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MLB.TV Including Team Pre, Postgame Shows Among New Features, Price Increase

As the 2022 season begins, 13 of MLB’s 30 clubs will have pre- and post-game coverage available on MLB.TV. The service hopes to add more throughout the season.

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Many baseball fans canceled their MLB.TV subscriptions before Feb. 28, either in fear of being charged for a 2022 season that might not be played or in protest of team owners locking out the players in a labor dispute.

But now that there will indeed be a 2022 Major League Baseball season, those same fans may be in the process of renewing their subscriptions before Opening Day on April 7. (Or earlier, for anyone who wants to watch some Spring Training games.)

The bad news? An MLB.TV subscription will cost more in 2022, as reported by The Streamable. The full service including all out-of-market games will increase by $10 to $139.99. A team-specific, out-of-market package will cost $119.99.

MLB and and team owners asking for more money after a 99-day lockout that seeded doubt and resentment among fans, and delayed the season by two weeks takes some nerve, right? But fans who sign up now can take advantage of a limited-time $10 discount, which means MLB.TV would cost the same price as last year.

(It should also be pointed out that local blackouts still apply and fewer games will be available on MLB.TV due to the league’s new exclusive streaming deals with Apple TV and Peacock.)

However, with that price increase comes some new features in this year’s subscription. Fans watching their team’s games out-of-market have often been disappointed and frustrated by not being able to watch pre- and post-game coverage that home viewers enjoy. (Once in a while, you might get lucky if someone at MLB headquarters was slow to push a button.)

But as the 2022 season begins, 13 of MLB’s 30 clubs will have pre- and post-game coverage available on MLB.TV. The service hopes to add more throughout the season, presumably aiming to get studio coverage for all 30 teams eventually.

For now, these clubs will offer pre-and post-game coverage:

Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Guardians
Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Angels
San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners
St. Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays

Other new MLB.TV features will include the nightly whip-around show MLB Big Inning being available seven days a week, rather than just weeknights only. Updated streaming apps will also have new playback controls, personalized scoreboards, and in-game details. An expanded content catalog will include more MLB.TV original programming such as Vendors, MLB Carded, and Baseball Zen, along with on-demand highlights and features.

Is all that, plus the return of baseball, worth a $10 increase for you?

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LIV Golf Nearing TV Deal With The CW Network

“LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.”

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LIV Golf

According to a report from Front Office Sports, LIV Golf has laid out a deal with The CW Network for television carriage in the United States.

The deal is a multi-year agreement that will see the tour own real estate in lesser-viewed time slots on the network. A revenue-sharing relationship between the tour and the television network is expected to be struck.

LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.

After a standup comedy show in West Palm Beach last week, Feherty reportedly told the crowd “Have you heard of CW? I might get fired for this, but…,” according to report from Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post.

Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand had previously reported a deal between the Saudi-backed breakaway golf tour and the network was likely.

Nexstar Media Group — the nation’s largest television owner — is the majority owner of The CW Network. There are around 220 affiliates of the network on over-the-air television stations. Rumors of an acquisition of LIV Golf’s rights come on the heels of The CW Network being linked to the potential launch of a college football bowl game that would air exclusively on the network.

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Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Don’t Feel Obligated To Agree With Black Community’

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Stephen A. Smith is out promoting his new memoir Straight Shooter. He recently sat down for a conversation with Men’s Health magazine.

Interviewer Rachel Epstein covers a wide variety of topics with Smith. Some are about what can be found in the book. Some are about the First Take star’s public perception.

She asked how Smith balances the responsibility of representing the Black community with his brand. On ESPN, Smith is known for being unique and unapologetic for his sometimes over-the-top persona.

“Number one by being fair,” he said. “By trying to gather as much information and educate myself on issues as much as I possibly can.”

He added that he has never felt pressure to think a certain way or say a certain thing. Even if pressure existed, he prides himself on not giving in to it.

“I never feel an obligation to agree with my community. I believe we all have a right to think the way we want to think. But I do feel a responsibility to make sure that the perspective emanating from my community is heard, even if I disagree.”

Stephen A. Smith is one of the highest-paid and most visible employees at ESPN. He said that a certain responsibility comes along with that status. He wants the Black community to know that even if he doesn’t agree, he will make sure people know what he is hearing when he is on TV talking about an important subject.

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Kathryn Tappen Joining NBC’s Big Ten Coverage

“Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.”

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NBC has tabbed Kathryn Tappen as its sideline reporter for the network’s upcoming coverage of Big Ten football, according to a report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

According to Marchand, Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.

Tappen has hosted Notre Dame football’s studio coverage and Peacock Sunday Night Football Final. She also worked as NBC’s lead interviewer for its coverage of the PGA Tour, but left that broadcast team at the end of 2022 as part of the network’s larger shakeup of its golf coverage.

The appointment of Kathryn Tappen conceivably concludes the Big Ten on NBC broadcast crew. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge are expected to pair as the network’s play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively. NBC has yet to officially unveil its coverage plans for the 2023 college football season.

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