MLB, MTV Ink Multi-year Programming Deal; Will Lead Off With 30-Episode MLB Fan Cave Series

MTV and Major League Baseball have inked a new multi-year, cross-platform programming deal led off by a new 30-episode series on MTV2 executive produced by MLB All-Stars David Ortiz and Andrew McCutchen. The series is slated to debut in April 2014 and will be produced in New York City from inside the MLB Fan Cave.

As the average age of baseball viewers continues to skew older, MLB is looking for new ways to engage younger demographics. With this in mind, the new 30-episode series will move beyond game analysis, stats, and highlights to showcase MLB athletes off the field, spotlighting the stars’ personalities and passions through a series of player interviews and features, in addition to celebrity appearances.

“The MLB Fan Cave has been an enormous success in showcasing the personalities of our star players to young fans and intersecting baseball with pop culture,” says Tim Brosnan, EVP, Business, Major League Baseball.  “Being able to partner with MTV on a weekly TV series will give us an opportunity to bring that concept to an even broader audience.  We are excited to work with the creative team at MTV to develop content that our fans will enjoy.”

The MLB deal is the latest in a continued effort by MTV Networks to grow its sports-programming footprint. For example, MTV sister network VH1 will team with the NFL to produce six live concerts in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII in each of the five New York City boroughs and in New Jersey. According to an MTV insider, the MLB-MTV deal is just the first of a several sports partnerships and sports-network-programming deals currently in the pipeline.

“As sports and pop culture increasingly collide, we’re thrilled to partner with MLB to cover baseball through a uniquely MTV lens,” says Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. “We will blur the lines between lifestyle and sports entertainment, spotlighting MLB’s most exciting players in a way fans have never seen before.

Content from the new partnership will live on-air and online across MTV’s channels and platforms – MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams – integrating MLB players into existing shows and events, in addition to the development of upcoming specials, weekend programming and more. Details on additional elements of the MLB and MTV partnership will be announced at a later date.

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