Sports Illustrated TV Inks Content Agreement With MLB
Sports Illustrated TV (SI TV), Sports Illustrated’s SVOD network, and Major League Baseball (MLB) have announced a new licensing and original content agreement. The arrangement provides SI TV with access to MLB’s library of games, documentaries and shows, as well as includes a co-production deal for two original long-form documentaries.
“Baseball is one of the most beloved sports and forming this relationship with MLB to air acquired games and shows from their library, as well as make original compelling documentaries together, will allow SI TV to provide the most well-rounded experience for baseball fans,” says Josh Oshinsky, head of programming at SI TV.
In addition to shows and documentaries from MLB’s library, SI TV will also curate MLB games that range from iconic moments to recent classics. The first games to air on SI TV will be dubbed “Ace’s Choice,” a reference to top pitchers. Sports Illustrated asked four Hall-of-Fame pitchers – Nolan Ryan, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson – to choose their favorite outings and their picks will be shown in their entirety on SI TV:
- Nolan Ryan: May 1, 1991: Arlington Stadium, Rangers 3, Blue Jays 0
- Tom Glavine: Oct. 28, 1995: Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, Braves 1, Indians 0
- Pedro Martinez: May 28, 2000: Yankee Stadium, Red Sox 2, Yankees 0
- Randy Johnson: Oct. 2, 1995: The Kingdome, Mariners 9, Angels 1
The MLB/SI TV arrangement also includes a co-production deal that will partner MLB and SI TV on two original baseball documentaries. The first film, “14 Back,” is currently in production and will be helmed by 11-time Emmy award-winning director/producer Jonathan Hock.
“14 Back” will focus on the Red Sox-Yankees 1978 American League East tiebreaker game, which cemented baseball’s greatest rivalry and produced a pennant race by which all others are measured. Even 40 years after the Yankees and Red Sox vied for a chance to play in the ’78 Fall Classic, their battle both on and off the field during that summer and fall has arguably never been equaled.
The Hock-directed baseball film, which will debut on SI TV, will be part of “SI Films,” the long-form original sports documentary series on SI TV. The first film, “We Town,” debuted on SI TV in March 2017 and focused on arguably one of the best high school teams of all time, West Town High School, which produced likely NBA stars Mo Bamba and Cam Reddish just a year apart under coach Seth Berger.
Details of the second co-production will be announced at a later date.