[03/21/12 - 10:06 AM]
FOX Sports & MLB Network Join Forces For New, Expanded Pregame Show
Matt Vasgersian will host the half-hour program, which bows Saturday, April 7.

[via press release from FOX]


Matt Vasgersian Takes Reigns as Host; 30-Minute Show Debuts April 7

New York, Los Angeles & Secaucus, NJ - This spring, FOX Sports and MLB Network team to present fans with a new-look and expanded pregame show prior to the FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK, it was announced today by Eric Shanks, Co-President and COO, FOX Sports Media Group and FOX Sports Executive Producer, and Tony Petitti, President and CEO of MLB Network.

FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL PREGAME SHOW, a full 30-minute program, originates live from MLB Network's state-of-the-art Studio 3 in Secaucus, NJ and is hosted by longtime FOX Sports and MLB Network broadcaster Matt Vasgersian. He's joined each week by a rotating roster of MLB Network's studio analysts including Harold Reynolds, Mitch Williams, Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar. Chris Rose, host of FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL since 2009, devotes his complete energy this year to his role as host of MLB Network's popular show, Intentional Talk.

This collaboration is the latest example of unprecedented cooperation between FOX Sports and MLB Network since its launch in 2009. In addition to sharing below-the-line resources and video, the networks have shared numerous on-air personalities including Vasgersian and Rose as well as Millar, Williams and reporter Ken Rosenthal.

"We've enjoyed a terrific working relationship with Major League Baseball and MLB Network, sharing broadcasters and resources over the years and we're proud to form this partnership," said Shanks. "Combining our expertise with MLB Network's ample resources and high-caliber production capabilities makes sense on multiple levels, none of which is more important than providing fans the best pregame and studio coverage possible week in and week out."

FOX Sports, in cooperation with MLB Network, is now able to bring fans the best and most complete coverage possible from around the league using the vast resources available to both networks, including frequent live updates throughout FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL broadcasts, MLB Network's Emmy-nominated Ballpark Cam system, audio and video content, and reporters ready to provide breaking news, analysis and coverage of milestone performances.

"This is a groundbreaking partnership between a broadcast network and a league-owned cable network and we're excited to work with FOX Sports to continue to provide viewers with the most comprehensive programming in baseball," said Petitti.

Vasgersian's work with MLB Network includes studio host and play-by-play duties, appearing on Thursday Night Baseball, MLB Tonight and Baseball IQ. He has also worked regularly with FOX Sports including play-by-play duties on the FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL and NFL ON FOX. Rosenthal has reported for both FOX Sports and MLB Network since 2009, and Williams was a pregame analyst for FOX Sports' 2010 National League Championship coverage and throughout the regular season in 2011. Millar was a studio analyst for MLB on FOX pregame coverage in 2010 in addition to his work on MLB Network's MLB Tonight and Intentional Talk, and Byrnes has also contributed to MLB on FOX as well as his role as an MLB Tonight analyst.

The new pregame show runs 30-minutes most weeks with the exception of FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK's eight consecutive primetime dates, when the pregame show is 15-minutes long beginning at 7:00 PM ET.

The 2012 MLB on FOX season opens on Saturday, April 7 at 3:30 PM ET with a grand slam lineup featuring the Boston Red Sox with new manager Bobby Valentine visiting the Detroit Tigers and new slugger Prince Fielder (Joe Buck/Tim McCarver). The last two World Series champions are also slated Week 1 as the St. Louis Cardinals head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers in an NLCS rematch (Thom Brennaman/Eric Karros), while the San Francisco Giants go on the road against the NL West Champion Arizona Diamondbacks (Daron Sutton/Eric Byrnes). Fans can also catch the incomparable Albert Pujols in his new uniform as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim host the Kansas City Royals (Kenny Albert/Mark Gubicza). Coverage is regional; check local listings.

About FOX Sports

FOX Sports is the flagship network of the FOX Sports Media Group. As America's top-rated network for sports for 15 straight years (1997-2011), FOX Sports boasts rights agreements with each of the nation's highest-rated sports. FOX Sports is the exclusive national over-the-air television rights holder for Major League Baseball, including the All-Star Game, alternating League Championship Series and World Series (2007-2013); the National Football League's NFC package, including the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowls XLVIII, LI, LIV, LVII (through 2022 season); NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from February through May, including the Daytona 500 (2007-2014); Ultimate Fighting Championship (through 2018); the Big Ten Football Championship Games (2011-16); a minimum of eight regular- season Pac-12 football games (2012-22); the Pac-12 Football Championship Game (even years from 2012-22); the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and the UEFA Champions League Final. Since its inception in 1994, FOX Sports has earned 85 Emmy Awards for production excellence. David Hill and Eric Shanks are the Executive Producers of FOX Sports. For the latest sports news, opinion and video, log on to www.FOXSports.com.

About MLB Network

MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring the Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight, live games, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis from the best in the business, including Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds. MLB Network debuted on January 1, 2009 as the largest launch in cable television history and is currently distributed in more than 68 million cable, telco TV and satellite homes throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to www.mlbnetwork.com.

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