Tuesday, March 20, 2007

XM and Baseball - Spring is Here

March 20, 2007

Baseball's Back, and XM Radio's Got Every Game

WASHINGTON, March 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Baseball has long been regarded as the sport best suited to radio. The pace of the game allows legendary announcers like Vin Scully and Bob Uecker to "paint the picture" in the listener's mind.

Source: XM Satellite Radio

Americans have been tuning into baseball on the radio ever since Pittsburgh's KDKA became the first station to air the game 85 years ago. Historically, you could hear the home team on a local station, and with some effort, you could pick up a game from a different city through the crackle.

But now Major League Baseball fans can listen to every game for every team on the radio, thanks to XM Satellite Radio. XM airs the full line-up of 2,400-plus MLB games every season from Opening Night to the final game of the World Series. XM customers hear the games live and nationwide on satellite radios for the car, home, office, and portable use.

No matter where they live, baseball fans can listen to Scully calling a Dodgers game from Los Angeles, then turn the XM dial to hear Uecker wax profound about Milwaukee, then flip to Joe Castiglione live at Fenway Park in Boston.

For Opening Night on April 1, the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals will host the New York Mets at Busch Stadium. Fans across the U.S. can hear the hometown broadcasts for each team and the ESPN Radio broadcast on three separate XM channels. The day before, XM will air the inaugural Civil Rights Game in Memphis, an exhibition game featuring the Cardinals and the Cleveland Indians.

To celebrate the season's start, XM will launch a special radio channel called Play Ball!. The channel will feature a rich mix of music and vintage audio that captures the spirit of Opening Day. XM is digging deep into its musical library for gems like Ruth Brown's R&B stomp "Baseball Boogie" and favorites like Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball." Listeners will hear spoken-word treasures like Abbott & Costello's "Who's on First," James Earl Jones' dramatic reading of "Casey at the Bat," and archival recordings of classic baseball calls. The channel will play the baseball-themed episode of Bob Dylan's XM show "Theme Time Radio Hour," which was added to the archive of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. XM's "Baseball Confidential," featuring candid conversations with legends of the game, will also be featured. The Play Ball! channel will air on XM from March 30 to April 2 on XM Channel 200.

In addition to the full schedule of games, XM has the nation's only 24- hour talk radio channel devoted to baseball. MLB Home Plate (XM Channel 175) covers every aspect of the sport 365 days a year with call-in shows, round- the-clock news updates, and exclusive interviews.

Cal Ripken, Jr., who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July, hosts the show "Ripken Baseball" on MLB Home Plate with his brother and fellow major league veteran Billy Ripken.

XM also offers Spanish play-by-play game coverage and baseball talk on the channel MLB En Espanol.

"Major League Baseball is the ultimate radio sport, and XM is the ultimate place to hear all the games on the radio," said Eric Logan, executive vice president, programming, XM Satellite Radio. "A lot of the appeal of baseball on XM stems from the fact that displaced fans can hear their favorite teams from a thousand miles away. You can hear John Sterling calling the game at Yankee Stadium, whether you live in Manhattan or Miami. For people who love the sport like we do, XM's got the games, the news, and the analysis you can't hear anyplace else."

Comprehensive coverage of Major League Baseball is part of XM Radio's 170-channel package of sports, music, news, entertainment, and talk radio.

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3/20/2007 02:06:00 PM

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