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Volume 24 No. 156
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MLB Media Notes: ESPN Will Carry MLB's Opening Night Matchup On April 4

ESPN will begin its 23rd season of broadcasting MLB games with a national telecast of the league's Opening Night on April 4, featuring the reigning World Series Champion Cardinals and the Marlins in a game that will also mark the grand opening of Miami's Marlins Park. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine for five games over the first three days of the season. On April 5, ESPN2 will televise the Red Sox-Tigers 1:00pm ET game and the Marlins-Reds 4:00pm matchup. On April 6, ESPN2 will broadcast Giants-D'Backs at 7:00pm, followed by Royals-Angels at 10:00pm (ESPN).

FRANCHISE PLAYER: YAHOO SPORTS’ Kevin Kaduk noted Showtime's "The Franchise," which in '11 chronicled the MLB Giants, reportedly “will return for a second season.” However, “no one is yet willing to cough up the identity of the squad.” The team “will be announced in the near future” (, 1/10).

PLAY BALL: The Giants yesterday announced a new partnership with ESPN Deportes 860 (KTRB-AM), making it the team's official Spanish language radio station. KTRB-AM will carry a total of 70 broadcasts throughout the season. The Giants broadcast team of Tito Fuentes and Erwin Higueros will call the games (Giants).

IQ TEST: In California, Bill Plunkett noted MLB Network later this month will launch a new show titled "Baseball IQ." The game show will premiere Jan. 24 at 9:00pm ET, and the format "will feature two participants answering questions regarding 'all things baseball.'" At stake during the 30-minute show "will be a potential $45,000 for a charity chosen by the team." Each MLB team will have a rep, and they will be "matched up in a bracket-style tournament over 31 episodes." A new episode "will air each Tuesday and Thursday" from Jan. 24-Feb. 23 with Matt Vasgersian hosting (, 1/11).