Rogers Renews Partnership with Major League Baseball
Rogers Communications 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 playersMark 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