MLB Network adds New Channel for Highlights: The Strike Zone

MLB Network expands its broadcasting presence, part time, with the introduction of the Strike Zone channel, which a number of its cable partners have agreed to carry in a number of markets large and small across the nation.

The channel, which will only broadcast part-time, will be available currently from DIRECTV, Dish Network, Bright House Network and Time Warner Cable and will be designed much on the model set by the NFL Network’s Red Zone, providing live look in at games and important at bats as well as providing game highlights, all in high definition.

Initially it looks like Time Warner customers will be the big winners as it will be offering the channel in these markets: Albany, Austin, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee/Green Bay, New York City, Palm Springs, Portland, Raleigh, Rochester, San Antonio, San Diego, Syracuse and Waco.

Interesting that I live in one of those markets and did not know that Time Warner was available here. Anyway then Bright House will be offering the programming in five markets. Two in Florida with Orlando and Tampa; Bakersfield, California, Indianapolis and Birmingham, Alabama.

Dish Network will include it in its ‘Multi-Sports’ package while DIRECTV will offer it as part of its ‘Sports Pack’ and its MLB Extra Innings plan.

When MLB launched its own network the thinking was that this would put pressure on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and I believe that it did, bring its level of professionalism up a notch. Now with a competing highlight show I expect that we will see a much broader assortment of highlights and game breaks from ESPN covering more teams than the few that it seems to favor.

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