that led the Cardinals to a 6-1 win over the Pirates in Game 5 of the NLDS on Wednesday led to the most-watched game of the 2013 Postseason.

TBS’ national telecast of Cardinals-Pirates averaged 6.1 million viewers, up 69 percent over comparable Wednesday coverage in 2012 according to Nielsen. For the seventh time in the last nine nights, TBS topped all cable competition in primetime, leading the second place network by 125 percent in the metered market ratings.

Overall, through 15 Division Series telecasts, TBS has averaged 3.7 million viewers, up 9 percent through the same number of games in 2012.

In St. Louis, Wednesday’s game drew a 33.6 rating, the highest mark for an MLB game there since Game 6 of the 2012 NLCS. By the conclusion of the game, 58 percent of all TVs on in St. Louis were tuned to the game. In Pittsburgh, the game drew a 31.1, second-best ever on record in the market behind only last week’s Wild Card game.

This Postseason has been marked by especially strong starting pitching, as well as an unprecedented number of rookie pitchers. Seven rookies have started Postseason games this year (Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Danny Salazar, Daniel Straily, Julio Teheran and Michael Wacha), already eclipsing the previous record of six set during last year’s entire Postseason. In addition, there have already been 10 instances of a starting pitcher going at least six innings and allowing no more than one run, two shy of the entire 2012 Postseason.


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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

Follow The Biz of Baseball on TwitterTwitter

 
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