Turner Sports leads off its coverage of the 2011 Major League Baseball (MLB) Postseason for the fifth consecutive year on Friday, September 30, with extensive multiplatform coverage including TBS’ exclusive presentation of the Division Series (LDS) and National League Championship Series (NLCS). Ernie Johnson, the long-time voice of Turner Sports, will not be a part of TBS’ postseason coverage with Brian Anderson replacing him as lead play-by-play announcer for the network’s exclusive presentation of the LDS and NLCS. Johnson will step aside from his play-by-play duties this postseason due to the illness of his son.
“My son Michael has muscular dystrophy and he has been in intensive care for the last two weeks and is expected to remain hospitalized for several more weeks,” said Johnson. “At this time, my job is to be with Michael and my family. Cheryl and I have a positive attitude, a strong faith and amazing support system especially within Turner Sports.”
“Turner Sports is extremely supportive of Ernie and Cheryl during this time and we send our best wishes to Michael,” said David Levy, President of Sales, Distribution and Sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc
Anderson, who has been the lead play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers since 2007, has called MLB Postseason games nationally for TBS for the past three years. He has also been a part of the network’s “Sunday MLB on TBS” regular season coverage since 2010. No stranger to big moments, Anderson was behind the mic for TBS during Roy Halladay’s historic no-hitter during the 2010 NLDS. Please click on the following link to view Anderson’s call of the final out of the no-hitter: TBS’ Brian Anderson’s call of Roy Halladay’s LDS No-Hitter
“Brian is one of the most versatile baseball announcers in the game today and will be joined in the booth by the expert analysis of John Smoltz and Ron Darling,” said Jeff Behnke, Turner Sports senior vice president and executive producer. “Brian, Ron and John will provide fans who tune into the LDS and NCLS with extensive insight and informative analysis for the next three weeks of our coverage.”
TBS’s exclusive coverage of the ALDS and NLDS will be handled by a quartet of veteran announce teams:
- Anderson will handle play-by-play alongside analysts Darling and Smoltz during the LDS and the network’s exclusive coverage of the NLCS.
- Veteran play-by-play announcer Dick Stockton will be joined in the booth once again by former MLB manager and long-time analyst Bob Brenly.
- Don Orsillo (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst) will return to TBS for their fifth and fourth Postseason, respectively, with the network.
- Play-by-play announcer Victor Rojas, who has called games for the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks, will join veteran analyst Joe Simpson in the booth for the LDS. This is Simpson’s 25th year as a MLB analyst and his fifth Postseason with TBS.
Reporters for the LDS will include MLB insider and Sports Illustrated / SI.com senior baseball writer Tom Verducci who will also provide reports from the American League Championship Series (ALCS). Craig Sager returns to the MLB Postseason on TBS for his fifth year as a reporter and also will work the NLCS for the network. Jaime Maggio, who has served as a reporter for the NBA Playoffs on TNT and Turner Sports’ presentation of the NCAA Tournament will join the MLB on TBS crew. Sam Ryan, who also worked with Turner Sports during the NCAA Tournament, will serve as a reporter for TBS during the LDS.
The TBS MLB On-Deck presented by Chrysler pre-game show and Inside MLB presented by Captain Morgan post-game show will have in-depth game reports and post-game interviews from every LDS game, as well as the ALCS and NLCS coverage on TBS presented by the New Capital One Cash Card. Matt Winer will return as studio host alongside analysts Dennis Eckersley, Cal Ripken and David Wells.
The network’s production plans will utilize state-of-the-art technology to bring fans unique insights into each game including new graphics, the U.S. television debut of Bloomberg Stats and the innovative Liberovision to provide baseball fans with more information and perspective:
- Bloomberg Stats: TBS will be the first U.S. network to utilize Bloomberg Sport’s vast resources and cutting-edge technology as they integrate comprehensive statistical information into each telecast. The network’s team of expert game and studio analysts will have the ability to delve deeper into every pitch of each game to spot trends and pick out tendencies.
- Liberovision: The network will utilize an innovative 3D interactive telestrator which will give fans a new perspective of instant replays as TBS’ analysts breaking down select key moments throughout the Postseason.
- New Graphics: TBS will have a new graphics package for games and the studio show that feature improved functionality with a nostalgic feel.
- Pitch Trax: The in-game technology that illustrates pitch location throughout the game will return to TBS for the Postseason.
Turner Sports’ online plans will feature a variety of postseason content on SI.com including breakdowns and predictions of games and series, video highlights, player interviews and photo galleries. The site’s team of experts, including Verducci, Jon Heyman, Joe Lemire, Joe Posnanski and Albert Chen will provide their exclusive analysis, both written and video, on all aspects of the postseason.
Additionally, Turner Sports also will get fans involved by allowing them to communicate with each other as well as react to the action on the field through social media:
- Twitter: @MLBonTBS and @TurnerSportsPR will provide game alerts, programming information and behind-the-scenes photos throughout the Postseason. Also, TBS MLB broadcasters will periodically answer questions from fans via Twitter Chats. Fans can use #Postseason to join the conversation throughout the LDS, NLCS and ALCS.
- Facebook: Fans can also check out the MLB on TBS Facebook page (facebook.com) to find the latest schedule information, behind-the-scenes photos and other special features.
TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television’s top-rated comedy network and is available in 100.8 million households. It serves as home to such original comedy series as Are We There Yet? and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns; the late-night series CONAN, starring Conan O’Brien; hot contemporary comedies like Family Guy, The Office and Big Bang Theory, which begins later this year; special events, including star-studded comedy festivals in Chicago; blockbuster movies; hosted movie showcases; and championship sports.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and online sports programming, airing championship level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular sports sites on the Internet. Turner Sports’ television line-up includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf. The company’s digital portfolio includes SI.com, NASCAR.COM, NCAA.com, PGATOUR.COM, GOLF.com and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.