ESPN launches Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod
|Friday, January 7, 2022, 9:45 AM-|
ESPN today announced its new coverage strategy for Sunday Night Baseball – the exclusive, national Major League Baseball game of the week – as it begins the first year of a long-term MLB rights extension. ESPN has reached a multi-year agreement with five-time World Series Champion and former Cy Young Award winner David Cone. The veteran pitcher and YES Network analyst will team up with Karl Ravech, who becomes just the fourth-ever Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play voice, as well as veteran analyst, player and coach Eduardo Perez, to form the new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth.
For both Ravech and Perez, the new roles are part of long-term contract extensions with ESPN. Along with Cone, the trio will call the premier MLB regular-season broadcast package – ESPN’s 25 Sunday Night Baseball telecasts – as well as additional exclusive games during the season, including MLB Opening Night.
Alex Rodriguez and Michael Kay Join Forces for Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod
As part of ESPN’s overall Sunday Night Baseball coverage strategy, it’s launching Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod – a special viewing presentation to air on ESPN2 alongside the traditional ESPN game telecast for eight Sunday Night Baseball games. The presentations will feature World Series Champion and analyst Alex Rodriguez and YES Network play-by-play voice and ESPN Radio host Michael Kay. Rodriguez, who hit 696 home runs and won three M.V.P. awards in his storied career, has also reached a multi-year contract extension with ESPN and returns for his fifth season as an analyst.
The eight Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod presentations on ESPN2 will coincide with ESPN’s highest-profile rivalry games, including the New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox. In addition to discussion and analysis, the telecasts will integrate fantasy baseball, predictive analytics and special guests tied to the game.
Rodriguez and Kay will appear on site for select games, while appearing live from their home studios for other games. Rodriguez and Kay will also serve as ESPN’s main broadcast team for two exclusive ESPN MLB regular-season games. Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod is the latest in ESPN’s long, multi-platform history of special viewing presentations dating back to 2006 across its MLB, NBA, College Football, College Basketball, NFL and Little League properties, among others.
Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President & Executive Editor, Production:
“As we begin our next chapter of baseball coverage, we aim to maximize the value of this new rights agreement by prioritizing innovation and compelling storytelling. We welcome David Cone to ESPN and believe he and Eduardo Perez will offer a master class in contemporary analysis, including Statcast-driven data and discussion. Karl Ravech, who has been our “Mr. Baseball” for three decades, will lead the booth with the command and credibility that he’s displayed throughout his career. I’m equally excited for the duo of Alex Rodriguez and Michael Kay to team up and offer fans a new, engaging experience. The innovative Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod presentations will be informative and entertaining and play a crucial role in our overall Sunday Night Baseball content offerings. We’re grateful for the collaboration with the YES Network and look forward to starting the 2022 season.”
If the MLB Wild Card Series returns in 2022, the event will be fully exclusive to ESPN platforms and both new commentator teams will contribute to coverage.
The reporting trio of ESPN senior MLB insider Buster Olney, senior writer Marly Rivera and analyst and 2022 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner Tim Kurkjian, will make regular contributions to ESPN’s overall baseball coverage on Sundays, including on Sunday Night Baseball, Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown, BBTN Live on ESPN digital platforms, and ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts.
Ravech and Perez at ESPN
Ravech, who joined ESPN in 1993, has led ESPN’s cross-platform baseball coverage for nearly 30 years. In recent years, Ravech has served as the lead play-by-play commentator for ESPN’s non-Sunday Night Baseball game coverage, the Home Run Derby, Little League Baseball World Series, the Men’s College Baseball World Series as well as contributing to Men’s College Basketball. Perez, who was at ESPN from 2006-2010 before returning in 2014, has served as one of ESPN’s premier baseball analysts. He has regularly teamed with Ravech on the aforementioned baseball events, as well as Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown. For more about Ravech and Perez, visit ESPN Press Room.
Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown Hits the Road
Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown, will hit the road in 2022 for a dozen on-site pre-game shows leading into Sunday Night Baseball. Karl Ravech will continue to host Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown on the road. Ravech will be joined by ESPN’s deep roster of MLB analysts and reporters, including Jessica Mendoza, Eduardo Perez, David Cone, Marly Rivera, Doug Glanville, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers.
ESPN Radio will document the 2022 Major League Baseball season, including on Sunday Night Baseball and culminating with its 25th World Series. Jon “Boog” Sciambi will enter his 13th season as ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play voice. ESPN analyst Doug Glanville will join the ESPN Radio team for his first season as analyst, teaming up with Sciambi. Coverage will also include reports from Marly Rivera, Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian.
Baseball Tonight’s digital pregame show, BBTN Live, will return for its third season, previewing the highest-profile Sunday Night Baseball games. The team of host Gary Striewski, The Undefeated’s Clinton Yates and baseball writer Joon Lee will provide commentary. BBTN Live is available on ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram platforms generally 30 minutes prior to the game.
The 2022 Sunday Night Baseball schedules for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes will be announced in the coming weeks.