MLB Network to launch in 50 million homes

On January 1, Major League Baseball (MLB) will launch MLB Network in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes. According to MLB the launch will exceed any other cable launch in history by approximately 20 million. The network will air live games, original programming, highlights and classic games.

The network presents opportunities for advertisers looking to reach baseball fans across the country. In November MLB also struck a deal with Verizon FiOS TV service to offer both MLB Network and the MLB Extra Innings Package.

The station has signed on a number of sports network alumni. Tony Petitti was named president and CEO, having previously served as EVP and executive producer of CBS Sports. In September it named John Entz SVP of production and Andy Butters VP of programming. Entz was previously VP and executive producer of Fox Sports Net. Butters was director of program planning at the NFL Network.

Additionally, former ESPN anchor Harold Reynolds, former pitcher Al Leiter and longtime Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin have signed on as on-air personalities.

An e-mail inquiry to MLB Network seeking comment was not returned by press time.

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