Looking Forward With MLB Network

It’s opening day for Major League Baseball, and MLB Network will air an unprecedented number live games this season, starting with a “Showcase” telecast of the Dodgers and Cardinals today, March 28 at 4p.  As the network enters its 16th season, Bill Morningstar, President MLB Network & MLB EVP Sponsorship Sales, talks about the beauty of baseball, and what’s ahead.

What content are you looking forward to this year on MLB Network?

We pride ourselves on being the #1 content home for the baseball fan. Each year we air an unparalleled number of live games, deliver incredible access to players, provide informative analysis and constant highlights that showcase the players’ amazing abilities and accomplishments. Our lineup has diversity in talent and programming types to appeal to the largest audience base as possible. From the stat-focused fan to the lighter side of baseball to opinions, breakdowns and our secret sauce of live look-ins, we like to take fans on a ride, covering all 30 clubs and the biggest stars.     

The beauty of baseball is it’s played every day and that gives us a daily touchpoint with our fans. To complement this, MLB has done a wonderful job of creating tentpole events throughout the season, and MLB Network is there to shine a light on these events. From the Seoul Series in Korea to MLB at Rickwood Field: A Tribute to the Negro Leagues, to across the pond for the London Series, we’re on the road at these events creating rich and unique content. And the game is filled with so many great young players. MLB had a record-tying 19 players reach the 20 home run-20 stolen base milestone last year. It’s our job to highlight their stories and personalities on a day-in, day-out basis.

How is MLB Network adapting in the digital era?

We’re positioning MLB Network as the content engine that can feed the entire baseball ecosystem and all 30 clubs. Every show we create has an eye on the linear screen, but it also must extend and be customized to live on other platforms such as digital, social, streaming or podcasts. Our goal is to allow fans to consume baseball content when they want it and where they want it. 

How will you cover the Shohei Ohtani gambling scandal story and the Dodgers to start the season?  

Whenever there is an important and significant story in our game, MLB Network will be there to cover it, as we have since our launch in 2009. When the Ohtani story broke, we didn’t shy away from it. We covered it in a fair and balanced way, which allows us to gain credibility with our fans. Our own Tom Verducci, who has written some of the most credible work on Ohtani, was on “MLB Tonight” multiple times as the story broke, and our coverage will carry on as the story develops.

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