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Following Retirement, Nomar Garciaparra Joins ESPN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 10 March 2010 10:43

Nomar GarciaparraNomar Garciaparra today announced his retirement from Major League Baseball – as a member of the Boston Red Sox – after a 14-year career, and his new role as an ESPN baseball analyst.  Garciaparra will mainly be seen on Baseball Tonight, in addition to select appearances as a game analyst.  He will make his ESPN debut later this month.

"After years of enjoying the privilege of playing this great game wearing Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and A's jerseys in front of truly amazing fans, today I've decided to end my playing days,” said Garciaparra.  “I've been blessed to have had a long career as a player and feel fortunate to continue this great journey as a member of the ESPN team.

“I look forward to contributing my knowledge and experience in this new endeavor. I thank my family, friends, teammates, and fans for their support throughout my career and as I move in this new and exciting direction."

Jay Levy, ESPN senior coordinating producer, said, “Nomar offers the perspective of an All-Star player, recently out of the game, with experience playing in both leagues and in high-profile markets.  His baseball knowledge and ability to relate stories from his career will enhance our telecasts.”

Garciaparra played 14 Major League seasons (Boston, 1996-2004; Chicago Cubs, 2004-05; Los Angeles Dodgers, 2006-08; and Oakland, 2009).  He is a six-time All-Star, two-time batting champion (1999, 2000) and Silver Slugger Award winner (1997).  He was named A.L. Rookie of the Year in 1997 and N.L. Comeback Player of the Year in 2006.

A majority of Garciaparra’s best statistical seasons occurred throughout his nine-year tenure in Boston.  During his Rookie of the Year and first All-Star season in 1997, Garciaparra led the league in hits (209), while batting .306 with 30 home runs and 98 runs batted in.  In 1998, he placed second in MVP voting with 35 home runs, 122 RBI, and a .323 batting average.

Garciaparra followed those stellar seasons with a pair of All-Star campaigns – in 1999, he hit 27 home runs and 104 RBI with a .357 batting average; in 2000, he had a career-best .372 batting average, with 21 home runs and 96 RBI.  Garciaparra led the A.L. in batting average both seasons.

Garciaparra missed most of the 2001 season with a wrist injury, but returned to All-Star form in 2002 (.310 batting average with 24 home runs and 120 RBI) and 2003 (.301 batting average with 28 home runs and 105 RBI).

After nine seasons in Boston, Garciaparra was traded to the Chicago Cubs during the 2004 season.  He spent two years in Chicago before closing out his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.  In 2006, Garciaparra was named N.L. Comeback Player of the Year and an All-Star with the Dodgers, accumulating 20 home runs, 93 RBI and a .303 batting average.

In addition to his regular-season performances, Garciaparra’s teams made the postseason five times.  Garciaparra holds a .321 postseason batting average with seven home runs and 24 RBI.

Garciaparra is married to Olympian and World Cup champion soccer star Mia Hamm.  The couple has twin daughters and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Source: ESPN


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 available for hire or freelance. 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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Orel Hershiser Rejoins ESPN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 05 March 2010 15:29

Orel HershiserJon Miller, the recently announced winner of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2010 Ford C. Frick Award, and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan will be joined by ESPN analyst and former Major League Baseball Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser in the Sunday Night Baseball booth this season.  Miller and Morgan are entering their 21st consecutive season on Sunday Night Baseball.

Sunday Night Baseball distinctly offers Jon’s Hall of Fame voice and the combination of Joe’s Hall of Fame approach to hitting and Orel’s profound pitching knowledge,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production.  “Collectively, they will provide compelling analysis and debate during our national game of the week.”

In addition to his Sunday Night responsibilities, Hershiser will continue to serve as analyst during ESPN’s College World Series and Little League World Series coverage.  He will also provide analysis for Baseball Tonight.  Hershiser most recently provided analysis for Monday Night Baseball in 2009, and has contributed to Wednesday Night Baseball.

Hershiser rejoined ESPN in 2006, after previously working for the company as an analyst during ESPN’s and ABC’s coverage of the Little League World Series from 2000-01 and as an MLB commentator on Wednesday Night Baseball in 2001.

Hershiser, a three-time National League All-Star, pitched 18 years in the Major Leagues for Los Angeles (1983-94, 2000), Cleveland (1995-97), San Francisco (1998) and New York Mets (1999).

In 1988, he won the Cy Young Award and was named World Series Most Valuable Player, Associated Press Athlete of the Year and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. After missing the 1990 season due to shoulder surgery, Hershiser returned to the Dodgers in 1991 and was named UPI Comeback Player of the Year.

Following a career as an all-conference selection in baseball at Cherry Hill East High School in New Jersey, Hershiser attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio (1976-79) and earned baseball team MVP and All-MAC honors.

Source: ESPN


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 available for hire or freelance. 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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Victor Rojas Leaves MLB Network to Do Play-By-Play for the Angels PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 04 March 2010 00:20

Victor Rojas

One of baseball's most well liked on-air personalities is headed back into the broadcast booth on a regular basis.

The Los Angeles Angels announced Wednesday that Victor Rojas has agreed to terms to become the television play-by-play voice of Angels Baseball. He will join Mark Gubicza in handling all broadcasts on FOX Sports West and KCOP.

"We are pleased to have Victor join our organization and our community," said Angels Club Chairman, Dennis Kuhl. "His broadcast skills and baseball experience will be solid assets for Angels Baseball. We feel we have matched two outstanding talents in Victor and Mark Gubicza."

"Victor Rojas was an important member of the MLB Network on-air team that made our first year so successful," said Tony Petitti, MLB Network President and CEO. "We are happy that he is staying within the MLB family and we wish him nothing but the best."

Rojas, 42, joins the Angels after serving the MLB Network as a studio host since its inception, and five years with the Texas Rangers broadcast team. He also enjoyed an accomplished career as a Minor League player, and a baseball analyst.

(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Victor Rojas)

Reached for comment, Rojas explained the move from the league-owned national television outlet to his home, of sorts in Southern California.

“At the end of the day, there were a number of factors that weighed heavily in my decision to leave MLB Network for the Angels,” Rojas said. “I have a daughter who's in school in Southern California, I went to college in Palm Desert, I lived and died with the '82 & '86 Angels when my dad was with the organization for 10 years and it's the franchise I signed with when Billy Bavasi gave me the opportunity.  On top of the "personal" connection, it's one of the premier franchises in sports and getting a chance to return to the booth on a full time basis to call Angels baseball, was extremely enticing.”

How was his time at MLB Network?

“The experience at MLB Network was incredible.  As you know, I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I arrived in Secaucus, NJ in late December of 2008.  But what has transpired over the last 15 months of my life is something I wouldn't trade for anything.  I was given the opportunity to help launch a network with virtually no experience in television or hosting and it happened because of the tremendously talented staff helping me every step of the way.  I made a lot of great friends at MLBN and like anything else with change, it's leaving them behind that's the most difficult.”

The following is the statement Rojas made on Weds. via the Angels.

"The Angels have always held a special place in my heart ," said Rojas. "While I'm thrilled to be joining such an incredible organization, it's difficult to focus on my feelings knowing that the position was available only because of the untimely passing of a wonderful person and broadcaster in Rory Markas. Rory was extremely gracious to me when we had occasions to spend time together during my five years as a fellow broadcaster in Texas, and I'm both humbled and excited by the fact the Angels have put their faith in me to fill such a large void.

"I'm extremely grateful to MLB Network for not only taking a chance on me, but also for allowing me to pursue this opportunity. There are a number of incredibly talented individuals that I've had the pleasure of working with and it's because of that interaction I feel like I'm leaving as a better person and broadcaster."

Prior to joining the MLB Network in late December 2008, Rojas spent five seasons as a member of the Texas Rangers television and radio broadcast teams, providing both play-by-play as well as analysis. During the 2003 season, Rojas did radio play-by-play and analysis for Arizona Diamondbacks broadcasts. Prior to joining the Diamondbacks, Rojas spent two seasons doing television analysis and radio play-by-play for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League, where he was also hired as the team's Assistant General Manager before becoming General Manager.

For two years Rojas served as the English television play-by-play broadcaster for the Caribbean World Series, shown on the YES network in 2006 from Venezuela and SNY network in 2007 from Puerto Rico. His father, former Major League player and manager, Cookie Rojas provided color analysis both occasions.

Rojas was a pitcher in Angels organization. He was on the Florida Marlins baseball staff in 1993 and served as pitching coach at Rio Grande in the Texas-Louisiana League in 1994. He played college baseball at the College of the Desert in Palm Springs, California, and Lewis-Clark State University in Lewiston, Idaho.

Victor and his wife Kim are moving to Southern California with their two children.

Asked what the future held, Rojas pointed to the upcoming season in the booth.

“I'm looking forward to getting out to California and getting to really know Mark Gubicza and being consumed by Angels baseball.  I spent 5 years in the same division as a broadcaster with the Rangers and I know first-hand how passionate Angels fans can be.  I'm a baseball grunt...it's what I've been consumed with my entire life, so I guess I'm most looking forward to the first pitch of the season on April 5th against the Twins at home.”


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 available for hire or freelance. 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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Dodgers Release Complete 2010 Broadcast Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 19:11

Do9dgersThe Los Angeles Dodgers have announced their 2010 regular season television broadcast schedule, which includes approximately two thirds of games on PRIME TICKET and one third on KCAL 9.  National and regional telecasts on FOX and ESPN complete the schedule.

PRIME TICKET enters its 14th season as a Dodger broadcast partner. Season-long coverage on PRIME TICKET will again be delivered in High Definition and include “Dodgers Live” pre-game and post-game shows. In 2009, PRIME TICKET and sister station FOX Sports West received a total of 13 Los Angeles Area Emmy Award nominations and were honored with five Emmys.

KCAL 9 is in its fifth season as the home of the Dodgers and will once again present all of its regular season Dodger game broadcasts in high definition. KCAL 9’s Dodger gameday coverage will include the station’s THINK BLUE TV pre-game and post-game shows. In 2009, KCAL 9 and sister station CBS 2 received a total of 17 Los Angeles Area Emmy nominations and won five Emmys.

FOX's Saturday games are scheduled for April 17 vs. SF, May 22 vs. DET, June 19 at BOS, June 26 at NYY, July 10 vs. CHC, July 17 at STL, July 24 vs. NYM, July 31 at SF and Sept. 18 vs. COL, with additional games still to be announced. The Sunday July 11 game against the Cubs will air as ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, and others may be selected as the season progresses.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, entering his 61st season as the “Voice of the Dodgers,” will call all televised Dodgers home games.  He'll also handle the road telecasts against the team’s National League West and American League West Division opponents. Scully’s 60 years of service constitute the longest tenure of any broadcaster in sports history.

For road games against non-NL West opponents, the broadcast booth will be manned by former Major Leaguer Steve Lyons, who is returning for his sixth season as an analyst on Dodger telecasts, and Eric Collins, who joined the broadcast team last season after five years with ESPN calling college football, baseball and softball.

All Dodgers games will also be broadcast on the radio on 790 KABC (English) and La Ranchera 930 (Spanish).

Select Read More to see the Dodgers’ full television schedule

Read more...
 
NESN Promotes Two Senior Executives PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 14:34

NESNToday, NESN announced the promotion of two senior executives: Ray Guilbault to Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and Vanessa Brown to Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development. Previously, Guilbault served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Brown served as Director of Human Resources.

Ray Guilbault joined NESN in 2001 after serving as Vice President and Controller of Medtronic AVE of Billerica, Massachusetts, where he oversaw the accounting and information system functions of the 650 person site. The Quincy, Massachusetts resident holds a B.A. from Merrimack College and a M.B.A. in Finance from Bentley College.

“Ray has been integral to the success and growth of NESN as an organization,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. “Guilbault has designed and implemented numerous operational, financial, and business improvements that have significantly enhanced every facet of NESN’s operation. He has also played a key role in positioning NESN in the online space with NESN.com, one of the most visited Boston area sports sites and tops in the RSN industry.”

Vanessa Brown joined NESN in January of 2006 after spending 4 years as the Director of Human Resources at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Brown has also served as a principal and founding member of two different recruiting firms - Berkshire Global and Renaissance Network, specializing in permanent placement of software and IT professionals. She holds a B.A. in psychology from UMass Dartmouth and a Masters degree in Organizational Development from Columbia University.

“Vanessa is passionately committed to ensuring that NESN attracts and retains individuals that are both highly skilled and possess the company’s values,” said McGrail. “She is a key member of the senior staff and a critical advisor to the management team who has been responsible for successfully developing and implementing effect human resources and organizational strategies that have resulted in a competitive and healthy work environment.”

Source: NESN


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 available for hire or freelance. 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 on FOX Games In Prime-Time Leave Unanswered Questions Regarding Blackouts PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 04 February 2010 18:22

MLB on FOXYesterday, MLB on FOX announced their 26 week schedule for the upcoming 2010 regular season. For the first time since 2004, the schedule will include plans to place two games in prime-time.

As soon as the news was released, questions immediately started being raised asking how MLB’s television blackout might be impacted.

As a reminder, due to an exclusivity agreement with MLB, on each Saturday that FOX airs games, the entire U.S. has all games blacked out between 1:10 PM ET and 7:00 PM ET.

With the 2010 regular season schedule released by FOX, the prime-time games begin at 7:00 PM ET, just when the current blackout policy ends. The question is, will the blackout window be shifted forward to account for the start time, or will it be extended to move past the 7:00 PM ET window till the game were to end?

Representatives from both MLB and FOX Sports say that the details are still being worked out and that a definitive policy on the prime-time games is forthcoming as the first prime-time game on Saturday, May 22nd approaches.

More details as they become 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 available for hire or freelance. 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 on FOX Unveils 2010 Broadcast Schedule, Includes Two Games in Prime-Time PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 18:47

MLB on FOXMLB on FOX today unveils its 15th FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK schedule, and with it, fans will see not one, but two prime time contests this season.

MLB on FOX has never scheduled two prime time regular season games in the same season, and these are the first on national broadcast television since April 2004.

The special prime time windows are Saturday May 22 and Saturday June 26, and they are two of MLB on FOX’s four interleague dates this season. The match-ups on both dates have coverage beginning at 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT. May 22 features a four game slate:

  • Yankees v Mets
  • Red Sox v Phillies
  • Cubs v Rangers
  • Tigers head v Dodgers

Then on June 26,  the Dodgers host the Yankees for the first time at Dodger Stadium since 2004, the Red Sox travel to San Francisco to face the Giants while the White Sox host the Cubs.

“We’ve been thinking about taking a few of our afternoon dates to prime time dates for quite some time now, and this season’s schedule is so strong that the time seemed right,” said FOX Sports President Ed Goren. “There is still no platform that has the reach of prime time broadcast television.”

"We are looking forward to complimenting our traditional Saturday afternoon national broadcast with a couple Saturday night games, a window we've been interested in for some time," said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President, Business. "FOX has been a terrific partner and has shown great flexibility in clearing affiliates, first for starting our World Series games before 8:00 PM and now for the two Saturday night windows."

FOX Sports will air 26 consecutive weeks of regular-season coverage, the 81st MLB All-Star Game from Anaheim, Calif., the National League Championship Series and the 105th World Series. The 2010 season is FOX Sports’ 15th straight as the national broadcast television home of Major League Baseball. In that time, FOX Sports has aired 12 World Series, 20 League Championship Series and 11 All-Star Games.

The 2010 FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK schedule features up to four regionalized games and this year most begin at 4:00 PM ET. The final two Saturdays of the regular season are designated as “wild card” dates, allowing FOX Sports to choose up to four games of postseason significance each day.

FOX Sports’ 2010 “Opening Day” comes Saturday, April 10 at a special 3:00 PM ET time as the Yankees visit their AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays, NL MVP Albert Pujols and the Cardinals visit the Brewers in Milwaukee and the new-look Mariners head to Texas to take on the Rangers.

The 2009 NL Champion Phillies make the team maximum nine MLB on FOX appearances. The World Champion Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets and Cardinals are scheduled to appear eight times. The season’s schedule also boasts nine appearances by the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins, seven dates for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants and five for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago White Sox.

In addition to May 22 and June 26, other interleague match-ups on FOX come Saturday, June 12, when the Phillies and Red Sox meet again in Beantown and the White Sox head north to Wrigley Field for a rematch with the Cubs. The a week later on Saturday, June 19 the Dodgers visit Fenway Park to take on the Red Sox while the Phillies host AL MVP Joe Mauer and the Twins.

Once again, the final two Saturdays of the regular season are designated as “wild card” dates, allowing FOX Sports to choose up to three games of significance each day.

After the network’s regular-season coverage, FOX Sports provides live coverage of this year’s National League Championship Series and the 105th World Series. The All-Star Game and all
regular and postseason games are broadcast in 720p HD.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE 2010 MLB on FOX REGULAR SEASON BROADCAST SCHEDULE

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Nick Swisher to Appear on "How I Met Your Mother" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 29 January 2010 19:19

Nick Swisher“Nick the Stick” is coming to a television set near you.

The Yankees have just announced via Twitter that Nick Swisher will play himself in an episode of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother," airing Mon., Feb. 1st at 8PM.

Yankee hater or no, this is bound to be entertaining television.

More news as it becomes avialble.

 


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 available for hire or freelance. 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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NESN Highest Rated Regional Sports Network in 2009 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 25 January 2010 11:10

NESNAccording to NESN, they were the highest rated regional sports network in the country in 2009, leading all RSN’s in every major ratings category including average primetime household ratings and total day delivery. NESN has held this distinction every year since 2004.

Two weeks ago YES Network announced that they were the most watched RSN in the country in 2009 by an average of 6,000 households per night. According to NESN, "Since the New York DMA has more than three times the number of homes than the Boston DMA (7.5 million vs. 2.4 million), YES Network has a considerable advantage over NESN when comparing the number of households watching each network."

“Together with our advertisers and affiliates we measure success based on ratings,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “We are proud of the fact that NESN has been the highest rated RSN in baseball for six consecutive seasons. Once again, in 2009, NESN led RSN ratings nationally in every measurable demographic. Our message is clear, New England sports fans have proven to be the best fans in the country and our sponsors and affiliates have been the beneficiary of this unwavering support.”

2009 NESN vs. YES Network Comparison

 

NESN

YES Network

Households in DMA

2,410,180

7,493,530

Primetime Rating

3.15

1.09

Primetime Households

76,000

82,000

Total Day Delivery Rating

.98

0.43

Total Day Delivery Households

24,000

32,000

Baseball Rating

9.38

4.62

Baseball Households

226,000

346,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research


BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK FEATURE STORY:

(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)


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 available for hire or freelance. 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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MASN Releases 2010 Broadcast Schedule for Nationals and Orioles PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 21 January 2010 11:28
Nats sched
Select image to see Nationals schedule (PDF)
Orioles sched
Select image to see Orioles schedule (PDF)

MASN, the television home of the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles, announced today its Major League Baseball programming schedule for the 2010 season. With the April launch of MASN2 HD, MASN will carry every game and every play -- 320 MLB games -- in high definition throughout the season.

The Nationals will have 95 live games on MASN and MASH HD and an additional 67 on MASN2 and MASN2 HD. Washington DC-area viewers will also be able to watch nearly every Sunday afternoon Nationals game on MASN's over-the-air partner, DC50. MASN's partnership with DC50 will feature 20 Nationals games, including Opening Day, simulcast on the Washington broadcast network.

The Orioles will play 95 games live on MASN and MASN HD and 63 games on MASN2 and MASN2 HD. Viewers in the Baltimore area will be able to watch 20 MASN-produced Orioles games simulcast on the network's over-the-air partner, WJZ-TV Channel 13. Three games are currently scheduled to appear on national networks.

"MASN continues to raise the bar for regional sports programming by featuring every single Nationals and Orioles game in glorious HD. With MASN's innovative in-game technology, national-caliber broadcasters and 24/7 coverage of the Nationals and Orioles, MASN is providing maximum access to baseball fans," said MASN spokesman Todd Webster. "Nats and O's fans only need to know two channel positions on their remote control to watch every Nats and O's game in HD."

The easiest way for fans to locate MASN, MASN2, MASN HD and MASN2 HD will be for viewers to check their on-screen channel guides using their television remote. A full listing of cable, satellite and fiber optic channel positions will be available at MASNsports.com. Fans can also pick up MASN's television schedule at both teams' FanFest celebrations in January. The Orioles' FanFest is Saturday, January 23 and the Nationals' NatsFest is Sunday, January 31.

Source: MASN


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 available for hire or freelance. 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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