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BASEBALL TAKES A SWING AT THE ON-LINE WORLD
Published April 25, 1995
"Major League Baseball at Bat" -- an MLB-sponsored baseball info-site on the World Wide Web is now open. The site offers fans the latest MLB news and is part of MCI's Internet site. It may be reached through MCI at www.internetMCI.com and soon at www.majorleaguebaseball.com. For Opening Day, MLB at Bat will have complete AL and NL schedules, and has plans to soon offer previous-night game results and box scores, MLB news and notes, stats, player news, game text and the photo of the day. Later in the season, the site will offer team schedules, rosters, team and league history, and ticket info. MCI is the Official Long Distance Carrier of MLB and has a marketing relationship with The Baseball Network through the '98 season (MLB). MLB joins the NFL as the second major leagues to launch a site on the Web. According to Tom Worcester, Dir of Sponsorship Sales & Marketing at The Baseball Network, the league anticipates having balloting for the All-Star Game on both the Internet and on a combo of commercial online services (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 4/24). MORE ON TBN: Noting that MLB is likely to exercise its right to re-evaluate its deal with The Baseball Network after this season, N.Y. NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay suggests that MLB extend the deal by one year. It would give TBN "a real shot at a complete season and postseason," and give the league more leverage should it decide to abandon TBN after '96 and sell TV rights to a network bidder. As for which TBN partner will televise the World Series, Zipay notes that if ABC does it this year, NBC (provided TBN still exists) would have a "potential blockbuster sports year in 1996," with the Super Bowl, World Series and Olympics (NEWSDAY, 4/25). OTHER MLB NEWS: Pinnacle has signed to replace Upper Deck as a TBN sponsor and will also assume title sponsorship of the All-Star Fan Fest (BRANDWEEK, 4/24)....To further develop its interactive technology category, MLBP announced the addition of two new licensees, Accolade, Inc. and Tiger Electronics. Accolade is licensed to produce All-Star Baseball, a CD-ROM simulation game. Tiger will produce Super Data Blaster, a hand-held stat organizer (MLBP).