It was announced today that the MLB Network has hired Art Marquez, formerly the Vice President of Affiliate Sales for the NFL Network, as the Senior Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing.
Marquez will report to Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of the MLB Network. 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.
“Art has extensive experience working with MSO’s for both new and established cable networks and his participation in launching the NFL Network will be a critical asset for the organization,” said Petitti.
In his new position, Marquez will be responsible for overseeing the relationship between the network and cable operators and for continuing to grow the already record distribution of the new cable network. Marquez spent five years at the NFL Network, where he managed affiliate sales during the network’s launch and oversaw marketing, operations and Video on Demand. Prior to joining the NFL Network, Marquez held similar positions at NBC Cable Networks and Univision. Marquez, who lives in New York City, graduated from California State University with a degree in Political Science.
In other MLB Network news...
It appears that the net's new offices in Harlem won't be ready for the channel's launch in January, and according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, it may be 2011 before the doors are fully open in the new building. As reported by the SBJ (subscription required) :
For at least the next two years, the network will be operating out of MSNBC’s former studio in Secaucus, N.J., where it is spending a lot of money — tens of millions of dollars, some industry sources suggest — to make those studios ready for HD.
“Because we’re going to be in Secaucus for two years, we decided that we need to make that a full-on high-def facility,” said MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti.
Ourand also mentions that when plans for the new building were announced, the total story count was 21 stories. But, due to the credit market crunch, the building will be scaled back to 14 stories.
The MLB Network launches on January 1, 2009.
Sources: Major League Baseball. Sports Business Journal