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12/28/08 3:24 PM EST

MLB Network won't be hard to find

Tune to Ch. 213 on DirecTV, or use channel locator on site

To answer the two most common questions fans have been asking about the new MLB Network that launches at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday in some 50 million households, it is free for everyone with cable to watch on TV and now you can find it by using the channel locator that was just introduced on Sunday at mlbnetwork.com.

If you have DirecTV, it's on 213. For everyone else, just use the new channel locator and enter your ZIP code as you are accustomed to doing elsewhere on the Internet. You will find a full listing of cable, satellite and telco providers that carry the MLB Network in your area, along with channel listing details in standard and high definition where applicable. In addition, if there are video providers in that ZIP code who do not carry the MLB Network, the channel locator provides a link to send a message to that provider requesting that they add what every fan needs in 2009.

All of you in Beverly Hills 90210, it's on 276 of your Time Warner cable. St. Louis, it's 412 on Charter, so make a note of that. New Yorkers know where to find their Yankees on YES or their Mets on SNY, and now they will turn to 174 on Time Warner to complete the baseball lifestyle in 2009. If you live in Wrigleyville, then 410 on Comcast is your newest Friendly Confines. Seattle, it's 407 on Comcast, and you'll notice the link to submit a form letter to Dish Network/Echostar to add it.

We checked the Beacon Hill section of Boston (02108), and it says Comcast will show it to you on 269 and 185. Downtown Denver is 420 for Rockies fans looking forward to TV's new Opening Night. You Josh Hamilton fans in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex can turn to 291 if you have Charter there, and if you are among those in that region with Time Warner, keep checking because it's "TBA" at the moment.

Rays fans, you undoubtedly can't get enough baseball these days and are maybe still wearing one of those Rayhawk hairdos. Around-the-clock baseball will be delivered New Year's Night, and if you live in the St. Petersburg area of Florida, you can find it on 159 of Bright House Networks. Across Alligator Alley, people in Miami will find it on 279 with Comcast. Wherever you are, just plug in the ZIP code.

This was one of the most important of many announcements lately by the MLB Network, because the last thing you want to do is show up to Opening Day and miss the first pitch. You want to have the channel on at exactly 6 p.m. on Thursday. Network officials have said they will greet people with some kind of introduction about this new TV world, and that will be part of the one-hour "Hot Stove" show that will lead into the 7 p.m. rebroadcast of Don Larsen's 1956 World Series perfect game. That broadcast never has been shown to a mass audience in the 52 years since, and it will be followed by Larsen and his catcher, Yogi Berra, in a studio setting talking about the majestic moment.

The channel locator is just one part of what MLBNetwork.com offers fans. That site will provide exclusive insights as reported on air, as well as program schedules, video highlights, bios of on-air talent and a rich-media tour of the studios. During the season, MLBNetwork.com will showcase video analysis of games and other baseball developments as well as interviews and human-interest segments.

The site also will benefit from an integrated partnership with MLB.com, complete with interactive community involvement and contributions from on-air personalities as well as live/on-demand content features that visitors have grown accustomed to count on from the league and individual team sites.

The MLB Network will be broadcast in HD, another of those questions many people have been asking lately. If after consulting the locator you still have questions, please contact your cable, satellite or telco provider.

When the countdown for New Year's Night reached 10 days, the MLB Network began a countdown complete with a new piece of news about the largest launch in the history of cable TV. Leading up to Sunday's release of news item No. 5 were the following:

10. Barry Larkin Joins MLB Network.
9. MLB Network to Install "Ballpark Cams" in Every MLB Stadium.
8. PRIME 9 Debuts on MLB Network.
7. Mitch Williams, Greg Amsinger and Jon Heyman Join MLB Network.
6. MLB Network Uses the Latest Technology to Capture the Action.
5. MLBNetwork.com Launches "Channel Locator" to Help Fans Find Channel.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.