ESPN’s Multiplatform Coverage of MLB’s Opening Week


ESPN’s Multiplatform Coverage of MLB’s Opening Week

Baseball Tonight in Miami & Anaheim, Mike & Mike from MLB Fan Cave

ESPN’s multiplatform coverage of Major League Baseball’s Opening Week will begin with a full slate of MLB-focused programming on Wednesday, April 4, leading into ESPN’s exclusive national telecast of Opening Night – defending Champion Cardinals at new-look Marlins – at 7 p.m. ET. In total, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise five games in three days Opening Week. Programming on April 4 will include:

Baseball Tonight

Baseball Tonight will be live in Miami at 6 p.m. leading into MLB Opening Night. The set will be located just outside the new Marlins Park to capture fan atmosphere surrounding the grand opening of the new stadium. Host Karl Ravech will be joined by analysts John Kruk and recently elected Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. The Baseball Tonight crew will then travel to Anaheim for Albert Pujols’ debut with the Los Angeles Angels as they host the Kansas City Royals on Friday, April 6, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2.

Mike and Mike in the Morning at the MLB Fan Cave

Mike & Mike will emanate from the MLB Fan Cave in New York on Wednesday, April 4, and Thursday, April 5, from 6-10 a.m. Guests will be announced in the coming days. Mike & Mike is available nationally on ESPN Radio and via simulcast on ESPN2.

Additional Programming Highlights

ESPN programming will feature daylong MLB season-opening discussion, debate and content on April 4, including live SportsCenter updates from Marlins Park; First Take (10 a.m./ESPN2); Numbers Never Lie (4 p.m./ESPN2); and SportsNation (5 p.m./ESPN2). ESPN will also televise a special edition of Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable on location at Marlins Park (4:30 p.m./ESPN2). In addition, ESPN will be airing Game 162 – an MLB-produced special on the final day of 2011’s regular season – on Monday, April 2, at 8 p.m. and again on April 4, at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.

New Sunday Night Baseball Team to Call Four Games in Five Days

ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball team – Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Terry Francona and Buster Olney – will call four games in five days to open the season, beginning with Cardinals/Marlins on Opening Night.

ESPN’s season-opening coverage continues:

Thursday, April 5

Mike & Mike at the MLB Fan Cave (6-10 a.m.);

First Take to feature debate and discussion on a variety of topics relating to MLB Opening Week (10 a.m. – noon);

Two editions of Baseball Tonight– 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. – to provide news, highlights and analysis on top season-opening storylines;

Red Sox at Tigers at 1 p.m.; Marlins at Reds at 4 p.m. (ESPN2).

Friday, April 6

The Herd with Colin Cowherd onsite at Angels Stadium from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Herd is available on ESPN Radio and via simulcast on ESPNEWS;

Baseball Tonight onsite at Angels Stadium (6 p.m.);

Giants at Diamondbacks at 7 p.m.; Royals at Angels at 10 p.m. (ESPN2).

ESPN Audio

ESPN’s Opening Week radio games will feature defending the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals at the new home of the Miami Marlins on April 4 (6 p.m.); San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks on April 6 (6:30 p.m.); Kansas City Royals at the Los Angeles Angels on April 7 (3 p.m.) and the Chicago White Sox at the Texas Rangers on April 8 (7:00 p.m.).  Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will describe the action for all four games as ESPN Audio kicks off its season-long national MLB coverage that will once again include the Playoffs and World Series.

  • World Series predictions from ESPN MLB experts;
  • Launch of new-look Baseball Tonight page;
  • WatchESPN/GameCast of all five MLB Opening Week games on ESPN;
  • Curt Schilling’s predictions for 2012 MVP and Cy Young winners;
  • Breaking news, essays, video/photo galleries from Opening Week.

Facebook & Twitter

  • Twitter activity throughout MLB Opening Week from @ESPN_BBTN and @ESPN_MLB accounts;
  • Baseball Tonight’s Facebook page will be updated with Opening Day photo/video galleries and fan questions.

ESPN Mobile

Starting Monday, April 2, fans can sign up for Close Game Alerts to be alerted when an MLB game is close in the 7th inning or later.

ESPN Deportes: Beisbol Esta Noche

Beisbol Esta Noche will be on site for a special pregame show from Marlins Park at 6:30 p.m. Commentators will include Carolina Guillen and Candy Maldonado.

ESPN International

ESPN International will present MLB Opening Week games across Latin America (South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean), Africa, Middle East and the Pacific Rim (Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands).

ESPN Opening Week Schedule and Commentators

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Networks
Wed., April 4 7 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins * Dan Shulman,  Orel Hershiser, Terry Francona, Buster Olney ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
Thurs., April 5 1 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers Shulman, Hershiser, Francona, Olney ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
  4 p.m. Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds Sean McDonough, Aaron Boone,  Rick Sutcliffe, Tim Kurkjian ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
Fri., April 6 7 p.m. San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks * Dave O’Brien, Nomar Garciaparra, Mark Mulder, Pedro Gomez ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
  10 p.m. Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels * Shulman, Hershiser, Francona, Olney ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN

*ESPN Radio will present national broadcasts of these games with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton calling the action.



Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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