ESPN Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will return for its 28th season in 2017 as the exclusive, national Major League Baseball game of the week. The weekly, prime-time telecast will feature the sport’s top stars and best teams throughout the season, beginning with Opening Night– the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs visit their rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Say what you will about 2016, but it kept us on our toes. It was the year that proved just about anything can happen if given the chance. It was the year we learned that baseball fans who had suffered for 108 years could win. That an NBA team could fire its coach midseason and still become champ. That an NFL team could dominate after replacing a Pro Bowl quarterback with a rookie. That the winningest team in NBA history could add the game’s top free agent, just because. It was the year college football’s top programs could thrive on inexperience, and an unbeatable fighter could recover from defeat—by disappearing. Who’d have thought all of that could happen in one year? The cover of ESPN The Magazine’s “Anything’s Possible” issue features champions Simone Biles, David Ross, and J.R. Smith.
Beginning March 14, ESPN networks will combine to carry 98 Southeastern Conference baseball games, 75 of which air on SEC Network.
ESPN’s Baseball Tonight will hit the road for two daily shows on site at the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings, Monday, Dec. 5 through Wednesday, Dec. 7. The 30-minute telecasts will air at 6:30 p.m. ET and midnight, generally on ESPN2. The core Baseball Tonight team will include host Karl Ravech with analyst Aaron Boone and ESPN MLB insiders Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian.
The NFL Chemistry Issue explores the various personalities and elements that either bring teams together – or tear them apart. Highlights include a cover story on Oakland Raiders’ Derek Carr as well as features on Seattle Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor, Buffalo Bills’ Richie Incognito and more.
The 2017 Major League Baseball season will begin with seven season-opening games in two days across ESPN and ESPN2 between Sunday, April 2 and Monday, April 3. The season-opening slate will be highlighted by an Opening Night prime-time exclusive: the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs will visit Busch Stadium and their rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET and will also be available on ESPN Radio (including streaming via ESPNRadio.com), ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.
ESPN will televise the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Show presented by Fanatics on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET. The one-hour show from the Baseball Tonight studio will be led by host Karl Ravech with analysts Alex Cora and Doug Glanville. This show marks the 59th year of the iconic award honoring defensive excellence.
ESPN will provide comprehensive on-site coverage from the 112th Major League Baseball World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, beginning with Game 1 from Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Tampa Bay Rays’ ace Chris Archer will join ESPN’s Baseball Tonight as a guest analyst for on-site, pre-game and post-game shows during the 2016 MLB World Series. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet at the World Series will generally air at 7 p.m. ET and either midnight or 1 a.m. on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
Wednesday’s 2016 MLB National League Wild Card Game telecast presented by Hankook Tire is the second-most watched Major League Baseball game on ESPN in 13 years, according Nielsen. Across ESPN and ESPN Deportes, the game generated a total live average audience of 7,711,000 viewers (television + streaming).