The MLB Network is an American television sports channel dedicated to baseball. It is primarily owned by Major League Baseball, with AT&T's WarnerMedia News & Sports, Comcast's NBC Sports Group, Charter Communications and Cox Communications having minority ownership.
The channel's headquarters and studios are located in the Secaucus, New Jersey facility, which formerly housed MSNBC's studios. MLB Network's studios also house NHL Network, with some studio sharing, which came under the management of MLB Advanced Media in mid-2015 and transferred most operations from the network's former Toronto home base.
Tony Petitti, former executive producer of CBS Sports, was named the network's first president. Petitti served as MLB Network's president until December 2014, when he was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball. Rob McGlarry, who worked as Senior and later Executive Vice-president of Business Affairs at MLB Network since 2009, was named the network's second president.
As of February 2015, MLB Network is available to approximately 69,991,000 pay television households (60.1% of subscription television customers) in the United States.
|Launched||January 1, 2009|
|Owned by||Major League Baseball (67%)|
Charter Communications (5.44%)
Cox Communications (5.44%)
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)|
(downgraded to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Slogan||Our national pastime all the time|
Get caught looking
|Language||English and Spanish|
|Broadcast area||United States|
|Headquarters||One MLB Network Plaza|
Secaucus, New Jersey
|Sister channel(s)||MLB Network Radio|
|DirecTV (U.S.)||213 MLB Network (HD/SD)|
213-1 MLB Network (alternate) (HD/SD)
719 MLB Strike Zone (HD/SD)
|DirecTV (Latin America)||656|
|Dish Network||152 (HD/SD)|
478 (HD/SD) Alternate feed
|Bell TV (Canada)||1420 (HD)|
|Available on many U.S. cable systems||Check local listings|
|Rogers Cable (Canada)||415 (HD/SD) (Ontario systems only)|
|Vidéotron (Canada)||791 (HD)|
|Wave Broadband (U.S.)||189 (HD/SD)|
|Verizon FiOS||MLB Network: |
MLB Strike Zone:
|AT&T U-verse||634 (SD)|
|Bell Fibe TV (Canada)||1450 (HD)|
|MTS (Canada)||188 (SD) |
|SaskTel (Canada)||122 (SD) |
|VMedia (Canada)||77 (SD)|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
|YouTube TV||Internet Protocol television|
|DirecTV Now||Internet Protocol Television|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol Television|
|DAZN||Internet Protocol Television|
Major League Baseball became the fourth major North American professional sports league to launch its own 24-hour cable network. NBA TV dates back to 1999, the NHL Network to 2001 (though not in the United States until 2007), and the NFL Network to 2003. However, MLB Network is carried in the most households of these four networks, as it is available on all of the top ten video operators in the United States.
MLB Network soft-launched on December 16, 2008 with a rolling automated loop of archival programming and promotions for the network for cable systems that carried the network's transmissions leading up to the January 1 launch. The channel fully launched at 6 PM EST with the premiere of Hot Stove.
In April 2012, MLB Network's standard definition feed shifted to a 16:9 letterbox format. Both of the network's SD and HD feeds now show the same format.
On April 4, 2016, MLB Network debuted a new on-air graphics package optimized for the 16:9 format, replacing the previous on-air look used since the network's New Year's Day 2009 launch.
The network has signed contracts with numerous cable and satellite carriers, including DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon Fios, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and AT&T Uverse. In a deal that was pioneered by other sports league owned channels, MLB tied carriage of the MLB Network to the ability to carry the popular out of market MLB Extra Innings package. In return, cable and satellite providers were offered a minority share of the new network.
On March 26, 2010, it was announced that satellite radio station MLB Home Plate will be rebranded to MLB Network Radio which will simulcast some MLB Network programs such as MLB Tonight and Hot Stove. The switchover began on April 4, the first day of the 2010 MLB season.
At launch, no announcement was made about MLB Network availability in Canada, home of the Toronto Blue Jays. Network officials had been in contact with Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications (owner of Rogers Cable, the largest cable provider in Canada) about making MLB Network available in Canada, but emphasized prior to the channel's launch that a deal was not imminent.
In August 2008, Rogers secured Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approval for a Canadian digital channel tentatively called "Baseball TV". This license could have been used to launch a localized version of MLB Network with domestic advertising and additional Canadian content, along the lines of NBA TV Canada, which is owned by the parent company of the Toronto Raptors but uses much of the content of the league's U.S. channel NBA TV. It was reported initially that Rogers intended to pursue this approach to bring MLB Network to Canada. However, the licence was issued on the condition the channel launch by August 2011, which did not occur.
Rogers ultimately agreed to sponsor MLB Network's request to be added to the CRTC's list of approved foreign television services, which would permit Canadian cable and satellite providers to import the American feed, as has occurred previously with similar niche-sports services such as Big Ten Network, NFL Network and Golf Channel. The application was published for public comment on June 13, 2012 and was approved on November 21, 2012. In the interim, the Rogers-owned Sportsnet One aired selected programs from MLB Network, including Quick Pitch and Intentional Talk.
MLB Network was added to Rogers Cable systems in Ontario on January 8, 2014, in both standard and high definition. On June 3, 2015, SaskTel announced that it would begin carrying MLB Network. As of 2017, it is also available on MTS and Vidéotron.
The 720p high definition simulcast of MLB Network launched simultaneously to the regular channel. After much discussion, MLB Network decided to use the 720p format instead of 1080-line-interlace because it believes 720p shows the motion of baseball more accurately and will degrade less when recompressed by cable operators to save bandwidth (most of the regional Fox Sports Networks use the same format). As Mark Haden (VP of engineering and IT of MLB Network) says: "That's our best shot of maintaining quality to viewers." All studio programs and original shows are shot in HD, as well as all self-produced games such as those of the 2009 World Baseball Classic and Thursday Night Baseball, as well as simulcasted locally produced games. The network also remastered 30 World Series films in high definition.
MLB Network airs several live games a week. These games are blacked out in the participating markets of the two teams (unless listed otherwise). Blacked out markets receive an alternate game or pre-taped programming.
In 2012, MLB Network aired its first ever postseason telecasts. The first telecast took place on October 7 and featured the Detroit Tigers hosting the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park in Detroit for game two of the 2012 ALDS. Matt Vasgersian called the game alongside analyst Jim Kaat. The second telecast took place on October 10 and featured the Washington Nationals hosting the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. for game three of the 2012 NLDS; this was the Nationals first home postseason game since moving to Washington, D.C. at the start of the 2005 season. Bob Costas provided the play-by-play commentary alongside analyst Jim Kaat.
International live game coverage self-produced by MLB Network includes the World Baseball Classic and the Caribbean Series. The 2014 Sydney Cricket Ground opening series from Sydney between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks was a co-production between MLB Network and ESPN Australia, along with the Nine Network/GEM, which held the home rights for the broadcasts. Starting 2015 season, MLB Network produces MLB International coverage of the MLB All-Star Game and the World Series.
The channel also airs live and tape delayed Spring training games, simulcasted from one of the team's local TV rights holder's feed, or if not available, the spring training complex's internal scoreboard video feed with team radio network audio. These games are also subject to local blackouts.
The channel also carries live development league games, and occasionally live college games. In August 2009, they aired youth baseball championships, including the RBI World Series and the Cal Ripken World Series. It also airs some games of the Arizona Fall League including the All Star game and the championship.
In 2012, MLB Network took over the pre-game production responsibilities for the MLB on Fox package, producing Fox Saturday Baseball and postseason pre-game shows from Secaucus and on-location. The show featured Matt Vasgersian or Greg Amsinger and two analysts from a rotating roster of MLB Network's personalities (Eric Byrnes, Kevin Millar, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Bill Ripken, or Mitch Williams). The show used Fox's graphics and theme songs. Fox took back control of the pregame show in 2014 when the "Game of the Week" package was eliminated.
MLB Network produces promos for its current MLB Network original series which air on regular basis as well as for films that MLB Network broadcast. MLB Network also airs promos for special events that it airs and different games that it broadcast live.
MLB Strike Zone is a channel that launched on April 10, 2012 that allows viewers to see every game across MLB, with up-to-the-minute highlights, and live look-ins and updates, without commercials, in a similar format to NFL RedZone. The channel currently airs on Tuesday and Friday nights during the regular season. Matt Yallof is the current host of the show, which usually lasts about three hours. One criticism of the show is that west coast games often get sparse coverage due to the time zone difference.
The Secaucus-based studios have two main sets, both named after famous players. "Studio 3", named in honor of Babe Ruth, serves as the home for all studio programs, while "Studio 42", honoring Jackie Robinson, is a half-scale baseball field where demonstrations by the network's analysts take place, 'Intentional Talk', and 'MLB Now' is presented, along with interview programs where an audience is needed for atmosphere. Studio 42 is also the home of the early rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft. The studio includes seating for over 125 people, along with elements such as a functioning manual scoreboard and a standings wall for each league and division.
With the launch of Intentional Talk in 2011, the hosts Chris Rose and Kevin Millar are not always available in the MLB Network studios. When this occurs, the show is usually shown as a split screen in which Chris Rose is at his house in Los Angeles and Kevin hosts from his house in Austin, Texas, also known as "Studio 1-5" for Millar's uniform number.
On November 12, 2012, MLB Network introduced a third set, "Studio K", for the new daily morning offseason show, Hot Stove and guests analysts/insiders on 'High Heat'. During the premiere episode, hosts Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds said that the studio was constructed from the building's mail room, explaining its small size.
The network had planned to launch permanent studios from a new tower in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood by 2011. However, because of the 2008 financial crisis, the building project was scaled back and later canceled in late November 2008.
With the August 2015 announcement that MLB Advanced Media would take over the digital properties of the National Hockey League, it was announced that NHL Network would relocate its studios and operations to the facilities of MLB Network. The channel temporarily originated its studio programming from Studio K and Studio 21, until the completion of a dedicated studio in April 2016. In honor of the NHL Stadium Series playing at the Colorado Rockies' Coors Field, a scale hockey rink was built on Studio 42 in February 2016 for cross-promotional appearances on NHL Network and MLB Network.
Brian Kenny (born October 18, 1963 in New York City) is a studio host for MLB Network and a boxing play by play announcer for DAZN. The television face of sabermetrics and baseball analytics, he is the host of the weekday program "MLB Now," known as “The Show For The Thinking Fan." He previously worked for ESPN, and had his own show on ESPN Radio named The Brian Kenny Show. His first book, Ahead of the Curve; Inside the Baseball Revolution, was published in 2016 by Simon and Schuster , and won the National SABR Research Award in 2017 . One of the most respected baseball historians and broadcasters in the country, he is also the host of the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Cooperstown, NY .Chris Rose
Christopher "Chris" Rose (born January 27, 1971) is an American sportscaster for the MLB Network and NFL Network. He is currently a commentator for the Discovery Channel series BattleBots.Dan Plesac
Daniel Thomas Plesac (Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [ˈdænˈplêsats], born February 4, 1962) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher with an 18-year career from 1986 to 2003. He played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Philadelphia Phillies.Greg Amsinger
Greg Amsinger (born May 24, 1979 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American sportscaster and currently a studio host for MLB Network.Harold Reynolds
Harold Craig Reynolds (born November 26, 1960) is an American former professional baseball second baseman, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, and California Angels. Since his retirement, he has become a well-known television analyst, working for MLB Network and Fox Sports.Hazel Mae
Hazel Mae Barker (born April 7, 1970), known professionally as Hazel Mae, is a Filipino-Canadian sportscaster. She was the former lead anchor for the New England Sports Network's SportsDesk news program and most recently the anchor on MLB Network. Mae worked for Sportsnet until 2004, when she left to work for NESN SportsDesk. Mae returned on November 14, 2011. Mae grew up in Toronto and began her sports broadcasting career hosting a sports update show on campus at York University.Hot Stove
Hot Stove is an offseason baseball talk show that airs on MLB Network and is simulcast on MLB Network Radio. The show offers the coverage of offseason activities including trades, free agent signings, and rumors. It is taped live in "Studio K" of the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. Prior to its restructure to a talk show in 2012, it replaced MLB Tonight as the signature show of the network during the off season. As such it was taped live in Studio 3, but also featured segments taped in Studio 42. The program airs from after the World Series and before spring training.Jeanne Zelasko
Jeanne Zelasko (born October 26, 1966) is a U.S. journalist and sportscaster who is currently working for "The Beast" AM980 KFWB and Fox Sports West in Los Angeles County, California. Prior to taking that position Zelasko had a relatively lengthy career working for Fox Sports as a reporter and analyst for various programs, as well as reporting for MLB Network, ESPN and as the court reporter on Judge Joe Brown.Joe Magrane
Joseph David Magrane (born July 2, 1964) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and is currently a color commentary broadcaster for the MLB Network. He was teamed with play-by-play announcer Dewayne Staats from 1998 to 2008 as part of the Tampa Bay Rays television team.
Magrane served as an analyst for NBC Sports' coverage of Baseball at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He teamed with play-by-play man Eric Collins of ESPN.Ken Rosenthal
Kenneth H. "Ken" Rosenthal (born September 19, 1962) is an American sportswriter and reporter. He serves as a field reporter for Fox Major League Baseball and in-studio reporter for MLB Network. Since August 2017, he is a senior baseball writer for The Athletic.
Rosenthal grew up in Oyster Bay, New York and attended Oyster Bay High School. After serving as an intern covering sports for Newsday on Long Island, he began his career in 1984 at the York Daily Record. He moved on to the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, New Jersey for two years before landing a full-time job with The Baltimore Sun, where he was named Maryland Sportswriter of the Year five times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association during his tenure from 1987 to 2000. Rosenthal simultaneously contributed to Sports Illustrated from 1990 to 2000, providing weekly notes during baseball season. He then spent five years at The Sporting News before joining Fox Sports in 2005. He regularly wears a bow tie when appearing on Fox Sports telecasts in support of various charitable organizations. In 2015 and 2016, Rosenthal won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Reporter for his work with Fox Sports and MLB Network.In June 2017, FoxSports.com eliminated its writing staff to focus only on video, leaving Rosenthal without an editorial home. He began posting stories on his Facebook page, before joining The Athletic in August 2017 as a senior baseball writer.Kevin Millar
Kevin Charles Millar (; born September 24, 1971) is an American former professional baseball first baseman who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) and current analyst for MLB Network. He played in MLB for the Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Toronto Blue Jays from 1998 through 2009. He is currently a host along with Chris Rose on the MLB Network show Intentional Talk, and (as of late-March 2018) the show's companion audio podcast "Intentional Talk: Caught Listening".Lauren Shehadi
Lauren Shehadi (born May 23, 1983) is an American sportscaster for the MLB Network.MLB Network Radio
MLB Network Radio (formerly MLB Home Plate) is an American sports talk radio station on Sirius XM Radio that features Major League Baseball related talk shows, as well as archives and live reports.
MLB Home Plate launched in February 2005, as an incentive to entertain the new listeners who signed up for XM's Major League Baseball deal when the games were not on. MLB Network Radio is carried on XM channel 89, and was added to the "Best of XM" package on Sirius Satellite Radio on December 10, 2008, airing on channel 209.MLB Network Showcase
MLB Network Showcase is the title of a presentation of Major League Baseball on cable and satellite channel MLB Network (self-produced by MLB Network), that premiered on April 9, 2009. Longtime NBC Sports broadcaster Bob Costas is one of the play-by-play voices of the broadcasts. Matt Vasgersian also does play-by-play on some games. Jim Kaat, John Smoltz, and Tom Verducci provide color commentary. The network produces 26 non-exclusive live games a year during baseball season and since 2012 two League Division Series games. Since one or both teams' local TV rights holders also carry the games, the MLB Network feed is subject to local blackouts. In that event, the cities in the blacked-out markets will instead see a simulcast of another scheduled game via one team's local TV rights holder.MLB Tonight
MLB Tonight is the signature program that airs on MLB Network and is simulcast on MLB Network Radio. The show offers complete coverage of all Major League Baseball games from 6 pm ET till 1 am ET during the regular season, and gives news from all 30 MLB teams during the offseason. It is taped live in Studio 3 of the MLB Network facility in Secaucus, New Jersey, but also features segments taped in Studio 42. The program aired from the beginning of Spring Training to the end of the World Series and was replaced in the offseason by Hot Stove, until it started to air in the offseason, and Hot Stove became MLB Network's weekday morning show. The show won the Sports Emmy Award for best Daily Outstanding Studio Show for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.Matt Vasgersian
Matthew Edward Vasgersian (born September 28, 1967) is an American sportscaster and television host. Vasgersian is currently a play-by-play announcer for ESPN's coverage of Major League Baseball, as well as a studio host for the MLB Network. In the past he has served as an announcer for Fox Sports' National Football League coverage, NBC Sports' coverage of the Olympic Games, and NBC Sports' coverage of the short lived XFL. He formerly called play-by-play for the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres.Sam Ryan
Samantha Ryan is an American sportscaster who is a sports anchor for WABC-TV New York's Eyewitness News' weekend evening broadcasts.Tom Verducci
Thomas "Tom" Verducci (born October 23, 1960) is an American sportswriter who writes for Sports Illustrated and its online magazine SI.com. He writes primarily about baseball. He is also a field reporter for the MLB postseason on TBS. In addition, he appears on Hot Stove and MLB Tonight on MLB Network as a baseball insider.
Major League Baseball on national television
|Pay television carriers|
|MLB owned & operated entities|
|News television series|
|Broadcasters by event|