Cal Ripken Jr. Talks with Bob Costas in Premiere of “My Most Memorable Game” Thursday at 9pm ET

mlb-nlogoBob Costas and Tom Verducci Interview Johnny Bench, Bob Gibson, Tom Glavine, Cal Ripken Jr., Ozzie Smith and John Smoltz in New Series Premiering Thursday, January 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET

Secaucus, NJ, January 14, 2014 – Major League Baseball legends recount unforgettable games in their careers in MLB Network’s new series My Most Memorable Game beginning this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET as Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. discusses the night in September 1995 he played his 2,131st consecutive game and broke Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig‘s streak of games played.

Co-hosted by Bob Costas and Tom Verducci, My Most Memorable Game features Ripken, eight-time All-Star John Smoltz, and Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Johnny Bench and Tom Glavine as they relive the memories they have from a signature game in their storied careers.

Throughout the hour-long interview filmed in Cooperstown, New York in July 2013, Ripken talks about his emotions leading up to and during the game, being linked to Gehrig in baseball history, criticism he faced during the streak, the closest he came to missing a game prior to breaking the record, and the mentality needed to accomplish the feat.

My Most Memorable Game will continue throughout the offseason as Smoltz discusses his complete game shutout to win Game Seven of the 1991 NLCS (Jan. 23, 9pm ET), Smith reminisces about his walkoff home run to end Game Five of the 1985 NLCS (Jan. 30, 9pm ET), Gibson talks about his record-setting 17 strikeout performance in Game One of the 1968 World Series (Jan. 30, 9:30pm ET), Bench recounts his game-tying home run during Game Five of the 1972 NLCS (Feb. 6, 9pm ET), and Glavine relives his eight shutout innings to clinch Game Six of the 1995 World Series (Feb. 6, 9:30pm ET).

Highlights from the conversation with Ripken include:

On where his 2,131st game ranks in his career:

To me, the best feeling I’ve ever had on a baseball field is catching the last out of the World Series. Fulfillment, gratification, part of the dream, it all floods to you at once. The best human moment has to be September 6, 1995. I would have rather had it been about the team going for a pennant, but as it turns out, we fell out of the race and it was all about celebration and maybe linking current history with past history.

On criticism he faced leading up to breaking the streak:

I was proud of the fact that I could play all those games. I was proud of the fact that in order to do that you have to be responsible, you have to be willing to come out there. … I think the only part about the streak that bothered me … is that [fans] said it was a selfish obsession. It wasn’t. It was actually the opposite. I was giving up a little bit of me for the sake of the challenge of today because that’s how I was brought up.

On what he felt the morning after he tied Gehrig’s record:

There was a lot of pressure starting to build up. I never felt the pressure in the streak itself because that wasn’t my goal. And then all of a sudden there was this celebration and there was this set time for this to happen, and all of a sudden, you felt like you had a responsibility to get to the finish line. Once the tying game was over, it was a foregone conclusion that … the record-breaking game would come, so there was a little sense of relief. I was worn out. I was trying to give as much as I can to that process. Mentally and emotionally, I was a little worn down.

On running around the field to thank the fans after breaking the streak:

It was a World Series-sort of atmosphere in that game. All of a sudden…you start to see some people you know…This massive celebration became very personal very quickly. As I went around, I wanted to touch as many people as I could…As I went around, the pace got slower and slower and slower, and [I] really started to enjoy that moment.

On making eye contact with his father after breaking the record:

That was the most emotional part of the whole thing. … He wanted to be up in the skybox so I didn’t get a chance to speak any words to him, but when [I] actually caught eyes and looked at him, a million words were going back-and-forth. … Dad was from the old school, maybe it’s his generation where he didn’t express himself in terms of love out loud. He just showed it. … Looking up … it was an expression of love that we communicated in that brief period of time. … It’s still emotional to this day.

ESPN’s 25th MLB Season Begins March 30 with Opening Night Exclusive: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

ESPN-MLBESPN’s Five-Game Opening Day Schedule Highlighted by World Series Champion Red Sox at Orioles, NL Champion Cardinals at Reds & Robinson Cano’s Mariners Debut

ESPN will begin its historic 25th Major League Baseball season with an exclusive presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by ScottsLos Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – on Sunday Night Baseball, March 30, at 8 p.m. ET. The new Sunday Night Baseball team of Dan Shulman, analysts John Kruk and Curt Schilling and reporter Buster Olney will make their regular-season debut to call the action. Opening Night will be available across ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.

Baseball Tonight presented by Scotts will begin Opening Night festivities with a special 90-minute pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Karl Ravech will host the telecast with Baseball Hall of Famer and analyst Barry Larkin, Kruk and Schilling.

Five Opening Day Games on ESPN, ESPN2

MLB Opening Day on ESPN presented by Scotts will include a five-game schedule, spanning more than 12 hours of live game action, on Monday, March 31. The schedule will begin at 1 p.m. when Starlin Castro and the Chicago Cubs visit Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates on ESPN. The schedule continues as David Ortiz and the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox visit Chris Davis and the division-rival Baltimore Orioles at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Additionally, Matt Holliday and the NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals will visit Joey Votto and the division-rival Cincinnati Reds at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

Opening Day will continue in prime time on ESPN2, beginning at 7 p.m. when Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies visit Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins. At 10 p.m., Robinson Cano will make his Seattle Mariners debut when his new club visits Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

ESPN’s Opening Night and Opening Day schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sun., Mar. 30 8 p.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 1 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 3 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 4 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 7 p.m. Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 10 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN


2014 Hall of Fame Results Announced Live on MLB Network & MLB.com This Wednesday

mlb-nlogoExtensive Coverage Begins at 12:00 p.m. ET and Will Feature First Interviews with Electees

Bob Costas, Ron Darling, Harold Reynolds, Chris Russo, Ken Rosenthal and Joel Sherman to Appear on

Special Hall of Fame Roundtable Show Tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. ET

Secaucus, NJ, January 6, 2014 – The results of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced exclusively on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com on Wednesday, January 8 live at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The announcement will be part of a three-hour live show beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET anchored by MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Heidi Watney, and including the first interviews with any electees immediately following the announcement, plus analysis from Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds, John Smoltz, Hall of Fame award-winning baseball writer Peter Gammons and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman and Tom Verducci, and segments analyzing the ballot from a sabermetric perspective.

Live coverage and analysis of the Hall of Fame announcement will be featured throughout the day on MLB Network beginning with Hot Stove at 9:00 a.m. ET and continuing on Intentional Talk, Clubhouse Confidential and MLB Tonight starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Tomorrow, January 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET, Costas, Ron Darling, Reynolds, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Rosenthal and Sherman will debate the first-year eligible nominees, returning candidates from previous elections, the election process, and candidates who deserve more consideration during a special Hall of Fame roundtable show. The day after the announcement, MLB Network and MLB.com will air the National Baseball Hall of Fame press conference featuring the electees live from New York on Thursday, January 9 at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by in-studio interviews with the electees at MLB Network later that day.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) 2014 Hall of Fame ballot features 36 candidates with 17 holdovers from previous elections, including Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling and Alan Trammell,  plus 19 newcomers, including Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina and Frank Thomas.

Managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre were elected to the Hall of Fame in December by the Expansion Era Committee. Cox, La Russa and Torre will be inducted along with any candidates who receive votes on at least 75 percent of all ballots cast from the BBWAA vote. Eric Nadel, who has spent the last 35 years as the voice of the Texas Rangers, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Roger Angell, a senior editor at The New Yorker who has been writing about baseball for more than 50 years, has been named the 2014 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award presented annually to a sportswriter for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Joe Garagiola, who has helped others in the game through his role in founding The Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) and the National Spit Tobacco Education Program, has been selected as the 2014 winner of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented to an individual for extraordinary efforts to enhance baseball’s positive impact on society.

The 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 27 and air exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com.

“Behind The Seams: Decoding The DH” Premieres Tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET

MLB-NetworkBOB COSTAS EXAMINES 40 YEARS OF THE DESIGNATED HITTER IN

BEHIND THE SEAMS: DECODING THE DH TONIGHT AT 9:00 P.M. ET

Interviews Featured with Renowned DHs Including Harold Baines, Billy Butler, Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz, Frank Thomas & Jim Thome

Documentary from MLB Productions Covers the Origins and Decades-Long Debate

About the Designated Hitter

Secaucus, N.J., November 25, 2013 – The 40-year history of baseball’s designated hitter is examined tonight in Behind the Seams: Decoding the DH, a one-hour show narrated by Bob Costas and produced for MLB Network by MLB Productions, premiering at 9:00 p.m. ET.

The ratification of the DH in 1973, more than eight decades after it was first proposed within baseball in 1891, became one of the most pivotal changes to shape the game, and to this day it fuels debates between those who oppose it and those who embrace it. In looking at the position’s origins and those who rose to prominence or extended their playing careers because of the position, Behind the Seams: Decoding the DH features 25 new interviews with Hall of Famers, writers and historians as well as current and former DHs, including Harold Baines, Billy Butler, Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz,  Frank Thomas and Jim Thome, among others.

Baseball-Reference.com’s Sean Forman, SB Nation’s Rob Neyer, Fangraphs.com contributor Bill Petti and MLB’s official historian John Thorn also analyze the statistical impact the DH has had on run scoring in the American League and National League. Noted quotes from the episode are featured below.

Pro-DH

John Thorn, Official Historian, MLB: As a historian, I should be expected to embrace pitchers as batters, but this tradition has outlived its usefulness.

Billy Butler: You’re not really coming to the park to watch the pitchers hit. You’re watching the guys that are paid to hit, hit, and the guys that are paid to pitch, pitch.

Joe Mauer:  Would we rather want to see one of our starting pitchers hit or Jim Thome hit? I think everybody has the answer to that.

Anti-DH:

Cliff Lee: I enjoy the National League style of play a lot more as far as playing it. A pitcher is not just a pitcher, he has to play the game.

Mark Melancon: Strategy wise, there is so much more that goes into a National League game than an American League game.

Alvin Davis: The biggest thing that I missed was the feel of the game. Playing defense regardless of how good of a defensive player you are, the focus that comes from that actually helps you offensively.

On being a DH

David Ortiz: It’s not easy because as you get older, you start losing skills, but I feel like I’m a better hitter now than what I used to be seven years ago. Seven years ago, I was more powerful, the kind of guy that if you throw me anything in the strike zone, I would hit it out. Right now, I feel like I …. stick … with the plan that I have. I walked away from my plan before. Right now I just stay with [it] more. Every year that I get older, I just try to attach ideas the way that I can continue doing what I do and it’s worked.

Frank Thomas: You got to stay involved with the game. You got to get yourself on that top step so that you still get that feel that you’re watching every pitch from the opposing pitcher.

Fred McGriff: I always laugh sometimes at home when you’re reading the paper and they’re like, “Oh yeah, we’ll just make this guy a DH and that guy a DH and it isn’t a big deal.” But it’s tougher than people think.

Edgar Martinez: We had this machine that threw tennis balls at a very high speed. The guy that operated the machine, he used to put numbers on the ball. I didn’t like to swing, but I would track the ball and would try to bunt. In the beginning, I couldn’t see anything, but I did it every day …  and was able to see the numbers. Your eyes see the ball at 150 [mph] and then you go see it at 90 [mph], it helps you wait on the pitch a little more.

Ortiz on Martinez: I remember when I was coming up, I used to watch a guy like Edgar hit and I was like, “This is ridiculous.” I don’t think anybody could get to that level as a hitter. He was, I would say “perfect.” He’s a .312 career hitter. When you’re a .312 career hitter at this level, that means you pretty much got everything done.

Cal Ripken Jr. on Martinez making the Hall of Fame: If you acknowledge that the DH is a position then they should be considered for the Hall of Fame. You shouldn’t take away judgment on him because he hasn’t played in the field.

“MLB 2013: Unwritten Rules” Premieres Sat, Nov. 16 on MLB Network

MLB-NetworkCostas, Kaat, Reynolds & Verducci Headline MLB 2013: Unwritten Rules Roundtable Show on Saturday, November 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET

Secaucus, NJ, November 14, 2013 – It was one of the most hotly debated topics of the year: baseball’s unwritten rules. Is it okay for a player to admire a home run? Are home plate collisions part of the game or on their way out? Should the game police itself? MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Jim Kaat, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci discuss retaliation, on-field celebrations, bunting during a no-hitter, stealing signs and how these rules have changed in the last 50 years in MLB 2013: Unwritten Rules, a special one-hour roundtable show airing this weekend.

Citing specific situations that took place during the 2013 regular season and throughout baseball’s history, Costas, Kaat, Reynolds and Verducci will also offer their thoughts on base-running etiquette and rules that should be added or further enforced in the game.

MLB 2013: Unwritten Rules premieres this Saturday, November 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET and will re-air on Sunday, November 17 at 2:00 p.m. ET and on Thursday, November 21 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Highlights from MLB 2013: Unwritten Rules include:

On retaliation:

Jim Kaat:  Pitchers don’t really know how to brush hitters back without hitting them. The object is to make them move their feet, send a message for whatever reason. … I think now it’s basically pitchers don’t have command of that real brushback pitch and, as a result, you’re seeing a lot of brawls.

Tom Verducci: What I have a big problem with and we really need to get it out of the game, I think, is retaliating because a guy does his job well. Somebody hits a home run and the next batter gets hit or that guy the next time up gets hit. … A guy is doing his job and you’re retaliating for a guy doing his job well.

On on-field celebration:

Verducci: Context is so important here. As a blanket rule that guys shouldn’t watch home runs, that’s nonsense. I’d like to see more of it.

Kaat: From my era, I still sort of like the motto of, “When you lose, say little. When you win, say less.” Willie McGee would sprint around the bases and I’d say, “Willie, take your time,” and he’d say, “Kitty, that pitcher feels bad enough, I want to get out of his way.”

Harold Reynolds: I came up at a different time because if I stood there, I was going to get hit the next time. These guys don’t realize the power of the baseball as a pitcher, and the fear of the hitter is not there. Maybe it is because of the arm guards and they’re not going to pitch inside. I think it comes down to respecting the game a little bit. There has to be some sportsmanship involved in this whole thing.

Verducci: If you’re a big home run hitter and you hit one 20, 30, 40 rows deep, you should watch it. Who appointed these pitchers the sheriffs of baseball?

Bob Costas:  A guy gets a big hit, he pumps his fist. To me, that’s all good. What I don’t like though is when the exuberance gets in the way of the first priority, which is to play the game. So now the guy is admiring what he thinks is a home run, the next thing you know is he’s almost thrown out at second base on what should be a triple. I’m not good with that.

 

On stealing signs:

Reynolds: I never had a problem with players stealing signs to pass to a hitter. …  Guys could not wait for me to get to second base and if I figured out the sequence they were using, I went back to the bench, we sat down and talked about it. As a middle infielder, I felt it was my duty that if I had a catcher at second base for two or three hitters, I’m like, “Time out, change our signs, he’s figuring it out.” So, I always thought that was legit.

Costas on bunting during a no-hitter: A key would be how close is the game, and also what are the standings? If your team is 20 games out, maybe you don’t do it, but if this game is crucial and if the game is close, then maybe you can bunt in a situation like that.

Verducci on collisions at home plate: It’s on its way out of the game and it should be. Think about it: if you were inventing the game of baseball today, would you allow a guy to be barreling down [a catcher]? A 250-pound guy, 220-pound guy running around full-speed into a catcher who is just, let’s face it, he’s a defenseless receiver equivalent in the NFL. Why would you allow it? You can’t do it at first base. You can’t plow into a guy at second base who has the ball. You can’t do it at third. Why can you do it home? I think it will be taken out of the game.

Mark DeRosa Joins MLB Network as Studio Analyst

MLB-NetworkMARK DEROSA JOINS MLB NETWORK AS STUDIO ANALYST

Secaucus, N.J., November 13, 2013 – MLB Network today announced that after a 16-year career, Mark DeRosa has joined its roster of on-air talent as a studio analyst. DeRosa, who served as a guest analyst on MLB Network during the 2013 and 2011 Postseasons, will appear across MLB Network’s studio programming and make his debut on MLB Tonight on Monday, December 9, live from the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida.

“While I still had the opportunity to return as a player, it became clear to me that the chance to begin a career at MLB Network was too good to pass up, and I am very excited to get started,” said DeRosa.

Known for his versatility, DeRosa played six different positions and batted .268 with 100 home runs and 494 RBI in his career. DeRosa batted .358 with 10 RBI in 22 career Postseason games and was a member of the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants. DeRosa spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Atlanta Braves (1998-2004) before joining the Texas Rangers (2005-2006), Chicago Cubs (2007-2008) Cleveland Indians (2009), St. Louis Cardinals (2009), San Francisco Giants (2010-2011), Washington Nationals (2012) and Toronto Blue Jays (2013).

DeRosa joins former Major Leaguers Eric Byrnes, Sean Casey, Joey Cora, Ron Darling, Cliff Floyd, Darryl Hamilton, John Hart, Jim Kaat, Al Leiter, Mike Lowell, Joe Magrane, Jerry Manuel, Kevin Millar, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Billy Ripken, John SmoltzDave Valle and Mitch Williams as analysts at MLB Network. DeRosa can be found on Twitter at @markdero7.

2013 BBWAA Awards Finalists Announced

MLB-Network

2013 BBWAA AWARDS FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

Winners Will Be Announced Live Exclusively on MLB Network November 11 – 14

BBWAA Awards Week to Feature Live Interviews With This Year’s Award Winners and Finalists

Secaucus, N.J., November 5, 2013 – The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) tonight on MLB Network named the top three finalists in the American League and National League for the 2013 Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Awards.

Starting on Monday, November 11 through Thursday, November 14, BBWAA Awards Week on MLB Network will feature the exclusive announcements of the winners of each award in the American League and National League by BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell. The complete list of finalists and the dates for each award announcement are listed below:

2013 BBWAA Awards Finalists – All Award Winners Will Be Announced Exclusively On MLB Network:

Monday, November 11, 6:00 p.m. ET:

AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year: Chris Archer, Jose Iglesias, Wil Myers

NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year: Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller, Yasiel Puig

Tuesday, November 12, 6:00 p.m. ET:  

AL Manager of the Year: John Farrell, Terry Francona, Bob Melvin

 

NL Manager of the Year: Fredi Gonzalez, Clint Hurdle, Don Mattingly

Wednesday, November 13, 6:00 p.m. ET:

AL Cy Young Award: Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma, Max Scherzer

NL Cy Young Award: Jose Fernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright

Thursday, November 14, 6:00 p.m. ET:

AL Most Valuable Player: Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Mike Trout

 

NL Most Valuable Player: Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, Yadier Molina

Hosted by MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, BBWAA Awards Week will feature live interviews with this year’s award winners and finalists as well as BBWAA members, plus insight from MLB Network analysts Ron Darling, Al Leiter, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Bill Ripken and Tom Verducci. Each awards show will also include a segment analyzing the award finalists from a sabermetric perspective, hosted by Brian Kenny.

Throughout the next week, MLB Network will cover the BBWAA award announcements across Hot Stove, Intentional Talk , Clubhouse Confidential and MLB Tonight.

About the BBWAA:

Founded in 1908, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America was established to assist journalists covering Major League Baseball for daily newspapers. Its purpose is to ensure proper working conditions in press boxes and clubhouses, and to ensure its members have access to players and others in the game so members’ reporting can be accurate, fair and complete. Today there are more than 700 active members of the BBWAA working for newspapers, magazines and major web sites.

Major League Baseball On FOX A Grand Slam in 2013; Fall Classic Rating and Audience +17% from 2012

MLB-on-FoxAnchored by World Series, Regional Sports Networks & Jewel Events

All Demonstrate Growth

Fall Classic Rating and Audience +17% from 2012

New York – The 2013 World Series is in the books, with the Boston Red Sox winning baseball’s ultimate prize at home for the first time in 95 years, and the only thing hotter than MVP Big Papi’s bat was Major League Baseball’s season-long performance for FOX Sports anchored by the Fall Classic’s dominant performance.

“This baseball season has been a tremendous success across the board for FOX Sports, and 2014 can’t get here soon enough,” said FOX Sports President and COO Eric Shanks.  “Our postseason coverage saw a 26% jump year-to-year, while ratings for the All-Star Game grew, we posted solid numbers at FOX Deportes and several of our regional sports networks had record-setting seasons and dominated prime time from April through September.  Next season will bring MLB to FOX Sports 1 and with it hours of studio coverage and original programs.”

The 2013 World Series averaged an 8.9/15 national household rating and 14.9 million viewers, +17% in rating and viewership over last year (7.6/12, 12.7 million viewers), according to Nielsen Media Research.  The 2013 World Series also posted impressive double-digit increases across key male and adults demographics over 2012, including Men 18-34 (+18%, 4.7 vs. 4.0); Men 18-49 (+13%, 5.3 vs. 4.7); Adults 18-49 (+17%, 4.2 vs. 3.6) and Adults 18-34 (+16%, 3.7 vs. 3.2).

FOX’s coverage of Series-clinching Game 6 delivered a Series-high 11.3/18 national household rating and share, with 19.2 million viewers watching as the Red Sox captured their eighth World Series.  Game 6, the highest rated baseball game since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, easily won the night in prime for FOX among households (11.2/18), notching the network’s highest-rated primetime broadcast of the season, best Wednesday night since May 2012 and the highest-rated prime time broadcast on FOX since January.  Last week, the first four games of the World Series led the network to its first weekly prime time win this season, ranking No. 1 in Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, Teens and Total Viewers.

Game 6 was the highest-rated game of the Series for FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish language sports network, delivering 277,000 total viewers.  It was the most-watched game on FOX Deportes since Game 2 of the 2009 World Series.  The 2013 World Series was also +98% for A18-49 (128,000 vs. 64,000) vs. FOX Deportes’ inaugural year of World Series coverage in 2001.

Growth in World Series viewership comes after a 23% increase in household rating for FOX’s ALCS coverage, which averaged a 4.9/9 compared to last year’s NLCS coverage on FOX (4.0/7) and was FOX’s best LCS average since 2010.  Over the entire 2013 ALCS, the important Men 18-34 demo average rose 33% compared to 2012, while other key demographics also notched double digit increases, including Men 18-49 (+27%), Adults 18-34 (+13%) and Adults 18-49 (+17%).

The 2013 MLB All-Star Game posted a 6.9/12 household rating, with 11 million viewers, +1% over last year’s 6.8/12 and 10.9 million viewers.  This year marks the first time since 2001 that all of MLB’s jewel events – All-Star Game, Division Series, both League Championship Series and World Series – posted year to year audience increases.

Locally, FOX Sports regional sports networks recorded its highest-rated season ever, averaging a 3.94 household rating, a 7% increase over 2012.  In fact, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports KC, Sportstime Ohio, FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports North, Sun Sports, FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Wisconsin all ranked No. 1 among all cable outlets in prime time during the 2013 MLB season.

More World Series Game 6 Highlights:

 

-       Boston led all markets with a massive 55.2/75, the best MLB rating in the market since Game 4 of the 2007 World Series.

-       Boston peaked with a 59.5/84 from 11:00 -11:30 PM ET during the Fenway Park on-field celebration.  Red Sox hub Providence followed with a 44.1/61.

-       St. Louis delivered a 37.9/55 followed by Hartford (27.8/41), Fort Myers (16.6/27), Kansas City (14.4/23), Tampa (13.4/21), Memphis (13.3/19), Las Vegas (13.0/22), and Richmond (12.9/22) to round out the top 10.

-       For the six-game series, St. Louis was the top metered market averaging 40.6/60 while Boston came in at 39.6/60.

-       According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, World Series Game 6 was the most social program of the day with 1.6 million tweets from 623,000 unique authors.  The 2013 World Series drew 4.3 million tweets, up 86% from the 2012 World Series and more than three times the number of tweets compared to the 2011 World Series.

-       According to Facebook, the 2013 World Series generated 32 million interactions from 11 million users. The Red Sox won the team buzz battle 62% to 38% over the Cardinals during the six-game series. World Series MVP David Ortiz was the most buzzed about player with nearly four times the comments, likes, and posts compared to any other player.

Ron Darling Joins MLB Network as Offseason Studio Analyst

MLBN MLB Network Offseason Studio Programming Begins Monday, November 4

Peter Gammons, Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman & Tom Verducci Featured in

New Weekly Studio Program Inside MLB Starting Monday, November 11

Secaucus, N.J., October 31, 2013 – MLB Network today announced that World Series champion and award-winning baseball TV announcer Ron Darling has joined its roster of on-air talent as an offseason analyst. Darling will appear across MLB Network’s offseason studio programming, which begins Monday, November 4, and make his MLB Network debut live on MLB Tonight on November 4 at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Since beginning his broadcasting career in 2000, Darling has won two Emmy Awards for Best Sports Analyst for his work covering the Mets on SportsNet New York (SNY), and he works as a game analyst for Turner Sports’ MLB regular season and Postseason coverage. Over his 13-year pitching career, Darling collected 136 wins with a 3.87 ERA. He was named a National League All-Star in 1985 and won the World Series with the New York Mets the following year. Darling also won 17 games for the 1988 NL East champion Mets and was the first Mets pitcher to be awarded the Gold Glove Award in 1989. Darling began his MLB career with the Mets (1983-1991) and also spent time with the Montreal Expos (1991) and Oakland Athletics (1991-1995).

“Ron’s experience from his career on the field and his work on local and national baseball broadcasts give him a unique perspective that will be a great addition to our offseason programming,” said MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti.

Taking an in-depth look at the offseason’s news on free agents and managerial candidates, MLB Network will launch a one-hour weekly studio show called Inside MLB featuring MLB Network insiders Peter Gammons, Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman and Tom Verducci, hosted by Greg Amsinger and Paul Severino. Inside MLB premieres on Monday, November 11 at 10:00 p.m. ET following the announcement of the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award winners by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America live on MLB Network at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Starting Monday, MLB Network’s offseason lineup will feature Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds returning to host Hot Stove, the only television morning show dedicated to baseball, along with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar hosting Intentional Talk  and the return of Clubhouse Confidential, hosted by Brian Kenny, airing weekdays. MLB Network’s signature studio show MLB Tonight will continue to provide the latest news and interviews around the league throughout the offseason.

2013 World Series on FOX Continues Impressive Prime Time Performance

MLB-on-FoxHighest-Rated and Most-Watched Game 4 Since 2009

Series Ratings Average Up 11% from 2012

St. Louis, MO – The 2013 World Series on FOX last night continued its trend of upward ratings and wild finishes. Game 4 of the 2013 World Series posted its highest-rated and most-watched game of the series delivering a 9.4/15 national household rating and 16 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 6% in rating and 3% in viewership over last year’s series clinching Game 4 (8.9/14, 15.5 million viewers). Last night’s broadcast ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched World Series Game 4 since 2009.

FOX is projected to win the night in prime time (7:00 PM -11:00 PM) among households and post its highest-rated primetime broadcast since the premiere of American Idol in January.  The World Series is also projected to power FOX to its first weekly primetime victory for the broadcast season in Adults 18-49.

Through four games, the 2013 World Series on FOX is averaging an 8.4/14 national household rating and 14 million viewers, up 11% in rating and 10% in viewership over last year’s 7.6/12 and 12.7 million viewers.  The network’s 10 game postseason average of 6.2/11 (10.2 million viewers) is up 15% from 2012’s 5.4/9 (8.8 million viewers) and ranks as FOX’s best postseason since 2010 (6.6/12 – 11.1 million viewers).

According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, FOX was the No. 1 most social TV network on Sunday. Twitter activity for last night’s World Series Game 4 drew over 479,000 tweets from more than 227,000 unique authors. According to Facebook, World Series Game 4 generated 4.2 million interactions from 2.4 million users during the game. Massachusetts topped Missouri in generating buzz, followed by users in California, Illinois, and New York.  Team buzz tilted in favor of Boston, with 60% of the comments, likes, and posts about the game related to the Red Sox.

St. Louis led all markets with a 46.7/66 followed by Boston’s 34.7/55. Providence (30.7/47), Hartford (20.2/32), Kansas City (14.2/23), Las Vegas (13.8/21), Richmond (13.4/20), Memphis (13.1/18), Fort Myers (12.9/21) and Phoenix (12.4/21) round out the top ten markets.

Coverage of Game 5 begins Monday, Oct. 28 on FOX Sports 1, with a special World Series edition of FOX Sports LIVE at 7:00 PM ET.  Pregame coverage turns to FOX broadcast network at 7:30 PM ET from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO.