Major League Baseball announced today that iN DEMAND has entered into a seven-year agreement in principle to carry the MLB EXTRA INNINGS subscription package of out-of-market games and will distribute the MLB Channel, which is scheduled to launch in January 2009.
The MLB EXTRA INNINGS subscription package of out-of-market games is currently available to DIRECTV subscribers. iN DEMAND owners Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable have agreed to carry the package, effective immediately. iN DEMAND also will offer to make the MLB Extra Innings subscription package available to other cable companies across the U.S. Like all distributors of MLB Extra Innings, these cable operators would also be required to carry the MLB Channel once it is launched.
The MLB Channel will be the first and only network dedicated to providing baseball programming to MLB fans 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a year-round basis. Major League Baseball's partnerships with DIRECTV and iN DEMAND mean the MLB Channel is expected to launch in 40 million homes.
"Our chief goal throughout the process was to ensure that fans would have access to as many baseball games and as much baseball coverage as possible," said MLB President and Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy. "With this agreement, the MLB Channel will launch with an unprecedented platform. We are pleased with the launch of the MLB Channel to so many homes coupled with our agreement to extend the distribution of MLB Extra Innings with iN DEMAND."