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Don Baylor Joins MASN for Nats Pre and Post Game Show PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Friday, 01 June 2007 06:25
MASNMid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) announced today that Don Baylor has joined Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight in providing pre and post-game coverage of the Washington Nationals during MASN’s exclusive Nats Xtra program. Baylor will co-host Nats Xtra with “Voice of the Terps,” Johnny Holliday when everyday co-host Ray Knight fills in to provide in-game analysis with Bob Carpenter.

“As a former outfielder, designated hitter, hitting coach, and manager, Don Baylor knows every aspect of the game and provides excellent analysis to Nationals fans,” said MASN spokesman Todd Webster.

Nats Xtra is the exclusive half-hour pre-game and post-game show featuring highlights, clips and analysis of the latest Nationals game. Launched at the start of the 2007 baseball season, the program provides greater fan access to the Nationals and their players.

Throughout his 19 year playing career, All-Star Baylor reached the post-season seven times. He played in three consecutive World Series with three different teams (Red Sox, 1986; Twins, 1987; Athletics, 1988), helping the Twins secure the championship in 1987. A power slugger and successful base-stealer, Baylor also holds a career record for getting hit by pitches (267 times).

In 1993, Baylor became the manager of the Colorado Rockies, leading the team into the postseason as a wildcard in 1995 and earning the title of National League Manager of the Year. Recently, he has coached with the Atlanta Braves, the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets, and the Seattle Mariners.

Blue Jays Announce Two-Year Broadcast Deal with CBC PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 30 May 2007 07:04
Blue JaysWhile word leaked out in mid-April of the impending deal, yesterday, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to a two year television broadcast deal with the CBC for the 2007 & 2008 seasons.

"We are very excited to have CBC returning as a television broadcaster for Toronto Blue Jays games," said Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey. "Our organizations have a long history together dating back to 1977 when the CBC was our original broadcaster. The real winner in this deal will be our fans who will now have access to 144 Blue Jays television broadcast season." 

The CBC will broadcast eight games in 2007 and then between 20 to 30 games during the 2008 season. The 2007 dates, which will be in high definition, are as follows;

• Sat. June 23 vs Colorado 1:00pm
• Sun. June 24 vs Colorado 1:00pm
• Sat. July 21 vs Seattle 1:00pm
• Sat. August 4 vs Texas 1:00pm
• Sun. August 5 vs Texas 1:00pm
• Mon. August 6 vs New York 1:00pm
• Sat. September 1 vs Seattle 1:00pm
• Sun. September 2 vs Seattle 1:00pm

The 144 game Blue Jays television broadcast schedule for the 2007 season will breakdown as follows; CBC - eight games, TSN -- 20 and Rogers Sportsnet -- 116. As well, the Rogers preview channel will provide an additional 14 games giving our fans access to 158 of the 162 games scheduled this season.
Television Ratings for MLB Hot at Season Start PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 09:51

MLB Television RatingsNational television ratings for Major League Baseball have been decidedly high early in the 2007 season, as reported by the Sports Business Journal.

While it is under two-months since the season has started, “ESPN is reporting a 24 percent overall increase in household viewership for its entire slate of MLB coverage, hitting an average of 1.35 million homes. The network is also touting a 31 percent spike and best April ever for its signature property, ‘Sunday Night Baseball.’”

At the same time, ratings for FOX’s nationally televised Saturday games are seeing an average up-tick of 11 percent, or 3.6 million viewers. That makes it the best six-week start in five years.

Reasons for the increase are reported to be a number of factors:

  • FOX began covering games earlier this season
  • Start times for games for FOX have been moved from a 1PM slot to 3:55 PM slot—a slot deemed to be more friendly for viewers.
  • ESPN’s increases are due to moving to less games in better time slots (evening, as opposed afternoon games).
  • The biggest reason – a helping of Red Sox and Yankee match-ups.

As further reported by Eric Fisher and John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal:

While baseball is often criticized for having an aging fan base, the biggest demographic jump among viewers has occurred among young males. Fox is up 14 percent among male teens and males ages 18-49, and 15 percent among men ages 18-34. ESPN ratings have increased 38 percent among the 18-34 male demo overall, and 48 percent for “Sunday Night Baseball.”

ESPN to Air Clemens Single-A Start on Friday PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 16 May 2007 01:06

Roger ClemensShowing just how much interest there is in Roger Clemens coming back to the Yankees in mid-season, ESPN will air his Single-A debut with Tampa on Friday night. The announcement has not yet been made official, but is expected today. As reported by the NY Post:

"We are in the process of discussions to try to showcase coverage on our entities," said an ESPN spokesperson.

Since the network has the rights to Game 6 of the Cavs/Nets playoff series, expect the game to air on ESPN2 if the Nets win Game 5 tonight and extend the series. Otherwise, it could air on either station, provided the Worldwide Leader does, in fact, broadcast the game.

MLB Releases Updated Postseason Schedule PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 14 May 2007 09:52

MLBAs we reported earlier, Major League Baseball announced its schedule for the 2007 postseason today.

The 2007 World Series is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, October 24th. The World Series will continue to follow a 2-3-2 format, meaning that off-days will be scheduled on the ensuing Friday and Tuesday. FOX Sports will broadcast the 103rd World Series.

The 2007 postseason will begin on Wednesday, October 3rd, with three of the four Division Series in play. One of the two American League Division Series will begin on Thursday, October 4th. Any decisive fifth game of a Division Series will now be preceded by an off-day. All Division Series games, which will continue to follow a 2-2-1 format, will predominantly be airing on TBS with additional games on sister network TNT.

The National League Championship Series, to be broadcast by TBS, is scheduled to start on Thursday, October 11th, with the American League Championship Series beginning the following day, Friday, October 12th on FOX. Each series will continue to follow a 2-3-2 format.

"Major League Baseball is pleased to make these amendments to the postseason schedule," said MLB President & Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy. "Starting the World Series in the middle of the week, when television viewership is historically higher, will provide more fans with the opportunity to watch the games. The additional off-days throughout the postseason will give us greater flexibility to facilitate travel and protect against poor weather."

The schedule can be accessed from any page on The Biz of Baseball in the future by selecting the '07 Postseason Schedule from the navigation tier to the left. 

Select Read More to see the dates, and Networks the games will be shown on.


World Series to Begin Mid-Week this Season PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 14 May 2007 01:13

MLBAs we reported last week, MLB will adjust the postseason schedule this year to allow for more time to deal with weather issues. Game 2 of the ALDS was rained out last year, as was Game 5 of the NLCS and Game 4 of the World Series.

But there may be more to the mid-week move, as determined by MLB and FOX.

Announced today, MLB will move the World Series from its Saturday start to Wednesday. With the move, Games Six and Seven will be scheduled for a Wednesday and Thursday. With the move, the World Series may potentially be purposely scheduled in November for the first time as a Game 7 would be played on Nov. 1. 

MLB and FOX are looking at the poor ratings the last two seasons, and trying to grab fan attention earlier on. As reported by Michael Hiestand of USA Today:

The idea is to make the Series, which produced its lowest-ever ratings the past two years, more media-genic. It's like a TV mini-series, where it's critical to hook viewers from the get-go. With its first two games on Wednesday and Thursday, rather than Saturday and Sunday, it will debut in the sports world's spotlight — not competing for attention with football (and NASCAR and golf) on the weekend. Says Fox Sports president Ed Goren on starting mid-week: "It's very simple. You're immediately helping yourself."

In the new schedule, the Series will skip Friday night, TV's second least-watched night after Saturday. Bob DuPuy, MLB president, says MLB considered starting the Series on Tuesday, rather than Wednesday. But a Tuesday Series start would have meant a Friday game — and avoiding Friday was a key priority.

The Series rejiggering revolves around Saturday night not being all right for the Series' opening night. It will start Wednesday, Oct. 24, four days after what would have been its usual Saturday debut. Not only is Saturday TV's least-watched night — its overall TV viewership is 15% lower than Wednesday night — but it's also become increasingly competitive. ABC last year began routinely moving marquee college football to Saturday primetime, when ESPN and ESPN2 also carry games, and got seven of last season's eight most-watched college football games.

Once again, MLB and the postseason television schedule gets jerked around. Heaven knows there's no decline in viewership simply because there's no regularity from season to season in regards to where the games are carried and when they will be broadcast.

What do you think of the change in the television schedule? Don't forget to add your comments. 

Indians Get Games on FOX. SportsTime Ohio Blacked Out PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Friday, 11 May 2007 13:31
IndiansMajor League Baseball today announced two upcoming Indians games have been added to the FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week schedule. The two games mentioned below will be broadcast locally on WJW-TV8 and due to the exclusive FOX window will not be permitted to be televised on SportsTime Ohio as originally scheduled.

The new FOX Saturday games are:

  • May 26 @ DET             becomes a 3:55pm first pitch (formerly 7:05pm)
  • June 16 vs. ATL           becomes a 3:55pm first pitch (formerly 7:05pm)

View the entire FOX Schedule here

MLB Draft to be Televised for the First Time on ESPN2 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Monday, 07 May 2007 05:50

2007 First Year Draft Order Selection Major League Baseball’s 2007 First-Year Player Draft will be carried live by ESPN2 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, June 7th, marking the first time that the Draft will be telecast. The Draft will be held at The Milk House at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

ESPN2 will air each Club’s first round choice. Clubs will have a maximum of five minutes to make their picks during the first round. Following the pick-by-pick coverage of the first round, ESPN2’s telecast will continue as the Draft is ongoing until 6:00 p.m. (EDT). After the completion of ESPN2’s coverage, the first day of the Draft will proceed until approximately 8:30 p.m. (EDT). On Friday, June 8th, the Draft will resume at 11:30 a.m. (EDT) and then will continue to its conclusion.

“Major League Baseball is delighted that ESPN2 will provide live coverage of our Draft,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “I am glad that this agreement will give fans access to see this critical function of an organization’s development. This is an idea whose time has come.”

The selection order is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays will have the first selection of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. The San Francisco Giants will have three selections in the first round, while the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers will each have two first round choices. Supplementary selections are given as compensation to those Clubs that lost Type A or B free agents.

The Draft will have 50 rounds and will conclude after all 30 teams have passed on a selection or after the final selection of the 50th round, whichever comes first., the official website of Major League Baseball, will offer comprehensive coverage of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, highlighted by two days of live multimedia coverage from Orlando on The Baseball Channel and live interactive pick-by-pick results via the exclusive Draft Caster.

Select the accompanying image for the complete order of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. 

Harold Reynolds wins Round 1 against ESPN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 05 May 2007 04:13

Harold ReynoldsThis week, a Connecticut Superior Court Judge ordered that ESPN must turn over all pertinent information regarding the case against Harold Reynolds, including Reynolds’ personnel file. Reynolds was fired from ESPN in July of 2006 over what ESPN is claiming to be sexual harassment. Reynolds has filed a wrongful termination claim against ESPN.

Judge Joseph Shortall approved Reynolds' motions deciding that ESPN must turn in information and in a separate protective order document that certain key pieces of information must be treated confidential by order of the court, including "the names, addresses and any other identifying information of person(s) who complained to ESPN about plaintiff."

Judge Shortall's ruling on the information that ESPN must provide reads in part:

It is also ORDERED that the defendant shall provide the plaintiff with a copy of all papers, documents and reports in its possession, including electronic mail and facsimiles, which are within the definition of a "personal file" in Conn. General Statues § 31-128  (7) until the termination of this litigation by judgment or settlement, including all appeals which may be taken from any judgment.

Both court documents are in PDF format and can be read here in our Business of Baseball (BOB) Documents library. The compliant by Reynolds can be viewed here.

Dolans to Take Cablevision Private PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 04:15

CablevisionThe Dolans will be buying the remaining portion of Cablevision, thus taking the company private.

Charles and James Dolan offered $36.26 per share for the stock in the company that they currently do not already own. The total offering comes to  $10.5 billion and with that, the transaction implies a total enterprise value of approximately $22 billion.

Charles F. Dolan and James L. Dolan, speaking on behalf of the Dolan Family Group, said, "The Dolan family founded Cablevision nearly 35 years ago, and we are very proud of the company's track record of delivering quality service and innovative products to our customers. We believe the best way to continue this tradition in today's increasingly competitive environment is as a privately held company. This new structure and an entrepreneurial perspective will enable us to keep growing the business with our talented management team and dedicated employees."

In the transaction, the Dolan Family Group will contribute approximately $2.1 billion in equity to the transaction through reinvestment of its Cablevision shares in the new privately held company. Merrill Lynch & Co., Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., and Bank of America have committed to provide approximately $15.5 billion in debt financing to fund the merger consideration and refinance certain bank indebtedness of Cablevision. The company's existing notes and debentures will remain outstanding.


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Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?