Major League Baseball

Turner Announces Broadcaster Assignment for Wild Card and Division Series

Turner Sports announced today the announcer assignments for TBS’ coverage of the MLB Wild Card games and Division Series.

Here is the schedule and assignments for the two Wild Card games:

Date Time (ET) Games/Commentator Teams
Tuesday, Oct. 1 7 p.m. MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by Jeep
Keith Olbermann (host), Mark DeRosa, Dirk Hayhurst, Pedro Martinez and Tom Verducci (analysts).
  8 p.m. N.L. Wild Card Game: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates

Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling and Cal Ripken (analysts) with Craig Sager (reporter)

  Postgame The Postseason Show on TBS presented by Johnnie Walker

Olbermann, DeRosa, Hayhurst, Martinez and Verducci

   
Wednesday, Oct. 2 7 p.m. MLB Postseason Pre-Game on TBS presented by Jeep
Olbermann, DeRosa, Hayhurst, Martinez and Verducci
  8 p.m. A.L. Wild Card Game: Tampa Bay Rays / Texas Rangers at Cleveland Indians

Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Joe Simpson and John Smoltz (analysts) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

Postgame The Postseason Show on TBS presented by Johnnie Walker

Olbermann, DeRosa, Hayhurst, Martinez and Verducci

Here are the assignments for the Division Series:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves  Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling and Cal Ripken (analysts) with Craig Sager (reporter)
  • N.L. Wild Card vs. St. Louis Cardinals  Dick Stockton (play-by-play) and Bob Brenly (analyst) with Matt Winer (reporter)
  • Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics – Don Orsillo (play-by-play), Dennis Eckersley and Buck Martinez (analysts) with David Aldridge (reporter)
  • A.L. Wild Card vs. Boston Red Sox – Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Joe Simpson and John Smoltz (analysts) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)
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Turner Unveils Post Season Baseball Announcer Line-Up

Turner Sports today announced its roster of announcers and analysts for its upcoming coverage of Major League Baseball’s post season.  This season TBS will air both Wild Card Playoff games, along with up to 18 Divisional Series games and the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

The TBS studio pre and post-game program will be hosted by Keith Olbermann with analysis from Tom Verducci, the newly-added Pedro Martinez, and Blue Jays analyst Dirk Hayhurst.

The top announcer team will feature Ernie Johnson on the call with Ron Darling and Cal Ripken providing analysis.  Craig Sager and Verducci will serve as reporters for the NLCS;

Brian Anderson will be paired with John Smoltz and Joe Simpson;

Dick Stockton will handle play-by-play with Bob Brenly;

And Don Orsillo will call action with Dennis Eckersley and Buck Martinez.

David Aldredge, Matt Winer, and Rachel Nichols will also serve as reporters during the post season.

The post season on TBS begins October 1st.

Sports Media Digest- August 22, 2013

NBC Digital Sees Best Traffic Month Ever in July

NBC Sports reports that its digital division saw record traffic during the month of July. Total viewership during the month topped pout at 102.6 million visits.

Here are the numbers as reportewd by NBC PT:

NBCSports.com recorded its best month ever in uniques and visits with 20.4 million and 51.8 million, respectively. Many SportsTalk sites also experienced their best-ever July:

  • ProFootballTalk recorded its best month ever in uniques and visits, with 9.8 million uniques, up 115 percent year-over-year, and 27.4 million visits, up 106% year-over-year.
  • ProBasketballTalk posted its best month ever in visits and page views for the third consecutive month, fueled by NBA free agency news. ProBasketballTalk had 10.8 million visits and 18.5 million page views in July.
  • HardballTalk had its best month ever in all key metrics, as its 3.8 million uniques marked the first time that the site exceeded 3 million, driven by the suspensions tied to the Biogensis fallout.
  • ProHockeyTalk scored its best month in visits for the third consecutive month, with 2.9 million visits, breaking the 2 million mark for the second time.
  • ProSoccerTalk saw its best month ever in all key metrics for third consecutive month, and the site’s 1.3 million uniques was the first time it surpassed one million.
  • MotorSportsTalk finished with its best month ever in page views since launching in February 2013 with 941,000.

GolfChannel.com, the digital website for 2012’s fastest growing cable network, posted its second consecutive month with more than 30 million page views and fifth consecutive month with more than 3 million uniques.  GolfChannel also generated more than 1 million video starts and drew a 25 percent uptick in unique visitors, compared to last year.

The NBC Sports Regional Networks’ digital platforms also spiked in growth, earning their best month ever in visits and page views, with 17.5 million visits and 31.7 million page views, up 62 percent and 25 percent year-over-year, respectively. CSN Philadelphia and CSN New England contributed remarkable advances, though all of the Comcast SportsNet regionals notched increases in uniques, visits and page views. Four NBC Sports Regional Networks posted their best month ever in a key metric:

  • Patriots and Celtics coverage pushed CSN New England to 4.1 million visits and 6.2 million page views in July, marking all-time highs for each metric.
  • CSN Philadelphia drew 1.9 million video starts, another record high.
  • 49ers and Raiders training camp stories boosted CSN Bay Area to 1.4 million uniques, its best month ever.
  • CSN Houston recorded its best month ever since its October launch in page views with 1.1 million as the Houston Rockets landed free-agent megastar Dwight Howard

NBC Sports Group apps also grew in July:

  • The NBC SportsTalk app delivered a record 6.2 million visits (the record was set in March 2013 at the height of NFL free agency) and 66 million page views and – its second best performance to date.
  • The NBC Sports Digital apps recorded their best month ever in visits and page views, with 18 million visits, up 55 percent year-over-year, and 117.8 page views, up 43 percent year-over-year.
  • NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktop, mobile and tablets, has surpassed 6.1 million downloads.
  • Golf Channel mobile apps generated more than 500,000 uniques, the most ever for the platform in a month, and the second highest page views for a month ever with more than 28 million.
  • “The continued traffic growth across NBC Sports Digital properties shows our strategy focusing around video, NBCSportsTalk and mobile is working.  It also validates our important and growing partnership with Yahoo! Sports,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Digital, NBC Sports Group.

“The continued traffic growth across NBC Sports Digital properties shows our strategy focusing around video, NBCSportsTalk and mobile is working.  It also validates our important and growing partnership with Yahoo! Sports,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Digital, NBC Sports Group.

Fox Sports 1 and MLB to Produce Behind-the Scenes Access Leading to the Playoffs

Fox Sports and Major League Baseball have announced a collaboration which will give baseball fans an exclusive look behind the scenes with a specific team fighting to reach the Postseason and win the World Series.

Mission October will follow players, coaches and front office personnel over the course of a weekend series, and each show will be produced and edited as the weekend series unfolds, allowing for episodes to air on Monday evenings each week.

“Our fans crave behind the scenes access to their favorite stars, and they want to see it right away. Mission October satisfies both of those desires, and we know MLB Productions is up to the task of this extremely quick editing schedule,” said Chris Tully, Senior Vice President, Broadcasting, Major League Baseball. “We’re thrilled to be working with Fox Sports 1 on this series, which will provide a unique glimpse each week inside the inner workings of our Clubs during this most critical time of the season.”

“This is what the Pennant race is all about. Fighting tooth and nail to get the opportunity to play in October. It’s a privilege that MLB and the players have let our viewers be this close to the action at this most crucial and exciting time of the season. You will really get to see the race for October from the inside out,” said Michael Bloom, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Fox Sports 1.

The eight-part series will debut Monday at 7:30p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

MLB and SiriusXm Extend Rights Agreement

SiriusXM Radio and Major League Baseball have signed a six-year extension of their rights agreement.  The deal will now make MLB game broadcasts available on both Sirius and XM satellite radios, starting today.

SiriusXM has been a broadcast partner with Major League Baseball since 1995.  SiriusXM will continue to air live play-by-play of every regular and postseason MLB game, as well as select spring training and Spanish-language game broadcasts, through the 2021 season.  The service is available to subscribers with Sirius radios on either a Premier or All Access package.  All MLB games will continue to air on all XM radios.

“Baseball has been an essential part of our programming lineup and we’re very happy to extend our relationship with MLB to deliver the games to our subscribers for many years to come,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer.  “We’re especially pleased to now offer the games to SiriusXM subscribers whether they listen through Sirius radios, XM radios, the SiriusXM App or online.”

“SiriusXM has been a valuable partner providing our fans with the ability to listen to every MLB game on the growing platform of satellite radio,” said Tim Brosnan, MLB Executive Vice President, Business.  “We are proud that Major League Baseball content has been an important contributor to the growth of satellite radio and we look forward to continuing this relationship into the next decade.”

Spring Training Baseball Begins this Week on ESPN

ESPN begins its run of Spring Training Major League Baseball this week.  Action will begin tomorrow as ESPN2 simulcasts ESPN Deportes coverage of the World Baseball Classic with a game between Italy and the Dominican Republic.

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and John Kruk will make their debut.

Here is the ESPN Spring Training baseball schedule:

Date Time (ET) Game Networks
Tue, Mar 12 1 p.m. World  Baseball Classic: Italy vs. Dominican Republic
Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Ozzie Guillen
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon, Mar 18 1 p.m. Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Presented by Head & Shoulders
Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, Buster Olney
ESPN, WatchESPN
Tue, Mar 19 1 p.m. New York Yankees at Philadelphia Phillies Presented by Head & Shoulders
Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, Buster Olney
ESPN, WatchESPN
Wed, Mar 20 1 p.m. Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Presented by Head & Shoulders
Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, Buster Olney
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon, Mar 25 1 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Presented by Head & Shoulders
Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, Doug Glanville
ESPN, WatchESPN
Tue, Mar 26 1 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at New York MetsPresented by Head & Shoulders
Karl Ravech, Aaron Boone, Rick Sutcliffe, Tim Kurkjian
ESPN, WatchESPN
Wed, Mar 27 1 p.m. Philadelphia Phillies at Detroit Tigers Presented by Head & Shoulders
Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, Doug Glanville
ESPN, WatchESPN
Thu, Mar 28 1 p.m. New York Mets at Washington Nationals Presented by Head & Shoulders
Dave O’Brien, Aaron Boone, Rick Sutcliffe, Tim Kurkjian
ESPN, WatchESPN

ESPN Unveails MLB Opening Day Line-Up

ESPN will once again have the rights to telecast the opening of the 2013 Major League Basbeall season.  The first pitch of the new year will take place Sunday, March 31st at 8:00p.m. ET as the Texas Rangers take on the Houston Astros in the Astors first game as a member of the American League.

ESPN’s Baseball Tonight telecast will precede the game beginning at 6:00p.m. ET.

On Opening Day, April 1st, ESPN and ESPN2 will telecast four games: Red Sox/Yankees (1:00p.m. ET on ESPN); Giants/Dodgers (4:00p.m. ET on ESPN); Phillies/Braves (7:00p.m. ET on ESPN2); and Cardinals/Diamondbacks (10:00p.m. ET on ESPN2).

ESPN/Major League Baseball Reach Eight Year Extension

ESPN and Major League Baseball today announced an eight-year contract extension which will grant the network expanded multi-platform coverage of the sport through 2021.  Reports have the deal worth $5.6 billion.

The new deal includes the addition of an annual Wild Card playoff game, the production of additional MLB studio programming hours, 10 additional regular-season games, increased footage and highlights rights across platforms, increased ability to co-exist in local team markets and added content across digital platforms and WatchESPN. In addition, an expansion of rights across ESPN Radio, ESPN International and ESPN Deportes.

Here is more from ESPN P.R.:

ESPN’s expanded MLB package will include the following additional rights:

  • The addition of an annual Wild Card game presented by Budweiser, which will alternate between AL and NL each year;
  • The rights to produce a significant amount of additional Baseball Tonight hours;
  • The rights to all regular-season tiebreaker games – if necessary;
  • In-progress highlights during SportsCenter on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS;
  • 10 additional regular-season games per season, including four Pennant Chase games in late September and up to six Holiday games across Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day;
  • New and increased co-exist rights on Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball;
  • The rights to produce a new, daily baseball studio show.

The new deal will also include several enhancements to existing rights:

  • Increased rights for Sunday Night Baseball exclusive team appearances;
  • More selection flexibility throughout ESPN’s 25-game Sunday Night Baseball slate;
  • Increased highlight rights for ESPN websites and applications, additional digital rights for ESPN programs and increased interactive television rights;
  • Increased ESPN Radio rights, including the additional right to co-exist during two Saturday windows per team, per year;
  • All MLB-related television content, including games and studio shows, to be available on WatchESPN;
  • Continued State Farm Home Run Derby coverage during MLB All-Star, including renewed 3D Derby rights;
  • Renewal and expansion of International rights across territories, including Wild Card games and the rights to additional Baseball Tonight hours.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am thrilled that we will continue our long-standing relationship with ESPN far into the future.” said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig,   “The level of ESPN’s commitment to baseball – both financially and through its expanded content – is a testament to the strength of our game and its unprecedented popularity among our fans.  Through its various networks and other media platforms, ESPN offers baseball fans more avenues to experience the game than ever before, and we’re thankful for their continued support.”

“We’re thrilled to renew our long-standing agreement with Major League Baseball into the next decade.” said ESPN President John Skipper, “It’s a great property. The enormous scope of what we acquired will provide fans with more live baseball and more ways to access baseball content than ever before.”