MLB Network Launches, Well At Least To Part Of The Country

Friday, January 02, 2009

The MLB Network took to the air last night after a stirring introduction from Baseball Commish Bud Selig, and while I got the channel clean and clear here at AAHQ, a good bit of America didn't get the broadcast so smoothly. Fang's Bites is saying that customers in Denver, Portland and Phoenix all had issues at the start, and Ken Schott also had problems up in upstate New York.

Cable things aside, I watched a good bit of the first night on the network, and have to say I was rather impressed. Victor Rojas led the roundtable for the night, and had help from Harold Reynolds, Al Leiter, and Barry Larkin at the desk. Hazel Mae and Trenni Kusnierek, as well as "Insiders" Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman, were also on hand with various reports. Each analyst started out by introducing themselves, and the first program "Hot Stove" completed a recap of 2008 and MLB's offseason. After that, the network slowly started bringing guests on to the set for various discussions and deoms.

Jimmy Rollins was on hand for a stolen base discussion surrounding Jackie Robinson's theft of home in 1955. Bob Costas then went onto host a discussion with Yogi Berra and Don Larsen, while airing the pitcher's perfect game from the 1956 World Series. While I still can't the use of "mini fields" on-set, both the Robinson and Larsen features were entertaining and light-hearted.

The only real issue I had with the network was the amount of "jumping around" that MLB Network did, and the amount of people used, but it was the first night and they definitely needed to highlight everyone and everything around the studio. Hopefully in the future they won't feel the need to cater to the ADD crowd.

Here is a little video collection I put together in case you missed the launch....

The First Four Hours of The MLB Network Did Not Necessarily Go Smoothly (Fang's Bites)
Late update on Time Warner/MLB Network problem (Schenectady Gazette)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 11:03 AM


My little "mom and pop" cable system doesn't carry it. Oh well, that's one of the very few drawbacks of no longer having Comcast; I'll survive.

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 11:36:00 AM  

The intro to the "Hot Stove" segment seemed eerily familiar - looks like a ripoff of BBTN's transitions.

I'm pretty pumped about this network, but UVerse doesn't carry it yet. Hopefully soon...

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 11:40:00 AM  

Well, I'm happy to say that I have MLB Netwoork. And I think its great that theirs an ulternative to Baseball Tonight. It seems like this network could be a great distination for baseball fans.

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 12:21:00 PM  

It was kinda cool to see the Larsen broadcast with the old commercials. Casey Stengel helping to sell $1 Gillette razors was the highlight of the night for me.

cmr said...
Jan 2, 2009, 12:43:00 PM  

Why don't I get this channel? I have Comcast.

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 1:03:00 PM  

Go to and search through their directory (via zipcode) and find the channel it's on.

And Bruce, try DirecTV.

JamesCraven said...
Jan 2, 2009, 1:23:00 PM  

I assume that Time Warner deems me unworthy of this network.

GMoney said...
Jan 2, 2009, 1:30:00 PM  

Comcast in Des Moines, Iowa doesn't get the channel for some reason.

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 1:35:00 PM  

Barry Larkin is the man. He brings class and excellence to the crew.

Brad James said...
Jan 2, 2009, 1:43:00 PM  

"Go to and search through their directory (via zipcode) and find the channel it's on."

I looked in my digital cable guide and it's channel 280. When I go to the channel it says it is unavailable and I have to order it. What gives?

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 1:45:00 PM  

I don't care what he did wrong at ESPN, but seeing HR back on set put a smile on my face.

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 2:02:00 PM  

For all that have comcast, they have seem to screw something up again.

Comcast has put this channel, at least in my area, on their digital classic tier with networks such as lifetime movie network and Fox reality.

I have the Sports entertainment package and I get NFL Network, NBA TV, and the NHL network, but they have the MLB network on a package with no sports channels. Comcast sucks.

Oaklandfan said...
Jan 2, 2009, 2:17:00 PM  

I was visiting home when I first saw MLB network prior to the launch. They did a good job of getting me excited to see it with the video montages they had going.

What my dad noticed before I did was that in all the clips they showed, there wasn't a single Bonds or McGwire highlight.

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 2:32:00 PM  

I get MLB Network loud and clear through my VCR/DVD recorder with a digital tuner.

Which means I don't have to pay for a digital cable box from Charter.

Anonymous said...
Jan 2, 2009, 4:19:00 PM  

Victor Rojas will be missed on the my radio this season, but the network looks good so far. These networks are going to eventually take a bite out of ESPN's little empire.

Nelvis said...
Jan 3, 2009, 9:01:00 AM  

I have the MLB Netwrok on my Comcast Digital Cable service on channle 280, However, I haven't been able to find the MLB Net HD channel on Cocmast, has anyone else?

Anonymous said...
Jan 3, 2009, 11:03:00 AM  

MLB Network was impressive and it will be a solid offseason destination. But I think you guys are over-estimating its impact.

Most baseball teams have their own regional sports networks - NESN,YES,SNY,MASN etc...

Once the season starts - you're watching for your teams - you're most likely tuning into their regional network.

If you're in Montana or Nevada or Wyoming - maybe a different story. But the regional networks are in the big markets - where the people and ratings are.

Can it be a threat to BBTN? Potentially, but they would need a kick-ass studio show. Obviously the season hasn't started but if they could put something together like TNT did with hoops - then ESPN should be worried.

Also - I'm not sure how much I trust MLB to report on players busted for PEDs, suspensions, etc.

Anonymous said...
Jan 3, 2009, 2:15:00 PM  

That is going to be soemthig to see how MLB network deals with palyers getting suspensed for sterioids,etc. And that is going to be the big test for the netowrk, Are they willing to be critcal of their bosses?

Anonymous said...
Jan 4, 2009, 12:32:00 PM  

i get this, but only on the digital cable box, i dont get it in my rooms with just basic cable (channels 1-100) and i dont have it in HD ethier, i have time warner, and i thought they owned part of the station so i would have the HD channel

Anonymous said...
Jan 6, 2009, 4:49:00 PM  

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