Major League Baseball has unveiled the designs for its two new television studios, with plans to convert the former MSNBC set in Secaucus, N.J., into a scale-model replica of a ballpark.
The 9,600-sq ft Studio 42 will feature an infield about half the size of a regulation diamond, and a movable pitcher’s mound that will serve as a demo platform for former Yankees hurler and recently-signed MLB Network analyst Al Leiter. (Studio 42 is named in honor of Jackie Robinson, who wore that number throughout his 10-year career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.)
The studio also incorporates familiar design elements such as padded outfield walls and bleacher seating. From the looks of the mock-up art distributed by MLB Network, the only elements missing from Studio 42 are beer and Cracker-Jack vendors.
A second studio will serve as home base for the network’s live nightly show, MLB Tonight. Measuring 5,600 sq ft, Studio 3 will feature 62 video displays, including a bank of 108-inch monitors.
The second set is named to commemorate Babe Ruth.
“Our studios are designed first and foremost to be versatile, since we’re doing so many hours of live programming each night,” said Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network. “But we also wanted to make sure they were visually appealing and featured the very best in technology. We’re confident we’ve succeeded in all three areas, and that our viewers will enjoy what we can do in these studios.”
MLB Network launches Jan. 1, 2009, in some 50 million households, with carriage deals locked in with DirecTV and In Demand, which are also investors in the start-up.