Secaucus, N.J., February 23, 2012 – MLB Network today announced its 2012 Spring Training game schedule, featuring a groundbreaking presentation of live in-game audio. For the first time in an MLB game telecast, live audio content will air on a brief delay throughout the Spring Training game telecast of the Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET. In cooperation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, up to as many as six players on each team will wear live microphones during the game. Coaching staff will also wear live microphones throughout the game and live microphones will be positioned at each base, down the first- and third-base lines and along the outfield wall, producing in-game audio content on a scale that has not previously been done. Matt Vasgersian will provide the game call, which will be available nationally on MLB Network, including in both the Indians’ and Diamondbacks’ home television territories.
“One of the missions of MLB Network is to promote the game of baseball and act as a platform to advance the presentation of the game,” said MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti. “The goal of this production is to bring fans closer to the game and experience it as a player would on the field. Not only are we trying to capture the player reactions and interactions, we want to present the natural sounds of the game, including the crack of the bat, the pop of a glove and the slide into a base like viewers have never heard before.”
The game telecast on March 7 will build on test productions of two enhanced audio game telecasts MLB Network produced but did not air during Spring Training in 2011. At that time, several players wore live microphones during the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Indians games. Excerpts from those game telecasts are available here.
MLB Network’s 2012 Spring Training game schedule includes 150 games featuring every MLB club in at least six matchups. The game schedule begins on Saturday, March 3 with the 2011 A.L. East Champion New York Yankees against the 2011 N.L. East Champion Philadelphia Phillies live from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida at 1:00 p.m. ET. The 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, the new-look Miami Marlins, the 2011 A.L. Wild Card Champion Tampa Bay Rays and the 2011 N.L. West Champion Arizona Diamondbacks will all be featured in live games during the first week of March. MLB Network’s complete Spring Training game schedule is available here. All games, except the enhanced audio game on March 7, will be a carriage of local telecasts, including local announcers, and blacked out in each club’s home market unless otherwise noted.
Leading up to the live games, MLB Network will reveal its ranking of the best players in Major League Baseball in its three-day series Top 100 Players Right Now!, beginning on Tuesday, February 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET. MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds will count down the top MLB players overall, taking into account players in their prime who are coming back from injuries, younger players expected to break out in 2012, and veteran players with proven track records. The countdown to the number one player will continue in new episodes on February 29 and March 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET. From Albert Pujols to Roy Halladay to Prince Fielder, the ranking includes five World Series MVPs, nine Cy Young Award winners, four A.L. and six N.L. MVP Award winners, 12 Rookie of the Year winners, 29 Gold Glove Award winners, 33 pitchers, 61 2011 All-Stars and 60 players under 30-years old.
As announced last week, MLB Network’s Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days and its signature studio show MLB Tonight return on Monday, March 5 starting at 5:00 p.m. ET. The 2012 schedule for 30 Clubs in 30 Days is available here.
MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring the Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight, live games, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis from the best in the business, including Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds. MLB Network debuted on January 1, 2009 as the largest launch in cable television history and is currently distributed in more than 68 million cable, telco TV and satellite homes throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to www.mlbnetwork.com.