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MLB Channel coming soon?


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MLB 24/7


Following in the footsteps of the NFL and NBA, which already have their own networks, Major League Baseball owners will consider launching and funding a baseball network at their owners meeting Thursday in Philadelphia.


"We think the market will bear, and actually would demand, a 24-hour all things baseball channel," said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president of business.


Brosnan said baseball has spent the past 18 months developing a plan for a network, which he hopes can be launched in 2005. He wouldn't detail what programming the channel might offer, in advance of the owners meeting, but it's safe to assume there's more than enough to fill the hours without infringing on the industry's lucrative television contracts with Fox and ESPN.


With a February to November schedule, including spring training and the postseason, baseball covers more of the calendar than football and basketball. Brosnan said increases in bandwidth and digitization have expanded the universe for such stations.


"Sports has always played a role in driving pay services in to people's homes," Brosnan said. "In some sense to be a content deliverer, if you will, we know that baseball can help drive that penetration."

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