-MLB Network Launches in Canada Today-
-Sportsnet, MLB and MLBAM Announce Eight-Year Multimedia Rights Extension-
TORONTO, Jan. 8, 2014 /CNW/ - Rogers Communications today announced it has extended its longstanding partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB), headlined by a Rogers first-to-market launch of MLB Network in Canada on Rogers digital television and an eight-year multiplatform broadcast rights extension with MLB, MLB Advanced Media and Sportsnet through 2021.
MLB Network, the 24-hour network dedicated to all things baseball, launched today on Rogers, marking the first time the network is available in Canada. In addition to its exclusive coverage of the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame election today, MLB Network's year-round programming features live games, news, highlights, and some of the game's top analysts, including former Blue Jays players Mark DeRosa, Al Leiter, Kevin Millar and Dan Plesac. MLB Network will be available to Rogers digital TV customers in Ontario* at this time on channel 415, and is in free preview from today through the end of April.
"At Rogers, we are committed to providing Canadians access to world-class sports. We live and breathe baseball, and continue to be the multiplatform Blue Jays destination for fans," said David Purdy, Senior Vice President, Content, Rogers Communications. "We are thrilled to launch MLB Network for the first time in Canada; our customers will experience even more premium baseball action and analysis than ever before."
"Baseball's popularity throughout Canada continues to grow, and this deal is a reflection of the demand we hear from fans across the country for more baseball content," said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. "In addition to the World Series, Postseason, All-Star Game and hundreds of live regular season games this agreement will bring to Canada, we are particularly pleased that our Canadian fans will finally have access to the 24/7 year-round coverage of the sport that MLB Network provides."
"Securing distribution in Canada is a landmark moment for MLB Network and we are excited to bring our comprehensive baseball coverage, access and perspective to Rogers digital TV customers," said Tony Petitti, President and CEO of MLB Network. "This partnership further expands our reach beyond the United States and helps accomplish our goal of bringing MLB Network to as many fans as possible."
The new agreement between MLB, MLB Advanced Media and Sportsnet, beginning this year and continuing through the 2021 season, features a comprehensive suite of multimedia rights for television, online and mobile. As part of the new package, Sportsnet will continue to deliver nearly 300 MLB games each year, including hundreds of regular season games, plus the MLB All-Star Game, Home Run Derby and the MLB Postseason including the World Series.
"This agreement furthers Sportsnet's commitment to providing Canadians with premium sports content all year long. With MLB secured long-term, combined with our world-class sports content throughout the winter months, Sportsnet is well-positioned to become Canada's #1 sports destination for many years to come," said Scott Moore, President of Broadcast, Rogers Media.
Sportsnet has been broadcasting MLB games since 2003. The eight-year multiplatform extension with MLB complements Sportsnet's rights package with the Toronto Blue Jays for exclusive Canadian coverage of all Blue Jays games. Sportsnet will announce its 2014 MLB and Toronto Blue Jays spring training and regular season broadcast schedule in the coming weeks.
*MLB Network is available in the Digital VIP package for Rogers customers in Ontario upon launch
About Rogers Communications
Rogers Communications is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are Canada's largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada's leading providers of cable television, high speed Internet and telephony services. Through Rogers Media we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, televised shopping, magazines and trade publications, sports entertainment, and digital media. We are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). For further information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit rogers.com.
Sportsnet connects Canadian sports fans to their favourite teams and athletes, using five platforms: TV, Radio, Print, Online and Mobile. Sportsnet is Fuelled By Fans, and delivers storytelling on a local, regional, national and global level. The multiplatform brand consists of Sportsnet, sportsnet.ca, Sportsnet 590 The FAN, Sportsnet 960 The FAN, Sportsnet magazine, Sportsnet Mobile and the Hockey Central app on iPad and Playbook. Sportsnet consists of four regional channels (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific), and the nationally-distributed Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet World, and Sportsnet 360. Sportsnet is the Canadian leader in NHL and MLB television broadcasts and is home to 162 Toronto Blue Jays games, plus MLB Playoffs and the World Series. Sportsnet is an official licensed broadcaster of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM and also offers an exciting sports lineup including the NFL, the Memorial Cup, CIS Vanier Cup, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Grand Slam of Curling, IZOD IndyCar Series, the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, and extensive soccer programming including Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, MLS Vancouver Whitecaps FC, CONCACAF and Canadian national team matches for men and women. Connected is the network's nightly news program, providing regional and national coverage of the day's events in the world of sports.
About MLB Network:
MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring the multiple Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight, live regular season and Postseason game telecasts, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis from the best in the business, including Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Jim Kaat, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds. MLB Network debuted on January 1, 2009 in a record-setting 50 million homes and is currently distributed in approximately 70 million homes throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to www.MLBNetwork.com.
SOURCE: Rogers Media
For further information:
Jennifer Neziol, [email protected], (w) 416.764.6361, (m) 416.275.9182
Kaili Lupp, [email protected], (w) 416.935.4824, (m) 416.846.7786
Matt Bourne, Major League Baseball, 212.931.7878
Lorraine Fisher, MLB Network, 201.520.2895