FOX Sports and MLB Network are teaming on an expanded pregame weekly show that will run prior to the "FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week."
The show was announced Wednesday by Eric Shanks, co-president and COO, FOX Sports Media Group and FOX Sports executive producer, and Tony Petitti, president-CEO of MLB Network.
The 2012 MLB on FOX season opens April 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET, and features the Boston Red Sox visiting the Detroit Tigers with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver in the booth.
"FOX Saturday Baseball Pregame Show" will originate live from MLB Network’s Studio 3 in Secaucus, NJ, and be hosted by FOX Sports and MLB Network broadcaster Matt Vasgersian.
Vasgersian will be joined each week by a rotating roster of MLB Network’s studio analysts including Harold Reynolds, Mitch Williams, Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar.
The pregame show will run 30 minutes most weeks, with the exception of "FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week’s" eight consecutive primetime dates, when the pregame show will run for 15 minutes beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Other games on the first Saturday of the season: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers in an NLCS rematch (Thom Brennaman/Eric Karros); San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Daron Sutton/Eric Byrnes); Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Kansas City Royals (Kenny Albert/Mark Gubicza). Coverage is regional; check local listings.
FOX Sports has collaborated with MLB Network since the latter’s launch in 2009. In addition to sharing below-the-line resources and video, the networks share on-air personalities including Vasgersian, Chris Rose, Millar, Williams and FOXSports.com senior writer Ken Rosenthal.
“We’re proud to form this partnership,” Shanks said. “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.”
This partnership will bring fans 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 Ballpark Cam system, audio and video content, and reporters providing 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,” Petitti said.
Vasgersian’s work with MLB Network includes studio host and play-by-play duties. He appears on "Thursday Night Baseball" and "MLB Tonight" and hosts the "Baseball IQ" game show. He has also worked regularly with FOX Sports including play-by-play duties on "FOX Saturday Baseball" and "NFL on FOX."
Rosenthal has reported for FOX Sports since 2005 and MLB Network since 2009.
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." Byrnes has also contributed to MLB on FOX as well as his role as an "MLB Tonight" analyst.
Rose, host of "FOX Saturday Baseball" since 2009, will now devote full time to hosting MLB Network’s "Intentional Talk" series.