MLB Network launching Strike Zone channel, like NFL Red Zone

MLB Network is launching a new channel tonight that will be much like the NFL’s Red Zone channel. The official press release is below, via FangsBites [H/T SportsBusiness]: 

MLB Network Strike Zone, a new channel that will take viewers on a high-speed trip around Major League Baseball on Tuesday and Friday nights during the regular season. When live game telecasts air on MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone will bring fans to every game across the league, with up-to-the-minute highlights, live look-ins and updates, all commercial-free.

MLB Network Strike Zone will launch on Bright House Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable today, April 10 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

“MLB Network Strike Zone will provide baseball fans with the award-winning coverage of all 30 clubs they’ve come to rely on from MLB Network,” said Tony Petitti, President and CEO of MLB Network. “We’re excited to continue to expand the reach and scope of MLB Network’s programming.”

MLB Network Strike Zone will be available on the following offerings:

Bright House Networks: Bakersfield, Calif. – Channel 1124; Birmingham, Ala. – Channel 464; Detroit – Channel 698; Indianapolis – Channel 425; Orlando and Tampa – Channel 1143


DISH Network, Multi-Sport Pack: Channel 153

Time Warner Cable: Albany, Austin, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee/Green Bay, New York City, Palm Springs, Portland, Raleigh, Rochester, San Antonio, San Diego, Syracuse and Waco.

I don’t know what to think of this, but being a Time Warner customer in Atlanta, it doesn’t look like I will be able to experience this — not right off the bat anyway. The nice thing about NFL Red Zone is you know you’re going to see every big play from nearly every game on one day, split up into two blocks and you’ll see most of it unfold live.

Baseball is a completely different animal, though, because most games — especially on Tuesdays and Fridays — start around the same time and you can’t predict when a score is about to happen like you can sort of gather in football. (And it airs only on Tuesdays and Fridays? That’s roughly only a third of the games each week.)

While football is more consistently action-packed, I think there’s a lot more to take in over the course of a baseball game for the hardcore fans; it’ll be interesting to see if Strike Zone caters to the die-hards — and if they do, how they will do it — or if they will simply show runs and big hitters/pitchers’ highlights, in which case, those interested fans can get everything they need on Quick Pitch at the end of the night in a much more structured, concise set up.