SBD/March 21, 2012/Media
Fox' MLB Game Of The Week Will Include MLB Network-Produced Pregame Show
Fox will roll out a half-hour pregame show around its Saturday afternoon MLB telecasts this year. What makes this show particularly interesting is that it will be produced in MLB Network's Secaucus, N.J., studios and will use MLB Network talent. Matt Vasgersian will host and Harold Reynolds, Mitch Williams, Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar will be analysts. In the past, Fox has had Chris Rose host "Fox Saturday Baseball" from the site of the game broadcast. MLB has been pushing Fox to produce a pregame show around its Saturday afternoon schedule for years, patterned after the network's popular NFL pregame shows. MLB Network President & CEO Tony Petitti said discussions about this show have been occurring for a year. He called the partnership "groundbreaking." The pregame show launches April 7 at 3:30pm ET before the first broadcast on Fox' '12 schedule. When Fox runs its Saturday Game of the Week in primetime, the pregame show will be cut to 15 minutes, starting at 7:00pm. MLB Network will have some branding during the show. It will use MLB Network's "ballpark cams" and plans to provide updates throughout the game. Fox and MLB Network have shared resources before -- Vasgersian, Rose, Millar, Williams and reporter Ken Rosenthal have appeared on both networks. Fox co-President & COO Eric Shanks said, "We've already been working with Tony on mixing and matching talent during the playoffs. We like doing pregame shows. Shanks said Fox had to get its affiliates to agree to carry the pregame show. Petitti said the show will appeal to casual baseball fans. "Our coverage is evolving that way anyway," he said. "This will feel like a more typical Sunday pregame show." With "This Week In Baseball," Shanks notes Fox "probably now carries more baseball hours than we have before."
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