SBJ/20090525/This Week's News

MLB Network building August around youth tourneys

Having picked up the rights to three tournaments, MLB Network is dubbing August “Youth Baseball Month.”

“It’s a great branding opportunity for us during August,” said MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti. “We want to cover all things baseball, like we do with the World Baseball Classic.”

MLB Network youth baseball schedule
Date Event
Aug. 9 Senior Boys RBI World Series
Aug. 14 Girls RBI Softball World Series
Aug. 21 Cal Ripken World Series International Championship, U.S. Championship
Aug. 22 Cal Ripken World Series World Championship Game
Aug. 27 New Era National Youth Baseball Championships
Aug. 28 New Era National Youth Baseball Championships
Aug. 29 New Era National Youth Baseball Championships 10 & Under Semifinals and Finals
Aug. 30 New Era National Youth Baseball Championships 12 & Under Semifinals and Finals

Rights to August’s biggest youth baseball tournament, the Little League World Series, remain with ESPN, and Petitti admitted that he’s unsure how his network will cover it. He expects to show highlights and discuss LLWS results during MLB Network’s live shows.

Petitti also plans to use MLB Network’s on-screen talent for each of the tournaments, citing Harold Reynolds’ experience with the Little League World Series. “All of our guys have showed a lot of interest,” he said. “We’ll probably spread it around a little bit.

MLB Network’s youth baseball coverage kicks off Aug. 9 with the Senior Boys RBI World Series Presented by KPMG, which will be held at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.  It also plans to carry the Cal Ripken World Series Aug. 21-22.

The network will wrap up its youth baseball coverage with the New Era National Youth Baseball Championships Aug. 27-30. The tournament, which launched last year, crowns national champions in the 10 and under and 12 and under divisions.

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