The MLB Network is now available in Canada as Rogers Communications extended its partnership with Major League Baseball on Wednesday, agreeing to an eight-year multiplatform broadcast rights extension with MLB, MLB Advanced Media and Sportsnet through 2021.
Wednesday marked the first day MLB Network was available in Canada. The 24-hour network dedicated to MLB features live games, news, highlights and some of the game's top analysts.
MLB Network will be available to Rogers digital TV customers in Ontario on channel 415, and it's available for a free preview through the end of April.
"At Rogers, we are committed to providing Canadians access to world-class sports. We live and breathe baseball and continue to be the multiplatform Blue Jays destination for fans," Rogers senior vice president of content David Purdy said in a statement. "We are thrilled to launch MLB Network for the first time in Canada; our customers will experience even more premium baseball action and analysis than ever before."
"Baseball's popularity throughout Canada continues to grow, and this deal is a reflection of the demand we hear from fans across the country for more baseball content," MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan said in a statement. "In addition to the World Series, postseason, All-Star Game and hundreds of live regular-season games this agreement will bring to Canada, we are particularly pleased that our Canadian fans will finally have access to the 24/7 year-round coverage of the sport that MLB Network provides."
Sportsnet, which has broadcasted MLB games since 2003, will continue to air nearly 300 MLB games each year, including the Midsummer Classic, Home Run Derby and postseason.
"This agreement furthers Sportsnet's commitment to providing Canadians with premium sports content all year long," said Scott Moore, Rogers Media president of broadcast, in a statement. "With MLB secured long term, combined with our world-class sports content throughout the winter months, Sportsnet is well-positioned to become Canada's No. 1 sports destination for many years to come."
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.