Dish Network started carrying MLB Network Thursday night, ending the biggest holdout among U.S. distributors for the baseball channel. The deal pushes MLB Network's distribution to 65 million homes, making it the most widely distributed sports league channel and ensuring it carriage on the country's top 10 distributors. The net said it has added 32 affiliates since Spring Training (mostly small distributors) and has seen more distribution growth than any sports cable channel. Dish Network is making MLB Network available on channel 153 via the America's Top 200 tier. It also is part of the Dish Latino Dos and Multisport packages (John Ourand, THE DAILY).
RAISING THEIR VOICE: In L.A., Helene Elliott reports the NHL Kings have agreed to a two-year deal with play-by-play announcer Bob Miller that "will take him to 40 seasons" with the team. Miller said Thursday, "We'll see how many years we want to go. They've been very cooperative and good to me." Miller turns 73 in October, "a few days after the Kings open" the '11-12 season. Jim Fox, Miller's broadcast partner, "is in the middle of a multiyear deal," and next season will be the 22nd they've worked together (L.A. TIMES, 9/2).
YES THEY CAN: YES Network has built a new set, graphics package and logo for its football studio show, "This Week in Football," which starts its 10th season Tuesday night. The show plans to add more interactive elements this year, taking viewer questions via Twitter (@TWIFonYES), e-mail and yesnetwork.com. The season premiere includes an interview with former Giants coach Jim Fassel on what it was like to coach the team in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The premiere also will include interviews with current Jets coach Rex Ryan and current Giants coach Tom Coughlin (Ourand).
THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: Chip Ganassi Racing Thursday launched a mobile application that allows users to access social media content, video and photography from races, driver statistics and other information. The application was developed by SapientNitro, an integrated marketing and technology services firm that works with companies like Coca-Cola and Target, a Ganassi sponsor. The application is available for download in the iTunes app store. In addition to the other content, it will include store location finder capabilities for sponsors and special sponsor promotions (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).
WALL-TO-WALL COVERAGE: The ACC Network announced 71 TV affiliates from 27 states will air ACC football games for the '11 season, beginning with this weekend's opener. The ACC Network will syndicate conference football games outside the ACC footprint for the first time. Local affiliates have been added in more than 25 new markets, including L.A., S.F., Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Denver, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Green Bay. Meanwhile, the ACC Vault has expanded to include full-length ACC regular-season and championship football games from all 12 conference schools, as well as original video content and social sharing features. In its launch last season, ACC Vault featured more than 100 men's basketball regular-season and conference tournament games (THE DAILY).