MASN Still Hangs Over The Nationals, But There Might Be Cause For Hope

Some MLB Broadcasters Still Aren’t Back On The Road. Viewers Notice

Several weeks into the baseball season, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network remains an outlier, keeping its announcers for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals at home for road games. Instead of traveling, the broadcasters are calling the games from the broadcasts booths inside their local stadiums, a tricky task for play-by-play announcers Bob Carpenter with the Nationals and Kevin Brown with the Orioles. The effect on the broadcast has been noticed by fans, with delayed commentary a frequent frustration, such as when a key Oakland error was called several seconds after Orioles fans saw it on MASN

Blue Jays Broadcaster Buck Martinez Stepping Away From Booth After Cancer Diagnosis

Lerner Family Will Explore Selling The Washington Nationals

Mark Lerner, Ted Lerner’s son who now serves as the club’s managing principal owner, said Monday that the family has hired New York investment bank Allen & Co. to research potential investors, and possibly buyers, for the MLB franchise.

Sinclair’s Bally Sports Streaming Service Gets Affirmation From Kansas City Royals

Cubs Exploring Direct-to-Consumer Service, Team President Confirms

The Chicago Cubs are looking at direct-to-consumer streaming service that would make  games available to fan who don’t subscribe to cable or satellite TV, a team official said. The team wants get the service ready for the 2023 season, but Carne Kenney, president of business operations for the Cubs, said that Major League Baseball, distributors, pricing and technology issues all must be overcome.

Tradition-Bound Baseball Is Streaming Into The Future

Deals with Apple TV Plus and Peacock could help revive the national pastime.

Peacock Finalizing Deal To Stream MLB Games In New Sunday Time Slot

NBCUniversal’s Peacock is nearing a deal with Major League Baseball for exclusive rights to stream games in a new Sunday time slot, according to people familiar with the discussions, as the league looks to increase digital partnerships. The deal with NBCU would involve a package of 18 games, some beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET and others just after noon, the people said. That would limit the conflict with Sunday games that typically start at 1 p.m., making the telecasts more valuable for Peacock. The games would primarily be played on the East Coast, given the early timing, the people said.

MLB Players Cry Foul After League Owners Push Opening Day To Mid-April Amid Lockout

MLB Deals With Apple And NBC Sports Worth Combined $115M Annually

The new streaming deal between Major League Baseball and Apple is worth $85 million annually over seven years, according to several sources familiar with the agreement who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the terms.

MLB Games Loss Due To Labor Standoff Sends Regional Networks Scrambling

The bargaining standoff between Major League Baseball and its players that led to last week’s cancellation of Opening Day is a particularly bitter pill to swallow for the local and national outlets that bring games to their most ardent fans — networks that already have experienced two seasons of COVID-driven disruptions.

MLB Cancels Opening Day As Lockout Continues

The 2022 Major League Baseball season will not start on time, according to Commissioner Rob Manfred. “I had hoped against hope that I would not have to have this particular press conference in which I am going to cancel some regular season games,” Manfred said Tuesday afternoon. On the 90th day of an owner-implemented lockout and the ninth straight day of in-person bargaining, the league and union were unable to reach a mutually tolerable collective bargaining agreement.

MLB In Serious Talks With NBC Sports About Streaming Games

MLB and NBC Sports have had serious talks about the network broadcasting games this season. If a deal comes to fruition, most of the games are expected to be on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock.

MLB Threatens To Cancel Regular Season Games If No Labor Deal By Monday

As negotiations on a new labor agreement continue to drag, Major League Baseball is pulling out the big gun threats. On Wedneday, a management spokesperson said MLB will begin canceling regular-season games if the league and the Players Association can’t come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement by Monday.

Sinclair Plans DTC Launch In Baseball Markets In First Half Of 2022

Sinclair Broadcast Group said it plans to launch its direct-to-consumer product in the five markets where it has rights to stream baseball teams in the first half of 2022. Sinclair said that following rights renewals with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, its Bally Sports regional sports networks have rights to launch DTC products with a total of 33 teams.

Apple May Bid For MLB Weekday Package

Now that Amazon has established itself in live sports, most recently through a $1 billion deal to air “Thursday Night Football,” Apple is trying to jump into the game. Apple is in talks with Major League Baseball to acquire the rights to its weekday package, according to people with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be named because discussions are confidential. An agreement would, for the first time, align the most valuable U.S. tech company with a pro sports media package and give Apple a major content boost for its streaming service, Apple TV+.

ESPN Taps Alex Rodriguez, Michael Kay For New Swing At Baseball

ESPN on Friday outlined a new strategy for its flagship Sunday Night Baseball, setting up Rodriguez and veteran sports commentator Michael Kay in a special flanker presentation of eight games on ESPN2 while enlisting David Cone in a new multi-year deal alongside Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez for the original SNB. The plan appears to emulate what ESPN has done in the fall, broadcasting its regular Monday Night Football on its primary cable network while setting up the Manning brothers and guests ranging from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to David Letterman in a freewheeling bull session that plays off game action.

MLB Owners Lock Out Players, 1st Work Stoppage Since 1995

The strategy, management’s equivalent of a strike under federal labor law, ended the sport’s labor peace after 9,740 days over 26 1/2 years. Teams decided to force the long-anticipated confrontation during an offseason rather than risk players walking out during the summer, as they did in 1994. Players and owners had successfully reached four consecutive agreements without a work stoppage, but they have been accelerating toward a clash for more than two years.

Late Innings = Late Nights As World Series Games Lengthen

The first five Series games averaged 3 hours, 41 minutes, up from 3:37 for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ six-game win over Tampa Bay last year. The opener took 4:06 and Game 5 lasted exactly 4 hours, both ending after midnight on the East Coast. This year’s overall postseason average of 3:38 is an increase from 3:32 last year.

With Manfred’s Support, Braves Bring Chop To World Series

After teams in the NFL and Major League Baseball have dropped names considered and offensive to Native Americans the last two years, the Braves chop on — with the support of baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

MLB In Talks To Launch Nationwide Streaming Service For Home Games

Major League Baseball is in talks to launch a nationwide video-streaming service that would enable fans to watch their teams’ hometown games without a cable-TV subscription. The web-based service — which could address a decades-old annoyance for baseball fans that some have partly blamed for the league’s steadily declining viewership — could launch as early as the 2023 season, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said.

Sinclair Streaming RSN Plan Slammed By MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is not a fan of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $250 million plan to parlay its 19 regional sports networks into a streaming service. For one thing, Manfred doesn’t believe Sinclair has enough digital rights from the 14 MLB clubs it has licensing agreements with to pull off such an enterprise.

Bob Costas Will Host WarnerMedia’s MLB Playoff Coverage

TVN TECH

Baseball’s Postseason Pops Bubble With A Growing Tech Arsenal

After a 2020 “bubble” of neutral sites, the MLB returns to a more traditional postseason format this fall. Big onsite crews are back, vaxxed and masked, and they’re deploying new cameras and presentation graphics to give the games their sharpest look yet. Above, Fox’s Megalodon camera unit features a handheld mirrorless Sony camera with a shallow depth-of-field lens and a stabilizing gimbal rig that provides a very different up-close look of players.

MARKET SHARE MONDAY MEMO

Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin Jamming On Fox Sports

The use of jam band music by Fox Sports during some Major League Baseball games has fans — and some band members —  lighting up social media. “It kind of became a thing,” says Joe Carpenter, the lead audio mixer for Fox Sports.

Bob Costas Nearing Agreement With TBS To Host NLCS

TBS is looking to turn to a Hall of Fame broadcasting pinch-hitter to host the National League Championship Series between Oct. 15 and 24. Bob Costas and TBS are working toward an agreement that would see him host the network’s marquee MLB event. TBS wanted to alleviate the pressure on TBS’s regular host, Ernie Johnson, as his duties on Inside the NBA begin in mid-October. Johnson is expected to host the opening rounds of the TBS playoff coverage.

MLB’s Field Of Dreams Lands On Fox

There’s a new purpose-built Major League Baseball field in Dyersville, Iowa, set to host the first MLB game ever in the state, on the farm where the 1989 movie Field of Dreams was shot. The game is on Thursday, Aug. 12, between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox with pre-game hoopla starting at 6 p.m. ET on Fox.

Cleveland Indians To Become Guardians

The Cleveland Indians new name is. . .The Guardians. The Indians announced the new name on Twitter on Friday morning. They have been called the Indians since 1915. The franchise announced the name change in a video narrated by Cleveland fan Tom Hanks with music supplied by The Black Keys from the Akron area. There will be a press conference on Friday afternoon at Progressive Field to officially announce the name change.

FBI Denies Connection Of Massive Weapons Haul To Potential Attack On MLB All-Star Game

Denver’s FBI office said late on Sunday it does not believe the four people arrested with massive weaponry and body armor were planning an attack on Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, set for Tuesday near the site of the arrests. The FBI Denver tweeted that it is not aware of any threat to the All-Star Game events, venues, players or the community at this time. However, it did not explain why the four arrestees had the weapons cache and body armor in the downtown Denver area.

MLB Pulls All-Star Game From Georgia In Response to Voting Law

The league said it would remove its midsummer showcase and its annual entry draft as a response to the state’s new voting law.

RSNs Scramble For Streaming Deals As Opening Day Approaches

OTT streamers seem to be waiting until the last minute, or maybe not at all, to hammer out deals.

YouTube To Show 21 MLB Games This Season

The series of 21 telecasts start on Wednesday, April 7, at 1:10 p.m. ET when the Boston Red Sox host the AL champion Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of a two-game series, MLB and YouTube said Monday. The games are exclusive and will not be televised by club broadcast partners.

Dish, Sling TV Vs. Sinclair: Will They Settle By Opening Day?

Another Big Labor Fight Is Brewing In Baseball

With coronavirus infections dipping nationwide, one might think Major League Baseball’s owners would feel a bit more optimistic about spring training starting in a few weeks. Instead, they want to delay or even shorten the upcoming season, hoping that widespread vaccine distribution would create safer conditions for players and allow fans to buy tickets to attend again. The Players Association, however, argues that MLB has no legal grounds to deviate from the 2021 schedule that has been set since July without its consent and expects to push ahead with a full slate.

MLB Broadcaster Casey Stern Files Discrimination Complaint Against WarnerMedia, Turner Sports

ESPN Landing MLB Rights To New Playoff Round

ESPN and Major League Baseball are closing in on a TV deal that would provide the network exclusive rights to the first round of the playoffs. Now all that is needed is a first round of the playoffs. That needs to be negotiated between MLB and the Players Association, which is to say that, while an ESPN-MLB deal is close, they are still far from knowing when — and even if — there will be playoffs expanded from 10 to likely 14 teams to include a best-of-three first round.

Al Michaels Wins MLB’s Ford Frick Award

The 76-year-old Michaels was voted the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence by Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday and will be honored July 24 during the Hall’s induction weekend.

World Series TV Ratings Average Drops 32% Below Previous Low

The six games on Fox averaged a 5.2 rating/12 share and 9,785,000 viewers, Nielsen said Wednesday. The previous low was a 7.6 rating/12 share and 12,660,000 viewers for the San Francisco Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers in 2012.

Fox Sports, Samsung Enable NLCS Custom Broadcasts Via 5G

MLB Wild Card Games Average 1.8M Viewers

ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC averaged 1,836,000 viewers for 16 broadcasts in Major League Baseball’s expanded wild-card round, drawing far more viewers for 16 games but an average down vastly from the single-knockout contests in previous years.