SBD/Issue 21/Sports Media

New Jersey Looking More Likely As Site For Permanent MLB Net HQs

MLB Network, aided by an $8M grant from the state of New Jersey, "is investing $54.1[M] in a state-of-the-art studio in Secaucus that is increasingly looking like it will become the network's permanent home," according to Kevin DeMarrais of the Bergen RECORD. MLB Network President & CEO Tony Petitti said that "about 50 people are already on site, and the number should increase to 225 within a year," a number that includes "about 150 working for the network, plus 75 who currently work for MLB Productions" in N.Y. The net has taken over MSNBC's former HQs in Secaucus, which was "initially scheduled to be the MLB Network's temporary home." But Petitti during a tour of the facility yesterday said that the economic issues have put a planned 21-story, $435M HQs in Harlem developed by New Jersey-based Vornado Realty Trust "on hold, making Secaucus the network's home for 'the foreseeable future.'" Though "no final decision has been made," Petitti said that "it is 'increasingly likely we'll be in Secaucus for the future.'" Petitti added that construction "is on schedule for the network's launch on Jan. 1, 2009 with a never-before broadcast ... tape of Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series -- except for the first inning, which is missing from the tape" (Bergen RECORD, 10/14).

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