Branding the World of Sports

Baseball fanatics get their fix in 2009

Posted by ZA on December 29, 2008

MLB Network

MLB Network

On January 1st, 2009 the MLB Network launches across the United States.  The MLB Network will be the first full-time baseball only cable television channel.  Unlike the NFL Network, the MLB Network will be free to some subscribers on Time Warner, Comcast, DirecTV and Cox Communications; so over 50 million homes will receive the MLB Network.

The decision to work with the cable companies, which have a minority share in the network, is a really smart move instead of battling them like the NFL Network did.  The NFL Network is still not available on certain major cable providers (Time Warner), and they are coming to the end of their second year.  If I can go this long without the NFL Network I am going to care when they are able to finally resolve them dispute?  Probably not.

The Golf Channel was the first singular sports focused channel to launch in the United States when it launched in 1995.  The Tennis Channel followed suit in 2003.  The first major professional sports league in the United States to have its own network was the NBA, which launched NBA TV in 1999.  Since then the NFL Network debuted in 2003, the NHL launched a channel in 2007 and the MLB Network goes live in 2009.

Here is the list of shows the MLB Network is planning to air.
Enter your zip code here to find out your local MLB Network channel.


2 Responses to “Baseball fanatics get their fix in 2009”

  1. James Jasper said

    Can you tell me why, when this article says the MLB Channel will be free to subscribers of Comcast, our local Comcast provider has put that channel onto its Digital Classic Tier and charging an additional $12.95/month to their already high monthly rates. Why is it not on basic cable if its “FREE”. Who is spewing the crap – MLB or COMCAST????

    • ZA said

      The decision to charge was made by Comcast. MLB network has made deals with the cable companies that gives them access to cable viewers at no extra charge (unlike NFL network), but that doesn’t mean the cable companies can’t charge for the MLB network. This Bloomberg article indicates MLB has access for free, but then goes on to say that MLB network expects to college “an estimated $151 million in subscriber fees”.

      So it sounds like Comcast is going to have its cake (equity in MLB network) and eat it too (charge subscribers extra for MLB network).


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