Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio
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|Genre||Major League Baseball|
|Running time||3 hours (approximate)|
|Home station||ESPN Radio (1998–present)|
|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 DraftKings; previous presenting sponsors included Xerox, AutoZone, Excedrin, United States Postal Service and Mercedes-Benz.
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 (for instance, WHB in Kansas City aired the ESPN feed of Kansas City Royals postseason games in 2014 and 2015, competing directly with the Royals Radio Network broadcast on KCSP). 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 such as TuneIn. They can also be heard on PlayStation and Xbox consoles via their respective iHeartRadio and Tunein apps. 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), they can be heard on the app via the included affiliate stations.
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 pm. ET on Sundays during the regular season. The program was hosted by John Seibel and Steve Phillips.
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.
- ESPN Major League Baseball
- Baseball Tonight
- Sunday Night Baseball
- Monday Night Baseball
- Wednesday Night Baseball
- ESPN Major League Baseball broadcasters
- Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio broadcasters
- Major League Baseball Game of the Week
- The Baseball Show
- List of Major League Baseball All-Star Game broadcasters
- List of American League Division Series broadcasters
- List of National League Division Series broadcasters
- List of American League Championship Series broadcasters
- List of National League Championship Series broadcasters
- List of World Series broadcasters
- Press Release: ESPN RADIO AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL EXTEND AGREEMENT THROUGH 2010
- Press Release: MLB Post-Season: Every Game on ESPN Radio
- MLB, ESPN agree on record eight-year deal