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Will baseball network hit a home run?

Baseball mitts sitting on the field

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: There's another channel being added to many cable TV lineups tonight. The MLB network -- as in Major League Baseball. But can a startup cable network survive in this economy? Here's Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson.


JEREMY HOBSON: The MLB Network is doing one thing very differently than its football counterpart, the NFL network: It's giving an equity interest to various cable and satellite providers -- in order to get on the air in more homes right away. Sports Consultant and former CBS Sports President Neal Pilson says that means if the MLB Network is successful...

NEAL PILSON: They're going to have to share their revenues with a number of other partners. On the other hand, if the NFL channel achieves success, they will keep 100 percent of their revenues.

The MLB Network will not be airing many live games. It'll be a mix of classic matchups and original programming, including a daily 8-hour baseball highlight show once the regular season starts.

PILSON:
Their effort is going to be to make the channel the place to go first for baseball news and information 24/7.

As for starting up in the middle of a recession, Pilson says there's never really an easy time to start a cable channel.

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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