Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio

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MLB on ESPN Radio
Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio logo.svg
Genre Major League Baseball
Running time 3 hours (approximate)
Country United States USA
Home station ESPN Radio (1998-)
Starring Jon Sciambi
Chris Singleton
Marc Kestecher
Air dates since March 31, 1998

Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio is the brand name for exclusive play-by-play broadcast presentation of Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio. The coverage has most recently been presented by Mercedes-Benz; previous presenting sponsors included Xerox, AutoZone, Excedrin, and the United States Postal Service.

Coverage overview[edit]

In 1998, ESPN Radio took over from CBS Radio as the official, national radio broadcaster for Major League Baseball. The network's contract with MLB currently runs through 2021, and as of 2006, Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio is heard on over 321 stations across the United States.

The games include Opening Day, Sunday Night Baseball, Saturday Game of the Week, holiday games and September pennant race games. ESPN Radio holds exclusive radio rights to the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. The postseason (including the Wild Card Games, Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series) is a semi-exclusive arrangement. The participating teams' flagship stations are allowed to air play-by-play using their own announcers and production. The national ESPN Radio feed may, however, be carried live on another station in those markets as well. If affiliate stations on the teams' radio networks wish to carry coverage of postseason games they must use the national feed. Since the inaugural World Baseball Classic in March 2006, the semi-finals and the championship have also been broadcast as part of Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio.

In addition to affiliate stations on AM/FM radio, ESPN Radio's game broadcasts are carried as part of Sirius XM Radio's MLB coverage. However, they are not included in the subscription "Gameday Audio" package on MLB.com with the exception of the All-Star Game, for which no other radio play-by-play feed is available.

Since June 2011, the games can also be heard online at ESPN Radio.com and on mobile devices via ESPN Radio's mobile app and other applications auch as TuneIn. They can also be heard on Xbox 360 consoles via the iHeartRadio app. Previously, rights restrictions prevented ESPN Radio.com or other ESPN/Disney online ventures (such as DGamer) from live-streaming the games. While the games are sometimes unavailable on the ESPN Radio iPod Touch/iPhone app (due to blackout and/or contractual restrictions[1]), they can be heard on the app via the included affiliate stations.

History[edit]

In 1997, ESPN Radio outbid CBS Radio to become the exclusive national radio broadcaster of Major League Baseball beginning the following year. CBS Radio had been the national radio broadcaster since 1976.

The agreement lasted seven years through 2004 and gave ESPN Radio the rights to broadcast numerous games including Sunday Night Baseball, Saturday Game of the Week, Opening Day and holiday games, September weekday pennant race games, the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, and all of the playoffs, including the World Series.

In 2004, ESPN Radio extended the deal with a five year, $55 million dollar contract extension through the 2010 season.

The agreement also added a weekly program devoted to baseball, which became The Baseball Show from 3 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET on Sundays during the regular season. The program was hosted by John Seibel and Steve Phillips.

Broadcasters[edit]

As of 2011, the primary ESPN Radio crew for Sunday Night Baseball consists of play-by-play announcer Jon Sciambi and color analyst Chris Singleton. In 2010 Sciambi succeeded Gary Thorne, who had called play-by-play in 2008-09; Thorne had succeeded Dan Shulman, did so from 2002-07; Shulman, in turn, had been preceded by Charley Steiner from 1998-2002. Singleton succeeds Dave Campbell, who was an analyst from 1999-2010. Campbell replaced Kevin Kennedy as analyst in 1999, after the latter had worked with Steiner in the network's inaugural season of coverage. Marc Kestecher currently serves as the primary Baseball Tonight studio host; he was preceded by Joe D'Ambrosio from 1998-2007.

As of 2014, Dan Shulman (from ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball TV crew) and Aaron Boone call the World Series and one of the two League Championship Series each year, while Sciambi and Singleton call the other LCS. Various other announcers work the network's secondary regular-season, Wild Card Game and Division Series broadcasts as needed. Sciambi and Singleton also call the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby each year.

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