Sun Sports to air 150 Rays games this season

Sun Sports to air 150 Rays games this season

Sun Sports to air 150 Rays games this season
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays baseball will once again occupy the airwaves on most nights during the coming summer, as Sun Sports announced Wednesday it will produce and televise 150 Tampa Bay games during the 2012 season, all in high definition.

Coverage begins on Opening Day, when the Rays host the Yankees on April 6 at 3:10 p.m. ET

A first for the coverage this season will be half-hour "Rays LIVE" pregame show for all telecasts. In addition, Sun Sports will provide extended postgame coverage.

"Rays LIVE" will originate from Tropicana Field for home games, while away contests will air from the new Fox Sports studio in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Dewayne Staats returns this year for his 15th season as play-by-play announcer on the regional network, and he will be joined in the TV booth by former Major Leaguer Brian Anderson. Staats enters his 35th year broadcasting baseball, while Anderson enters his fourth season providing analysis on Sun Sports.

Also in his 15th season, Todd Kalas serves as host for "Rays LIVE" pregame and postgame shows at Tropicana Field, while Barry LeBrock will anchor away games from the Fox Sports studio. Orestes Destrade and Laura McKeeman round out the television talent lineup on Sun Sports in 2012, appearing on and providing feature reports for "Rays LIVE."

Going beyond just coverage of games, Sun Sports' partnership with the Rays provides fans with more opportunities to get to know the team and its players. Nine half-hour HD episodes of Sun Sports' popular "Inside the Rays" are planned this year and will include player profiles, with rare behind-the-scenes stories and interviews, plus episodes offering inside access to other aspects of the team and its operations -- all designed to bring the fans closer to their favorite team.

To help fans get ready for the upcoming season, Sun Sports will produce its annual season preview, premiering March 25 at 4 p.m.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.