MLB Network today announced its Thursday Night Baseball schedule for April and May, featuring 16 different MLB clubs in its first eight live regular season games. MLB Network's first-ever regular season game broadcast will occur on April 9 with the Milwaukee Brewers at the San Francisco Giants. The following week, MLB Network will air two games including the debut of the new Yankee Stadium on April 16, which will also mark Bob Costas' play-by-play debut for MLB Network. Costas last appeared in a baseball broadcast booth at the old Yankee Stadium for NBC on October 17, 2000, where the Yankees closed out the ALCS with a win in Game Six over the Seattle Mariners.
Jim Kaat will make his MLB Network debut on April 16, joining Costas and Harold Reynolds in the booth for the Yankees home opener. In addition to that game, Costas will also call the May 7 game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets at CitiField. Broadcast teams for the additional Thursday Night Baseball games on MLB Network in April and May will include play by play by Matt Vasgersian and Victor Rojas, with analysis by Al Leiter, Joe Magrane, and Dan Plesac. Other highlights of the April and May game schedule include matchups of division rivals such as the Boston Red Sox at the Tampa Bay Rays (April 30), the Philadelphia Phillies at the New York Mets (May 7) and the Chicago Cubs at the St. Louis Cardinals (May 21). The Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals will also be featured. MLB Network will announce future Thursday Night Baseball games coinciding with its selection windows. Games will be blacked out in each team's home television territory. Viewers in areas subject to blackouts will be provided with an alternate game telecast or other programming.
"It's important for MLB Network right from the start to establish a national footprint with live games, and we've done that with this Thursday night package to complement our ambitious nightly studio show, MLB Tonight," said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network. "We're very excited about the mix of games we'll show in the first two months, and think fans will continue to appreciate the versatility of our on-air talent as they transition seamlessly between the studio and the broadcast booth."
The full MLB Network Thursday Night Baseball broadcast schedule for April and May appears below.
MLB NETWORK THURSDAY NIGHT BASEBALL SCHEDULEApril 9 - 7:00 p.m. Brewers @ Giants - Matt Vasgersian & Joe Magrane
April 16 - 1:00 p.m. Indians @ Yankees - Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds & Jim Kaat
April 16 - 8:00 p.m. Blue Jays @ Twins - Victor Rojas & Dan Plesac
April 23 - 8:00 p.m. Dodgers @ Astros - Matt Vasgersian & Joe Magrane
April 30 - 7:00 p.m. Red Sox @ Rays - Victor Rojas & Joe Magrane
May 7 - 7:00 p.m. Phillies @ Mets - Bob Costas & Al Leiter
May 14 - 8:00 p.m. Orioles @ Royals - TBD
May 21 - 8:00 p.m. Cubs @ Cardinals - TBD
During the regular season, MLB Network's signature program will be MLB Tonight, which will air live beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET until the final MLB game of the night ends each Monday through Saturday, featuring live look-ins of games in progress, updates, highlights, reporting and analysis. On Thursday nights, the show will lead in to Thursday Night Baseball and provide viewers with highlights and analysis after the game as well as live studio updates during the game broadcast.
MLB Network launched in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes on January 1, 2009 as the largest debut in cable television history, exceeding any other cable television launch by approximately 20 million. With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games, and coverage of baseball events, MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans. For more information, go to mlbnetwork.com.